I would say I am an adventurous person. I like to try daring things every once in a while. But once I try them and see what they’re like, the chances of me “doing it again” are slim to none. I lived in Colorado for twenty years before I got up the courage to go white water rafting. You see for me to do something daring or adventurous, I have to work on “getting up the courage.” When I was in my twenties I would just do things without thinking, but as I’ve grown older I’ve grown a little more cautious. Or maybe I should say “smarter”?
I finally went white water rafting about five years ago when my nephew and his wife came out to Colorado for my daughter’s wedding. Their two young girls were flower girls in the wedding, so they decided to make their trip to Colorado their vacation that year. White water rafting was something they wanted to do. What is it about people who don’t live in Colorado that makes them think that all we people who DO live in Colorado want to do is white water raft? Anyway, they wanted to go and asked my husband and I to go with them, so I agreed. My daughter came along as well. My older sister, my nephew’s mother, well let’s just say she’s older than me so she is a little more cautious. I won’t say “chicken”. 🙂
We booked a half day trip down the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge with Raft Masters. It was a guided trip in that we had our own guide on board our raft. Chicken me wouldn’t go any other way! Did I just call myself a chicken? I was going on this trip!
The Royal Gorge is known as the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River. It is located near Canyon City, Colorado and measures about 50′ wide at the bottom and a couple hundred feet across at the top. Its sheer rock walls climb approximately 1200 feet from the river to the top. While sitting on a raft at the bottom of the gorge, a feeling of insignificance over took me as I looked up at the Royal Gorge Bridge. Built in 1929, the Royal Gorge Bridge is the world’s highest suspension bridge at 955 feet high and 939 feet long. This part of Colorado is a major tourist attraction and a sight to behold!
Anyway, back to the rafting trip. First thing we had to do was slip into a wet suit. Well this was a first for me. And slipping into a wet suit sounds easier than it actually is. I found it nearly impossible to get into as it was wet, cold, skin-tight, and smelled like bleach. It had been sanitized after the last person used it. My daughter had to help me pull it up, and I had to do the same for her. I hadn’t needed help pulling up my pants in years! Wet suit finally on, next was a jacket, life jacket, helmet, boots…why was I doing this again? Oh yea, now I remember…a moment of insanity when I didn’t want to disappoint my nephew. Gee I am a good Aunt! I hope he realizes it.
We took brief bus ride to the spot where we would be putting our rafts into the river. During the ride we were given what I would assume was the standard safety briefing. We were told what to do if we fell overboard. Huh? You mean I could… I looked at my husband with tear in my eyes and said very softly, “Gary…I don’t want to do this.” He looked at me and said, “Oh, come on Jos…yes you do. Besides we already spent all that money for this. I bet we won’t get it back if you don’t go.”
We arrived at our destination and got off the bus. I cried, “I don’t want to go! I am scared! Do I have to?” Everyone in my party reassured me that yes, indeed, I was going. “As a matter of fact,” our guide said, ” you can get into this raft right here.” As I climbed in I searched for a place to hold on. Imagine my surprise when I learned there are no hand holds in a white water raft! The raft’s occupants hold themselves in place by jamming their feet under the sides and seats of the raft. Hands need to be free for gripping the oars. AND, the guide told me, if you are rowing, then you don’t even sit IN the raft, you sit on the EDGE of the raft. Well there was no question about it, I was not going to row. I was not going to sit on the edge of the raft. I was sitting in the middle in the back. “And you see this rope here?” I said to the guide. “This is what I am holding on to. I hope that’s okay, because that’s what I am going to do.” My nephew and niece sat in the front of the raft, my husband and daughter sat on either side of me behind them. Behind us sat the guide.
Water was extra high that day because we’d had a lot of rain and there was a lot of run off from the mountains.. We encountered class III and IV rapids that day. In one word, the adventure was AWESOME! No one fell overboard; although, we had a close call. My daughter just about went in almost taking me with her. As she began to fall, she put her arm around my neck. Motherly instincts set in and I let go of the rope to grab for her. It was an excellent time. The build up to the trip was more fearful than the trip. But I will tell you what….. I will NEVER do THAT again!
Here is my card for today. It is CASEd from the Annual Catalog. Then there are a few photos from our rafting trip.
Hope you enjoyed your visit here. Until next time…