Gypsy Divas

September 1, 2006 at 6:19 am (Gypsy Life, Rafting)

The start of my raft guiding career began during the summer of 2001, when Anna and I headed to the Rogue River to become “gypsy river divas.” A self-proclaimed, glorified job title, it had a better ring than “assistants,” and we did our best to live up to the diva aspect, learning to row, set-up camp, and work on our tans in nothing more than skimpy bikinis. At eighteen, we were unaware of any judgment passed by the other female guides, concerned more with avoiding tan lines and impressing the guys we were working with. We were far from prissy, but we did not quite fit the mold of wildnerness women either. The trip ended with bronzed bodies, stronger arms, and a new sense of independence and accomplishment. After the trip, Anna wrote a letter to me: “I am so excited for all the river stuff, but I’m especially excited to be sharing it all with you. There’s seriously no one that I would rather road trip to Oregon/ Idaho/ Colorado/ or wherever with, spend 3/5/1000 long hard days on the river with, set up tents/ cook on a camp stove/ deal with porta-potties with/ or make the incredible transformation from average cool girl to you wish you were as cool as me and my gypsy river diva friend with. We’re the best. We’re a hit…we will always be a hit.” And now, six rafting seasons later, we’re still gypsy divas in our own ways: Anna’s living in Santa Barbara surfing, doing triathalons, and taking full advantage of California’s seemingly endless summer, and I’m still guiding, and still inspired by a good tan, great friends, and wonderful adventures.



1 Comment

  1. Anna said,

    Tess – I’m proud to be included in your memoirs, which, by the way, need to be expanded to a full on beach read novel. I am endlessly insired by your advenures, and to think that you are somehow inspired by my ‘this is what I do when I’m not working my 40 hour a week job” moments is a true compliment . GRD for life.

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