2023 ON THE WATER
JUNE 23-25 | AUGUST 4-6
Grief & Honor on the River
Grief and Honor raft trips provide a space in the great outdoors where we can all come together to feel our loss, to be around others who are feeling similar feelings and to allow the outdoors to work its magic.
A rejuvenating experience for mind, body, and spirit...
“Our family appreciated the opportunity to revitalize, relax, shed a tear, reflect, smile, and better understand what we are facing with our recent passing of our beautiful daughter and sister. The chance to float, talk, listen, enjoy wonderful meals, sleep under the stars, and share in each other's lives while having empathy for one another truly helped to patch my soul. I still find myself peering back with a glow in my heart at an enjoyable and meaningful experience."
On family loss...
“The river, nature, being with others, offered us the opportunity to check-in with our emotions and shared our grief with those who have walked this path. Our two kids, who were protective of showing their pain to us as their parents found comfort, were able to open their communication, which was indeed a massive step in their grief process. Robyn was such a blessing, and her natural way of moving around and comforting us on an individual basis was a gift like no other.”
On grief support...
“Your depth and breadth of experience provided a safe container, and clearly each of us benefited from your intuitive nature and gentle way of being. My Spirit has been refreshed and my soul bathed in beauty.”
A renewed sense of purpose...
"What I took away from this trip was a renewed sense of purpose for the last few years, months, days and moments left that I have on this earth. How can I make a difference in my life and in all the lives of the people that I touch? Can I live every day in the most authentic fashion?
We were the first group to go down the river with following safe practices during COVID. It was so much more work for Lisa, Mike, Brian and Robyn to keep us safe during this time. I have never been on a commercial trip that people took care of all the details for you. It made me feel like a queen, but it is not in my nature to sit still and have others take care of me. I am so glad I was able to get out on the river with the Pathfinders. I did feel safe and cared for. I appreciate all the extra work that Lisa and Mike did in preparing the meals and serving us in a safe manner using mask/gloves. It was so much more to think about and they did such an awesome job with grace and ease.
I will be forever grateful."
A young person's view...
“The experience I had on this trip was incredibly different than what I had expected. Knowing that my loss and grief was so recent, I was going along with the plans, not knowing how this trip was going to be, or the different triggers I would face on the river. All of this suddenly changed, when I was greeted with a warm welcome by Lisa, Robyn, Mike and Brian I was nervous, but I started to let go because I knew I was not alone in my journey.
Every single person who was there knew the feeling of death of a loved one and was ready to listen to me even within the first few minutes of us arriving. Going on the river and having the experience of how soothing the water can make all my stress and worries go away because I had something new to focus on that was full of beauty.
This raft trip helped me grow as a person just within the short three days. I began to understand that it was reasonable to be feeling the way I have been, and no one was there to judge me for who I was, or the pain I was going through.”
THE PURPOSE... Our aim is simple: provide a safe, supportive space immersed in the healing elements of nature and the river.
You may need to come and just be quiet... or maybe you want to listen and feel the freedom to share in an environment where others understand those feelings. The key here is openness and non-judgment.
DAY ONE: We meet near Grand Junction, at the turn-off to the Loma River boat launch. (Shuttle options available.) We will then load dry bags, assess our gear and the guides will rig the rafts. Lunch will be provided before we float to our first campsite. If you’ve never been camping before, don't worry, the staff is there to help—this trip is all about working together on every level. At camp, our guides will make a wonderful dinner and we'll have time to talk and share before settling in for the night.
DAY TWO: After a nourishing breakfast, we'll continue on down the gentle currents of the river and enjoy the peacefulness that surrounds us. Arriving at our next camp among the beautiful desert wilderness and canyons, we'll play games, laugh and enjoy being together while having dinner and taking time to talk and share.
DAY THREE: In the morning, we'll float just over the Utah border, where we leave the river, get our gear organized (if you're physically able to help), have lunch and board a van back to our vehicles in Loma.
THE GEAR... You are welcome (and encouraged) to bring your own dry bags, tents, sleeping bags and pads. Let us know if you need any camping or boating supplies. We'll also provide kayaks or Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) if you want some extra exercise. If you are interested in bringing your own boat, kayak or SUP, please contact Mike at: 970-274-8730. Check out the gear list HERE.
THE GUIDES & COUNSELORS... Our river raft guides are amazing! Mike Podmore and Lisa Moretti created this trip and are often part of our grief discussions when they aren’t working on the river. Mike and Lisa are both recipients of Pathfinders counseling services, and they have kindly offered their services to Pathfinders.
MIKE Podmore has spent over 40 years exploring desert canyons and guiding western rivers. Mike’s vast river experience, combined with his own journey with grief and loss, make him an ideal trip leader for Pathfinders.
LISA Moretti has been a lifelong educator, teacher coach, and hospice volunteer. Lisa brings her love of cooking, play, and nurturing others to our trips. Lisa lost her father at a young age—as well as her best friend—and finds peace in companioning with others on their grief journey.
BRIAN Brown is a Civil Engineer on the front range, but he joins us in his native skin as a raft guide, mountain man, storyteller and paddle-raft entertainment coordinator.
ROBYN Hubbard, a Pathfinders counselor for over 15 years, will lead our grief support for this trip. In Robyn’s words, "I'm thrilled and honored to get to have this wilderness experience with all of you! My mom died of cancer when I was 20. She was an amazing force in my life and always guided me with love and compassion... even with her last words to me, 'it’s OK to cry.' These words of wisdom, along with the compassion and resilience I learned from her, have guided the difficult challenges through my life since, and the intention I bring in holding space for others."
REGISTRATION & COST...
To secure your spot, please call Lisa Moretti: 970-456-2769 for registration forms, raft trip logistics, food allergies and/or sensitivities, medical needs, or questions about grief support.
Our trips are fully compliant with Governor Polis’s great outdoors COVID-19 policy: https://covid19.colorado.gov/safer-at-home/safer-at-home-outdoor-recreation.
We ask that you make a donation towards the trip, but please pay only what is comfortable for you, as we will accept a sliding scale payment between $1-$750.* Your donation goes towards our grief therapists, all meals, shuttles, boating equipment and experienced river guides.
You can make a payment HERE. In the donation "memory of" section, please write: RIVER TRIP and your trip date. Alternatively, you can pay by check payable to: Pathfinders and mailed to: Pathfinders, P.O. Box 11799, Aspen, Co 81612.
* Pathfinders NEVER wants money to get in the way, or be a factor in someone not being able to join us. We are always applying for grants to help cover costs of Pathfinders events. If you would like to donate to Pathfinders, please click this link.
Thank you for trusting us with your grief journey,
The Pathfinders River Team
Mike, Lisa, Brian, Robyn, Jen, Allison, Mack and Kat