Steer me, Water Hole

Day 3, shockingly we were already on day 3! This was it, the reason you come, for the rapids! The raft we had was actually made of 4 – a paddle raft, 2 oar ‘boats’ and a main raft intact with a motor that had been pushing us along this whole time. For the rapids, all rafts seperated and conquered the rapids on their own. My family, being loud and bossy, took over the paddle raft! I can’t even write how much fun and how much of a sheer rush you can experience in a situation like this. For 24-26 something year olds who serve as your guides, they make you feel so safe and can move so quickly should anything go wrong. And, while it wasn’t dangerous or a situation that called for panic, I would argue that having people fly out of your raft could be categorized as ‘wrong.’ My dad flew and both of my aunt’s friends flew. I stayed in the boat but was tossed into the boat quite a few times. My foot hurt from being wedged under the rope in front of me as my only saving grace and my arms surely appreciated anyone who attempts to row for exercise or pleasure. Rapids are rated on a scale of 1-5, we went through 3-4’s which are approriately named Big Drop 1-3. The first 2 were a RUSH. Having your fiance in the front of the raft and seeing him completely dissapear in a wave of water while having to keep paddling is insane. Having the guide behind you launch to the front when the wave that hits the back of the raft sends you flying puts you in a panic, but you have one job; keep paddling. Even when you are lifted so high up that your paddle doesn’t reach the water, keep paddling. After each rapid we laughed and chatted and turned to watch the rest of the group decend through, jaws dropped as you watched what we just went through happen to others. And then, I asked the innocent question from the back to our guide,’ Tex, how do you steer?’ ‘Want to try?’ Sure. Why not? We were headed for a pretty calm stretch. Not too bad – only you have to throw you entire bodyweight on a paddle and stretch that paddle as wide as you can to get a good turn. Not so easy. ‘Want to keep going’ ‘Wait, you want ME to take us through the rapids?’ Yep. And, that’s what I did. ‘Aim for the middle of the rapid, just direct the boat.’ That’s the ONLY advice I got, luckily I didn’t end up falling, even though I could have and we all made it through safely. Now, how many people can say that they’ve done that?.

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Hannah

Hannah

Leisure Travel Specialist at Travel Leaders (Stillwater Office)
Hannah

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