Back2Basics Outdoor Adventures Teams Up With NAU Outdoors for Colorado River Trip

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Back2Basics alcohol and drug treatment center conquers a trip down the Colorado River with the expert assistance of NAU Outdoors.

The power of the river and size of the canyon forces them to step back and reevaluate their perspectives on life.

Northern Arizona University Outdoors guided Back2Basics Outdoor Adventures on a four day, three night rafting trip down the Colorado River, which taught treatment center residents the importance of team work, safety and an appreciation for nature.

“Back2Basics has done Colorado River trips in the past,” said Back2Basics Outdoor Adventures Director, Chase Christensen. “Working with NAU has been great resource for us, and gives us opportunities that we normally would not have.”

Staff and residents took a kayaking and boating course through NAU Outdoors to prepare for the river trip. NAU Outdoors also provided food, boat-friendly kitchen aid and gear such as life jackets, paddles and helmets. Chad Stone NAU Outdoors guide noted that his staff is certified with a Coconino County backcountry food handler’s certification.

Back2Basics created a checklist for residents that included water shoes, water bottles, clothes and sunscreen. Christensen explains the significance of being prepared, “Once we are on the water, there is no turning back to grab more sunscreen.”

Most residents have never encountered kayaking or river rafting and some even faced fears of water and true independence in a remote setting. The NAU Outdoors staff shared rafting stories and played guitar, while Back2Basics staff lead yoga warm ups on the camp site and a hike to a nearby waterfall.

Back2Basics therapist, Keelyn Riley incorporated valuable lessons throughout the trip to keep residents focused on balancing nature and overcoming obstacles. “I encouraged the guys to understand the meaning of “Namaste”, and the exchange of peace between each,” she said.

The residents gain a fair amount of perspective on Outdoor Adventures trips. “This trip allows them to see how small they are in the scheme of things. Being "right sized" is a difficult and humbling experience that all of us need. The power of the river and size of the canyon forces them to step back and reevaluate their perspectives on life,” said Christensen.

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Roy DuPrez

Roy DuPrez
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