Triple Generation Play

Three Generations of Colvins take to the River

Dennis (Grandpa/Dad), Jed (Son/Dad) , and then-8-now-10-year-old Brooke (Granddaughter/Daughter) went on the Rogue in 2019 (and are planning on going on the Yampa this summer.) We asked them some multi-generational and multi-directional questions about their trip  – and each other.

Dennis "Grandpa" Colvin
Jed "Dad" Colvin


ARTA: Dennis, what was your favorite part of the trip?

Dennis: Being there with my family.

ARTA: What do you think was Jed’s favorite part?

Dennis: Being there with his children and watching them enjoy the experience.

ARTA: What do you think was Brooke’s favorite part?

Dennis: (See photo)

Brooke gets air
Brooke gets more air

ARTA:  So, Jed, what was your favorite part of the trip?

Jed: A tough question, so many great things about the trip. My favorite part was watching my kids embrace the river and ARTA experience. 4 days of camping, sand, and fun, immersed in nature.

ARTA: What do you think was your dad’s favorite part?

Jed: Hanging out with me of course!!!! No honestly, probably watching his grandkids have so much fun.

ARTA: What do you think was Brooke’s favorite part?

Jed: Jumping off the large 20ft rock on river left. She must of jumped off it at least 10 times.


ARTA: So, Brooke, what was your favorite part of the trip?

Brooke: My favorite part was jumping off the rocks.

ARTA: What do you think was your dad’s favorite part?

Brooke: I don’t know. I think he liked all of it.

ARTA: What do you think was your grandpa’s favorite part?

Brooke: I think Grandpa’s favorite part was being on the river and watching us kids play.


Brooke gets more more air

ARTA: Hi, Dennis, good to see you again. What were you like when you were 10 years old?

Dennis: 10 years old? Really? That was 1953. Hmmm. Let’s see: Leave it to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best for TV shows. There was only one TV in the house, which showed the test pattern a lot. We used to listen to the Cincinnati Reds baseball games on the radio then the neighborhood kids would go outside and play Sandlot baseball or “Kick the Can” or “Capture the Flag” until the street-lights came on. The streets were only one car-width wide. All the adults in the neighborhood knew my middle name and monitored my behavior.  All the adults knew all the kids names!  I could leave my bicycle on the front lawn for days and it wouldn’t get stolen. Korean War. Dialing telephones. The Polio vaccine. My “cell phone” was two cans connected by a string and the only person wearing a mask was The Lone Ranger.

ARTA: Any similarities to Brooke?

Dennis: Not many similarities to Brooke. She has much better parents: intelligent, resourceful, independent, kind, compassionate, informed, aware, sensitive. They love the outdoors, travel, family. They take vacations with their children. Biggest difference between Brooke’s 10th year and mine: technology. From cell phones to satellites she is much more informed (not always good) and aware. And last but not least: she has a much better Grandpa than I had! (I never met mine).

ARTA: Hi, Jed, good to see you again. What traits do you think Brooke inherited from your dad?

Jed: Hard to say exactly, however, there is a deep rooted sense of adventure in our family. Growing up my mom was always planning trips to new places and had a big emphasis on camping and outdoor adventures. My sister [also named Brooke] was a major catalyst for the family spirit of adventure and I could not emphasize enough how much she shaped our family. She was always up for any new adventures and through her love of the river she lead us further off the beaten path and to new places. I think my dad would agree that most of the best qualities in our family are from Mom (Robby) and big Brooke.  Dad has absorbed these qualities and they are very strong in little Brooke also.

ARTA: What do you think your dad has learned from Brooke?

Jed: To have more fun, to enjoy the little happy moments. He is big on “firsts” with the grandkids. First river trip, first multi-day camp trip etc. He also enjoys laughing and having fun with his grandkids whenever he can. It’s nice to see him having so much fun when they are together.

Dennis and Jed Colvin - the beginning
Jed and Brooke Colvin

ARTA: Hi, Brooke, good to see you again. What do you want to be doing when you are as old as your grandpa?

Brooke: I would like to take my grandchild on cool trips around the world like my grandpa does. I want to take them to all the places I haven’t gone. 


Dennis slides

ARTA: Welcome back, Dennis, last question: What have you learned about yourself from taking river trips with your family?

Dennis: Probably a better appreciation of enjoying the beauty of our planet as well as watching my family enjoy it also. And, appreciating how you can only see that beauty from a raft on the river.  And, how important it is to share time with my family while doing something that is new to them.  In the two years prior to Covid we took the grandkids sailing, kayaking, water skiing, river rafting, camping, hiking, biking, snow skiing. Needless to say 2020 sucked as we didn’t even see them on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Looking forward to the Yampa!

ARTA: Welcome back, Jed, last question: What have you learned about yourself from taking river trips with your family? 

Jed: That my soul is happiest and at rest when in nature and especially in the mountains and on the river. This is not necessarily new for me, I have always enjoyed backcountry skiing and kayaking. However often as young man I did this with an emphasis on the adrenaline/adventure aspect, always pushing my limits and seeking new challenges.

The Colvins

The family river trip was nice as it allowed me to “exhale” and forget all the day-to-day problems and just enjoy life for a bit as we floated down the canyon. I learned that outdoor adventure with my kids was just as much fun as jumping off 60 foot ski cliffs and kayaking 20 foot waterfalls in my youth, in fact it was probably even more fun!!

Brooke slides

ARTA: Welcome back, Brooke, last question: What are you looking forward to the most about this summer’s trip?

Brooke: I think this summer’s trip is going to be AWESOME. I’ll get to see the canyons again and hunt for places to sleep. It’s going to be so cool to have grandpa there, and Serena. I really want to try to go fishing this time. I am looking forward to the whitewater and “ridin’ the bull”!


A whitewater rafting oar

Leave a Reply