As is apparent, I LOVED my rafting experience along the Arkansas River in Colorado. My family and I had SO much fun! Except for the 15 minutes or so during the speech about all the possible ways one could die while rafting and reading the disclaimer that had two pages of super fine print about all the possible ways one could die or be injured while rafting (including poisonous reptiles---in a cold mountain river? Huh?), I had a blast! I’ve wanted to go rafting for years, and was excited before we even got started (although I must admit the guide’s pre-rafting speech did make me a little apprehensive and encouraged me to wear a helmet). My excitement was not for naught :). After my mom, brother, sister, aunt, two cousins, niece, the guide, and I lugged our raft (which was heavier than one would think a raft filled with air would be) down a narrow path to the river where we were ridiculously close to a steep fall into the river, we all jumped in, and the fun started right away. I thought we would cast off in a calm place to practice the commands the guide had briefly instructed us on, but we were in some mild rapids immediately, so any fear was quickly washed away by 42 degree water. Yes. 42 DEGREES. Cold. So cold. But it was so worth it! There were only a few minutes where I thought hypothermia was setting in, but we stopped for lunch around then and I got to bask in the sun for awhile. It only took a half hour for the shivering to stop. Hee hee.
I can’t describe how fun going down the rapids was, and we were only on class three (of six) rapids (pushing four in a few spots). Class three rapids are “difficult, large, irregular waves up to four feet, numerous rapids” according to this site. I guess the closest thing would be to think about the excitement from an amusement park rafting ride and imagine having that feeling for around 5 hours! It was awesome. We got to take in the beautiful canyon scenery while going down the river as well. That just added to the experience.
It was pretty much a perfect day (even though one of the rapids was called The Seven Steps of DOOM—no doom—only fun) except for my two favorite boys weren’t there! Colter is, of course, too young to go rafting, and John who isn’t in love with water activities didn’t mind staying at camp with him. Even though my hubby doesn’t like the water, I think he would have loved rafting anyway. I am going to convince him to try it someday.
There were some rapids that were crazier than this, but I guess this was the best picture spot. :)