Sunday, July 09, 2006

Water, Water Everywhere And Then I'm In The Drink.

It was an incredibly warm June. Warm and dry. Our typical afternoon showers abandoned us here in Colorado and headed elsewhere. I returned to Colorado from an atypically hot dry Oregon, to rain showers. Fortunately the rain did not interfere with our landing, the lightening being a safe distance away.

It has rained every day since, and not our typical light afternoon shower. It has rained and rained and rained. July 4th we needed sweatshirts after a really strong rain cooled temps before sunset. It rained or sprinkled during our entire rafting trip. I was really glad we decided to splurge and rent wetsuits and splash jackets. It would have been miserable without them. One great thing about the rain is that it kept the bugs away. We could see them in the air, in the midst of pouring rain, tempting swallows to dart across the river for a wet feast, but the biting insects seemed to be missing.

The other plus is that sunscreen was unnecessary. The clouds were thick enough to keep us tan free.

I'll admit that I was concerned that I might not be able to pull my paddle enough to be a help and not a liability, but I did okay. At one point, hitting a rapid just right, and with the right surge of water, and all, I found my face in the river. I knew I was being thrown from the boat. One hand kept a grip on my paddle, while with the other I grabbed for the line on the side of the boat. If I was going in, at least I wasn't going to get away from the boat. I remember being surprised that the water wasn't colder. The rain felt colder than the river. Almost before I had a chance to process those thoughts, I was upright in the boat. The guide had grabbed my life jacket, and Steve had my foot. They kept me from going over completely. I'm not sure how much of me made it in the water, but my hair and hat were completely drenched, so my sense is that my whole head was under.

It was fun, but the jolt either of being thrown or being stopped so abruptly have given me some pretty strong aches and pains. About 6 or 7 on a 10 point scale. Not enough to scream, but enough to wince, moan, even cry a bit, and enough to send me to the Ibuprofen bottle, taking more than most could handle, or would need. A typical 400 miligrams does nothing for other than a mild headache with me, but 800 mg last night still didn't cut it. Today it was 1200 mg before I could move with ease. Oh the joys of FM. Before you ask, yes. It was worth it. Yes. I would do it again. I'm not sure I want to take a full-day trip, or to go on the stronger rapids. Your attachment to the raft is so minimal that it's a wonder we don't all wind up in the drink. To me anyway.

It's great fun though. It amazed me how concerned I was to pull my paddle properly for the benefit of everyone else. I was really impressed with our guide. Being right in front of her, I was able to see and feel how much work she put into the trip. She is the rudder, and knows the best paths down the river. While it might have felt like we were doing all the work, I could feel her straining to rudder the boat into the right path, the right current.

Just as a side note: Once your wet suit is wet, don't go to the bathroom until you have no other choice, because that suit is not coming back up without calling in the marines. For that reason, make sure you wear shorts over your swimsuit if you don't want to be exposed for the remainder of the trip. I'm glad was wearing those tangerine shorts under the wetsuit, that's all I'm saying.


Beth said...

I am so impressed!!! I went white water rafting in college, not sure I would do it today!

You are amazing!!

Beth said...

HAve to say again, I cannot believe you would do this, and even say you would do it again, given all the pain you've been through and went through in the process! Truly amazing!

Pat said...

My daughter has "grit."