Yesterday the construction crew and I went rafting down in Canon (pronounced can-yon) City, CO on the Arkansas River; the section known as “Royal Gorge.” We went with Lost Paddle Outfitters (consider the mention and link a solid recommendation).
The safety speech, given by a sunglass-wearing, gum chewing, teenage-looking (no offence teenage readers!) river hippie (no offense hippie readers!) should have been titled “25 Ways to Die in the Next 2 Hours” and included gems like:
- Getting trapped under the boat
- Being paralyzed by cold and losing the will to live
- Floating out to the Mississippi
- Foot entrapment
- Crushing contact with large rocks
Basically, all the scenarios ended the same way: submersion into a low-oxygen enriched environment or being the meat in a raft-rock sandwich.
As we rode along in the yellow school bus of impending doom, I wondered, “Why is my boyfriend trying to kill me…again?”
“I don’t think I want to do this,” I whispered to him, “I’m just not a risk-taker.”
“Oh, pancake, it’ll be FUN!”
I’m pretty sure I’ve heard this before.
Of course, he was right, and I was wrong. No one died and we actually had fun. Lots of fun. Despite the rain and cold (Here’s a tip, don’t take the kid with you who says, “It rains every time I go rafting!” Yeah. Leave that kid at home.). Despite the achingly long drive down and back (Do I feel my butt? At this point I ceased to be aware that I have a butt.). Lots of fun.
Thanks to Acme Photography (not a joke name), we have pictures to prove it! Here we are, mastering “Sunshine Falls”, an ironically named Class 4+ (classes go up to 6, based on likelihood of impending death and maiming) rapid. Ironic because, as you will see and as I’ve alluded to, there was no sunshine to be had whatsoever. The other rapids had less ironic names like boatcrusher, rapid #1, and sledgehammer. I might be making that first one up. (Oh, just FYI, the guy sitting between between Tom and Ted–middle, close side of boat–is just some random dude from Alabama. We thought he might freeze to death, he was shivering so much!)