When I was born in the summer of 86’ my dad wrote me these words: // The Important Places // Child of mine, come as you grow in youth you will learn, The secret places... ...the cave behind the waterfall, The arms of the oak that hold you high, The stars so near on a desert ledge...the important places. And, as with age you choose your own way Among the many faces of a busy world May you always remember the path that leads back the important places. - Dad, for Forest 1986

Like the river, time passes, flowing somewhere I cannot follow. Like the canyon we too are shaped by the passing of this river. Yet unlike the canyon we have the ability, no matter our age, to choose where we lie in relation to the river, to stand on the shore, to circle in the eddies, or to cast ourselves into the currents that shape us.

Old Man River || Heading West '70 || Dad and his gang of explorer scouts heading west from Maryland to the Grand Canyon in July of 1970 with homemade kayaks and big water dreams.

Dad in 1970

Heading West

Donnie and Demory

1970 || The Colorado River || Footage from Dad's homemade gopro


43 Years after Dad's first trip down the Colorado we went back together for a 28 day trip; November into December we floated, 15 of us on 6 rafts and 4 kayaks.

Old Man River|| Dad back on the oars. At 77 he was the oldest of our party - and at 27 I was the youngest. Our combined maturity level and conversational skills were in the range of your average twelve year olds.

Then & Now || Dad doesn't like the photo on the left because he thinks he looks old. I like it cause of how happy he is. And because he showed me you can be both.

Then & Now || The Launch

1970 || Crystal Rapid

Then & Now || Quiet Times

Then & Now || Boat Metamorphis

Then & Now || Camp Games

1970 || Feeding time

Then & Now || The Cavern

Then & Now || Flotillas

Then & Now || Loungin'

Old Man River || Sending postcards home from our one point of contact with the outside world - Phantom Ranch. The postcards will make the first leg of their journey out of the canyon on a burro pack train.

Old Man River || Drying out after three steady days of rain - and snow up high on the canyon rim

Old Man River || While we change and grow older, the joyful spirit that the river ignites is ever present, waiting for our return....

1970 || The Falls

I think that when you are young, it seems as if there is an endless supply of time for a million adventurers - no hurry, tomorrow is always there. But as the years pass you realize that there are not that many that you will experience even in a full lifetime. To arrive in one of the later decades of my life, still physically fit, with a continuing desire for adventure...well, that is a gift indeed, and not one to be taken lightly. Onwards. - Dad


Share This Story
  • brajohn1

    Wonderful storytelling. Love the old footage

  • karen

    Incredible story! I love how you captured the adventure from the 70s and 2013. Love page 18

  • jtobiason

    Fantastic story. Thank you.

  • ironchefshellie

    I loved loved loved this!

  • goofyfootfoods

    What a beautiful story! πŸ’œπŸ’œThank you for sharing! πŸ˜˜πŸ’•

  • woodssomm

    Truly wonderful story that matters. βœ¨πŸ™

  • athletestyle

    This is amazing

  • lamascaincucina

    Congrats, great album! Beautiful memories and great team you+your father together on the same river. We (me and my hubby) are wondering if the yellow kayak is a Lettman one. We believe it is, 'cause it looks similar to our old one we still have in our garden: yellow as this one and very similar in shape.

  • ahruh_dub

    Enjoyed every slide.

  • stacirob

    Inspiring! I hope my son and I continue to have adventures. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • pedrocustodio

    Wonderful story and adventure, thank you for sharing and thank your dad for opening up this adventures to all of us πŸ™‡πŸ™‡

  • themuse

    Incredible story!

  • nuttywheat

    Best story ever! Just lovely. Thanks for putting it all together❀️

  • kayley_marie

    What an incredible journey !

  • Chandra

    Soooo cool! Vintage video, "homemade gopro"!! Page 31 is mesmerizing.

  • coastalkate

    Made me think of my own dad who has been gone since 1988. Cherish every moment.

  • batescave

    What an honor to your dad and his spirit to fully live! Glad you could share the second journey with him.

  • heyitsalec

    Awesome story, footage and photos! What a trip!

  • goziandpop

    Wonderful story πŸ’™

  • librocubicular

    What an amazing trip - @jtcoakes

  • KatieZ

    That was so beautiful to watch. Made me feel like I got to experience it too in some small way. Thank you

  • bear_loves_dove

    What a gorgeous story! And capture of it!

  • timstate

    God, this is touching.

  • charliebulla

    Wow!!! Incredible @forestwoodward

  • arlenation

    I love this, @forestwoodward! What a beautiful story. You capture your father's will to live and to experience adventure so well. Your admiration for him and your jovial manner shine through every slide. So moved. Cheers! Onwards! 😊

  • sethneilson

    Well done, my friend. Looking forward to more of this story.

  • willowtree

    Took my breath away. This is a true story of love. A story so beautiful told and illustrated.

  • wilderphoto

    Love this! Great story telling.

  • conolee

    Wow, love this story and that river!!!

  • iris1

    Love the touching story, I feel we all have a similar story with our parents, simply beautiful and meaningful !!

  • ReddlovesMexico

    Wow, what a fantastic story. You made me cry happy tears! Thank you for sharing. Really inspiring, you and your Dad are gorgeous humans.(He doesn't look old in that picture just beautiful and interesting!)


    Such an incredible story of love, passion and adventurous spirit. Loved it and feel inspired having read this!@forestwoodward

  • heyfeelix

    One of the most amazing sotories I've seem here, nice!!

  • sunnyinpdx

    Just awesome. Beautifully told.

  • valeviscomi

    Amazing 😍

  • themsthebreaks

    My goodness, this got me all misty eyed

  • rumon

    This is f'n brilliant, Forest. Gratitude for the making, for the story, and the intro through it to this platform.

  • Hkatherine

    what an amazing legacy! I enjoyed all the photos. may your zest for adventure continue.

  • heatherschoice

    So incredible! Thank you so much for this Steller story! We have rafted the Grand three times and are headed back for a fourth round in February. You captured this trip so incredibly well!!

  • iluvnola2

    Wonderful story and pics!! Great legacy!! Loved the now and then shots with dad... Priceless story!

  • chrissycck

    EPiC !! What a Marvelous story of an incredible Man ! I wanted the movie length Doco✌️Thankyou for sharing your brilliance πŸ‘Œ

  • chrissycck

    @earthly_images @leftofthemiddle you need to read and watch the videos! Very moving on all levels!

  • earthly_shannon

    Amazing @chrissycck - what an amazing father son duo and relationship

  • thekyleh

    Beautiful film and story @forestwoodward. Glad to see the finished product after hearing about it from BL

  • annld60

    Thank you for sharing the love you both haveπŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

  • athenaphoto

    I love this story , beautiful work as always but to the top with the Vimeo watch #OMG Steller moment = "Camp games" shotgun Hahhahhaha

  • aconica

    Ohhh my. Thank you so much for putting this together !


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