It’s Not My Imagination

17 Dec

Rayden Sandy River Crossing 1 Five years ago I imagined taking my future son on adventures. We’d duck under mossy branches, ford streams, and embrace the rain beating on our hoods. Rain, after all, gives us rivers and rainbows. We’d meander along, steady but unhurried like the river at our side (I admit stealing this line from my award winning essay about finding a $1000). I’d point out salmon in the shallows, explain the idea of spawning, and how the circle of gravel is their nest. We’d watch the salmon jockey for position striving to create the next generation.

Smiling at his eyes full of wonder, I’d know that like the salmon–I too am creating the next generation. I’d show him how to build a lean-to in minutes so we can enjoy our fire-heated soup out of the rain. He may ask why I’m using bungie cords instead of rope for the attachment points.  

“Sometimes having things be stiff and rigid is good and sometimes you want things flexible,” I’d say.  

“Flexible like a rubber band?” he’d ask knowing the answer but just wanting approval.  

“Yup…you got it buddy.” I’d say as he dives into our shelter.  

Tucked in tight out of the rain, we’d slurp our soup and pump our fists in approval.

I no longer have to imagine.

A note on the stream crossing: I waded my pack across first and navigated the wading-line twice before taking Rayden across. Even with thousands of hours wading rivers and streams, I never underestimate the dangers of moving water. A foot entrapment with my kid floating away would have put a damper on the day. Be safe! 

 Oakiwear Kids Gear! 

Oakiwear Leaf Roll

The yellow rain suit that Rayden is wearing in the video is made by Oakiwear, a local company out of Vancouver, WA. These suits are essential for the Northwest! Whether it be protection against the rain or wind or both, the suits keep the kiddos comfortable. The neoprene wrist and ankle cuffs are a nice touch making the boys look like little boat captains. We hit the coast a few days after the Sandy River and it was 38 degrees with a below freezing windchill. The boys spent three hours rolling around on wet sand and never complained about being cold. I watched my little man take a full face plant into a shallow stream and he stayed dry. Without the suit that would have been an Everest caliber trek back to the car with a shivering 3 year old. Oakiwear has a full line of kids waders that I will eventually look into. 

Ryan Chin is the creator of, Without Rain There Can Be No Rainbows, a multimedia memoir about his teaching experience in New Zealand. Mr. Chin likes to call it a pet and teacher memoir sandwiched into an overseas adventure. The book is available at Amazon and locally at Powell’s Books.



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