Women on the water: Aspen area has great places to connect | AspenTimes.com

Women on the water: Aspen area has great places to connect

Anna Stonehouse
The Aspen Times
Anna Stonehouse stand up paddle boarding on Northstar on Saturday.
Geneva Vaughn/courtesy photo

This time of year brings out a different type of energy out of some if not most of us.

The sun is shining, nature is coming alive with new growth and animal activity, and as much as powder days bring smiles to our faces I think this valley appreciates summer activities (and patio beers) just as much.

As a river person, I find myself eagerly awaiting the runoff. I’ll take walks that line the river or crank my neck extra to look over the barrier while driving on Highway 82 just to see what the flows are looking like. Unfortunately, I’m still waiting for the flows to increase but I know I just have to be patient because it’s going to be a good, rowdy season. Getting on the water has become an obsession, and I know others can relate. River people are a certain breed, and to be honest, I think we’re a little weird.

My best friend visited this weekend and we took our paddle boards out on Northstar. It baffled me that no one else was out there doing the same thing, but I won’t knock having the place to myself. People shake their heads at me like I’m crazy going out there while snow is still on the ground but the concept is simple: Don’t fall in.

It’s the most peaceful zen zone and by far my favorite place in all of Aspen. I’m not much of a yogi but the meditative aspect of yoga appeals to me when I’m out in nature. I find myself much more aware of my breath being so calmed on the water and my breath tends to be neglected in most other situations.

Whenever my best friend and I are out on rivers we find ourselves scanning around looking for other R2 women boaters. Don’t get me wrong, there most certainly are women out on the water but rarely/never as a duo. My question: Why?

Are there women out there that are interested in pursuing the R2 set up and are just intimidated or is the interest just not there? If the former is true, please reach out because we’re a pair of confident female paddlers looking to uplift other women and share the beauty and rush of river life. I’d rather share a raft with my bestie most days than with anyone else because we know together we’re bound to have a good time.

I was recently informed of the organization, Down River Divas, a female-based whitewater adventuring company out of Carbondale and couldn’t be more excited to connect with this group.

If you’re female and want to get a raft, just go out and do it. The river community is so helpful with any and all questions and it has truly changed my life. I welcome spring with open arms and can’t wait to enjoy my “patio beers” out on my raft very soon.

Basically, we need more women on the water, so please join!