Sunday, July 10, 2011


The part you have all been waiting for....

Saturday we headed down to Salida,CO for out rafting adventure! 
We went on an overnight white water rafting trip!  Heck yeah, it rocked.  Phil had been on a few trips before and thought it would be awesome to go over his 2 week summer break from school.  So he researched the trip and we found out to do the overnight trip we needed four people minimum.  So we roped our new friends from church into going with us (they are from Colorado so it wasn't too hard to get them to go back while it's 100+ here in Texas). 
Our bag on the left, the Craven's bag on the right - also containing our shoes.  heehe
Our outfitter was Canyon Marine which Phil had rafted with before and really trusts the guides there as they actually train guides not just hire guides. We arrived Saturday afternoon about 2:00pm and packed out gear up got sized for out helmets, PFD (personal floatation device), and wet suits and we headed out.  We actually didn't have far down the river to raft before we got to our camp site just a little taste of the freezing cold water.  At the camp site out guides made us appetizers, dinner and dessert while we hung out, played washers and got acquainted with the outdoor.  

Our chefs!  Making crab and wasabi stuffed sweet peas.  yumm

_______ For those who don't like potty talk/humor you might want to skip this paragraph! _______

By acquainted I mean we had to pee in the river and poo in something called a groover.  Now I'm not really one to be worried about having to pop-a-squat outside but being near a river and civilization verse backpacking in the wilderness call for different protocols.  You can't just bury your waste you have to carry it out...thus the groover, it's a plastic seat with a bag attached.  It's a bag that you poo in... not a bag per person.  One bag!  Are you tracking with me here?  I wasn't too thrilled with pooing on top of someone else's poo.  And you better believe I wasn't going first.  LOL.  Sorry it was really funny to me. And excuse me but peeing into the river isn't exactly as simple a task for the girls as it is for the boys.  I mean not fair.  I have seven splinters in my finger to prove this... I'm just glad they are only in my finger! :)

_____  okay safe to read again ______

The next morning we awoke to percolating coffee and bagels with cream cheese and lox for breakfast.  So good!
Then we set out for the wild river extravaganza!  The Arkansas River was what we were rafting and it was the highest it has been in 15 years!  And when I say high that also means FAST!  That sucker was movin'!  We were going to be rafting class 3 and 4 rapids.  I was a little nervous to say the least.  We got all geared up about 11 (the entire campsite was packed up and had it's own raft). 

Kevin and Andrea Cravens
We went on a little hike before we left.

Fletch out guide gave us the pre talks about how to get someone back into the raft if they fall out, how to paddle, how to swim strong if you fall out of the raft, and NEVER to stand up in the river!

This is "Fletch" our Guide
All aboard we began, as we approach our first rapid a class 3 Fletch told us it was called the Door and the first part was called the Threshold.  He told us to paddle hard and duck into the wall of water coming at us because it would feel like a big burly man kicking us in the chest.  ... ummmm ok....  So we went straight into the first rapid and as soon as we hit it Kevin and Phil flew out of the raft.  Time for our first rescue... but we weren't out of The Door yet we had more rapids up ahead!  With Fletch yelling commands we managed to get both guys back in the raft with only causality to Phil's sunglasses.  Now the protocol for getting someone larger (a husband) back into the boat by someone smaller (a wife) is to grab the top of their PFD with both hands dunk them back into the river and use the momentum the PFD provides in popping them back up to pull them up and onto of you as you fall back into the raft.  While it is humorous to dunk them back into the water it was very affective as Andrea pulled Kevin straight back into the boat... I was quite impressed!  Phil ended up a ways back from the boat and had to swim hard to catch up and Fletch yanked him back in.  Thank goodness because right as Phil jumped into his position we hit the next wall of water in The Door.  This time everyone stayed in!  Whoa hearts were pumping for sure!

This is the calm part of the river.
By the time everyone's adrenaline slowed down it was about time for our second rapid, this time a class four rapid.  Super, we weren't worried at all.  I don't even remember the name of this rapid!  All I know is we were going down the river with another raft and they were ahead of us.  Half way through they lost 3 of their passengers and almost the Guide.  They managed to recover two of the passengers but it was now our job to make it through the rapid while recovering their lost passenger.  Fletch was yelling commands to grab her grab her but I couldn't see anyone, next thing I new she had gone under out boat and popped up on my side.  I quickly grabbed her but as I did she spun around and I was cross armed.  Phil grabbed her too and together we hoisted her in... mostly.  I don't mean to be rude by my next comments, they are just facts.  We hoisted her half way in but we she a larger lady probably in her mid 60's.  Phil grabbed her rear and pushed her in as best he could but we just couldn't get her in anymore and we were out of time we had to paddle hard and fast.  Unfortunately she was laying on Phil's ankle and she was in such a state of adrenaline overload she was basically frozen.  So Phil sitting backwards had to row backwards while we all paddled forward.  After we made it out of the rapids we pulled off into the eddy to go ashore and check on our rescued passenger.  It took her awhile as she was pretty shaken but she came back around and got safely back into her own boat unharmed just stunned.

Ever need a reality check?  We are really small! 
Click on any image to enlarge!

Paddling with all out might!
Umm where's the boat?

After all that the rest of the rafting seemed pretty uneventful.  We totaled going through 3 class four rapids which I thought was pretty good for my first rafting trip.  The river was so high, averaging at a rate of about 44,000cfs (cubic feet per second), that at one point we had to lay down into the raft just to make it underneath a bridge.

It was a good ol' time!

1 comment:

  1. My goodness, that sounds scary! I don't know if I would be able to do that. I am not a strong swimmer, so I would probably drown. Haha!!

    Sounds like you had a good trip! Love the photos!