We’ve made it back to the homeland, and boy does it feel good!  Wade and I just finished up a stint of adventure and exploration of rivers and mountains up in the Pacific Northwest.  Now we, both being Colorado natives, are happy to say we have returned to the Rocky Mountains to finish up an amazing summer of whitewater adventures.  We found ourselves drawn to the Carbondale / Aspen area and the Roaring Fork River for many reasons.  First of all, neither of us have ever lived in this area though have lusted over its beauty for a while now.  We also happened to know some family and folks down here who really seemed to be, well, killin’ it.   

Elk Mountain Expeditions was started up but a couple years ago, a progeny of Aspen, Colorado locals James Foerster and Langdon Adams.  They now have a team of about 7 highly-trained staff who run a well-oiled operation admired by locals, pros, and tourists alike.  We rolled into town with a fast-dwindling pocket of cash, two cars packed to the brim with skis, bikes, rafting gear, and little to no idea of what our plan was.  Whether due to our experience and enthusiasm for rafting whitewater and eagerness to be a part of the EME team, or simply due to our pathetic state of homelessness and joblessness, Wade and I landed jobs working everyday with the Elk Mountain Expeditions family.  We’ll go with the former.       

We’ve had the chance to raft and guide the Upper and Lower Roaring Fork stretches, as well as the infamous Slaughterhouse Falls, an exhilarating Class IV drop.  The location of the Roaring Fork River is incredible – only minutes from downtown Aspen anda stretch that can take you all the way to Carbondale.  As this beautiful weather continues, we are heading straight into the season not only for more rafting, but for inflatable kayaking and the Elk Mountain Expedition specialty, Adventure Tubing!   

Not only has EME exposed us to a new knowledge of the mountains, rivers, and wildlife of the area, they have also been exceptional in bringing us into the scene in Aspen and Carbondale.  They know the best places to hike, camp, bike, swim, play and they’ll always point you in the right direction to find the best burger, sandwich, beer, coffee, and music.  I know they’ll laugh at us when we say this, but we already feel pretty local.   

So all in all, a big thanks to the Elk Mountain Expeditions team!  When you’re in the Aspen or Carbondale area, look out for the big green buses and hop on the next adventure or throw us a high-five.  Stop in Victoria’s Bakery at the corner of Durant and Galena to say hello to the lovely lady, Kira, making it all happen.  Finally, and most importantly, watch out for the guy with the mustache.  You’ll know him when you see him.    


Hannah Mink