Zinnia paddling the Green River
Jill Rennicke, Alumni Coordinator

As you read this, picture red sandstone cliffs towering like the walls of a cathedral beneath a blue desert sky. Image the swirl and dance of a powerful river sweeping you along through the heart of a wilderness adventure. That is the current reality for CS17 alum Zinnia Voss as she participates in the Roaring Canyons Semester.

Hosted by Kroka Expeditions, a non-profit wilderness expedition school based on an organic farm in Marlow, New Hampshire, the Roaring Canyons Semester takes twelve students and two leaders on a journey of a lifetime. At their base in New Hampshire, plans for this big adventure began in August, with each student responsible for a “big job” in the expedition preparation. Zinnia took responsibility for planning more than 250 dehydrated meals and coordinating resupply logistics for the river trip.

The team left the farm in September for the six-day drive to the Wind River Range in northern Wyoming, stopping along the way to work on a biodynamic farm in New York and to build a fence at a school on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Then, the team set off on the roiling waters of the headwaters of the Green River with plans to paddle its entire length (some 420 miles) in a nine-week expedition, including a weeklong canyoneering trip in the desert canyons along the way. The trip will take them through some of the biggest rapids and wildest country in the American West.

Without phones or regular internet access, Conserve School has been receiving updates on Zinnia’s trip from her family and the occasional blog post from Kroka Expeditions (see the link below). Zinnia’s mother calls the trip a “very intense program” and says that Conserve School was “an excellent stepping stone.” Zinnia is, her mother says, “living the rhythms of the river, sleeping outside, cooking over a fire, and working through the many challenges” that an expedition like this throws her way.

The expedition will run until December 14, 2019. Stay tuned for an update when Zinnia returns. In the meantime, occasional updates can be viewed by checking out the trip blog at https://www.kroka.org/semester-blog/.

Expedition Team Kroka
Kroka team on the river.

Photos contributed by Kroka.org