A River Rookies Take on RiverWonderGrass

Words by: Juliana Todeschi

Just over the Colorado border into Jensen, Utah there’s a portal to another time and place—a prehistoric canyon where dinosaur fossils were preserved, untouched, until 1909. It’s more remote than the Grand Canyon, but Mother Nature’s beauty is not compromised by convenience for those residing in Colorado.

Now imagine boarding a raft and journeying through the canyon, to places inaccessible by car, for five straight days of floating, and four nights camped along river sand beaches. Your campmates are some of Bluegrass’ most talented musicians, and you are one of 25 people along for the ride. This is RiverWonderGrass.

Never before had I partaken in a journey like this. Sure, I had camped multiple nights at music festivals, rafted for a day here and there, but RiverWonderGrass was my first time camping for multiple nights as I traveled by river, finding home in a new place home each night. All the while, I was surrounded by a community that felt just as inspired and invigorated to participate as I did.

Worries were few and far between, and the river guides made sure it was a comfortable adventure, providing home-cooked meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner via a kitchen they built each afternoon at camp. All I had to do was pitch my tent, ensure I kept myself lathered up in SPF 50, and enjoy the ride.

There’s traveling, and then there’s adventuring. RiverWonderGrass is an expedition into a place so remote, only so many people per day can embark on the journey. Each night before and after dinner, the musicians serenaded us with songs; we had concerts on those river sand beaches, in remote caves, even floating down the river in the middle of a canyon on our rafts. 

Nothing comes close to witnessing nature in all her beauty, soundtracked by the sweet sounds of Bluegrass. And nothing compares to Bluegrass backdropped by Mother Nature.

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