Sunday, June 3, 2012

Whitewater Rafting Trip

Some friends of ours organized a rafting trip for a group of 14 of us on Saturday.  We met up in Buena Vista, CO for camping the night before, then got up early and headed to Noah's Ark.  I rented a wetsuit and some booties to keep me warm during the trip because the water is mostly freshly melted snow. 

Our guide gave us all of the details and we made our way to three boats.  Dave and I got the front of our boat and learned some safety tips and how to tuck your feet into the boat so you don't fall out.  We went down the Browns Canyon portion of the Arkansas River.  The water was a lot lower than usual this year, so we were only at 550 cfs.  I believe the hardest rapid was a class three. 

Dave is in the red shirt on the right and I am in the front on the left of the pictures. 
It was so super fun!  At one point we bumped into a rock pretty hard and one of our boat members fell out!  He was in one of the more awkward seating positions, so I could see how it would be more easy to loose balance than my seat.  Dave was able to reach out into the water and grab his hand.  I was able to get his other hand.  We had him at the front and Dave saw a huge rock in the water and we thought he was going to hit it.  Somehow he stayed above it.  Dave and I were having a hard time getting him in because the front of the boat is so high off the water.  We kind of knew that it was now or never and both grabbed one side of his life jacket and pulled so we fell backwards into the boat, bringing him with us.  It was all very dramatic and he was very thankful for not having to swim the rapids! 

Another time, I think it was the twin falls, our boat did this weird fold thing where the back of the boat pushed everyone forward and we ended up with a pileup of people in the middle.  No one got hurt and all was well.  We enjoyed the fun adrenaline rushes and just wished there was more! 

About midway through the rafting trip, we stopped for lunch.  A huge thunderstorm was brewing just west of us.  Lunch was so awesome!  They fed us these great sandwiches and I was able to just put all of the fixings on a large piece of lettuce to eat it.  They also had watermelon and chips.  As I was finishing my "sandwich" it started pouring and then hailing!  We were freezing!!!  We all huddled under a tree and as the rain lifted a bit, we all did some jumping around to keep our temperatures up and then got back in the boat.  It was cloudy the rest of the day, but I was never shivering thanks to my wetsuit, polypro shirt, and booties. 

I had never been rafting before and was so thankful for Noah's Ark's extremely friendly guides who stepped us through everything from getting our wetsuits to storing our keys to helping us visualize important safety tips to when to row.  I have nothing but great things to say about the place.  Everything was so well organized, lunch was fabulous, and I had nothing but complete trust in our friendly guide who got us home safely. 

We put in the water around 9 or 9:30 and finished around 2:00.  We were cold, but warmed up quickly after getting out of our wet clothes.  Originally, Dave and I planned on heading back to Boulder or head down to Sand Dunes, but we were so tired after rafting, there was no way I was about to drive 3 hours and stay awake.  So we all headed to The Boat House in Salida for an early dinner, headed back to camp, and drank heavily until the wee hours of the morning.  I haven't slept that well camping, ever!

Thanks to our new friends for a super fun weekend!!! 

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