Monday, September 7, 2009

Just enough adventure

Mike has been talking all summer about going whitewater rafting. This is what he told me it would be like:

And this is what I pictured:

And this:

And this:

As you can see, I'm a worrywart, a wuss, and a wimp. I went rafting once when I was about 15, before I developed my adult sense of bodily preservation. But now, even though I enjoy the outdoors, I prefer calm activities that don't involve the possibility of falling in the water and getting dragged over rocks. This summer I went canoeing twice and enjoyed it very much, but that was on calm, flat water and my feet didn't even get wet.

So today Mike and I went for a two-hour rafting trip on the Weber River with Park City Rafting. Mike was excited. I was praying I wouldn't fall out of the boat and drown. It didn't help my stress level when the guide told us someone died on that river two weeks ago. (It did make everyone get serious about tightening up their life jackets, though.)

I didn't take a camera with me -- I knew I would be too busy clinging to the rope with both hands -- but it was a beautiful day, and it was neat to see the canyon walls slowly pass by and really be able to look at things, not just zip by them as you do in a car. The rapids turned out not to be too bad. The water is somewhat low now, so there were a lot of rocks exposed, but our guide was amazingly expert and somehow took the raft through the perfect place every time. We tipped a bit and got wet, but never came close to tipping over. And between the rapids there were long stretches of calm water, so I have to admit Mike was right.

At one point we floated under part of the highway that is held up by about 20 tall pillars. The guide called it the "Killer Pillars" because you have to weave in and out and try not to hit any of them. I'm not sure if the name helped my stress level either. Maybe they need alternate names to use with nervous clients.

We finished our trip with everyone intact and me still in the boat. I would have to say it was worth going, even though I couldn't completely relax till I was back on dry land. I think that's enough adventure to satisfy me for a while! Tomorrow it's back to the exciting everyday adventures of long division, laundry, and making a huge batch of chocolate chip zucchini bread. When will I learn to pick those things before they turn into monsters?


Reg said...

What an adventurer you are! I don't think you could have gotten me to do that. Canoeing is more for me!!!

Andrea M said...

You are BRAVE....and crazy. I used to always want to go basically maybe inner tubing...slow and lazy. I am a chicken in the biggest sense. Over the Pioneer weekend a lady in our Stake was white water rafting in Southern Idaho with her family on the Payette River. Her kids and extended family were all on several rafts. Her raft got flipped and she drowned. It took them over an hour to find her body. It is devastating. She left 4 kids at home. I am glad that you are safe and sound. Now...DON'T DO THAT AGAIN !!

Tamary said...

That is so sad about the lady in your stake. Really, this raft trip was very tame compared to most. But I don't think I will be going on any bigger rapids -- even though these were small, I kept imagining worse ones ahead, which made it hard for me to completely enjoy the trip.

Don said...

When Jennifer and I went to ELI together, we rafted doown the snake river. A gentle swell cause about five people to fall out of the back of the rubber raft. This included our guide. One man came up right under the raft, then worked his way over to the side where we pulled him up...but he was in shock for the remainder of the trip, sitting in the middle of the raft. We learned later that his friend had done the same thing (under the raft in the middle) a year ago and had drowned.

Don said...

Anther year, same course, I went on a canoe ride with Lee Kinikini, a man from polynesia so I knew he would know how to use a canoe, right? He and I won the broken oar award for the team who fell into the river the most times. Staying in the boat is not a skill one inherits, I found.