Wednesday: Adventure: The Great Wild Wet

Greetings, illustrious readers who live vicariously through others’ adventure blogging!

Don’t worry, I believe you when you say that you are also adventurers.

In the spirit of the week, considering that Sunday was our anniversary celebration–and this is indeed the first real week of Summer with its blistering heat and roaring forest fires–we went white water rafting on Sunday. The trip was a surprise for Jamie, who spent most of the drive not realizing where we were going. This was one of our first adventures without Aubri since her conception, really, so it was a big deal. It was also the first time either Jamie or I had ever been rafting.

I have to give a shout out to American Adventure Expeditions, who saved the day when our first rafting company tried to go back on their Groupon deal by having a better deal for a whole day rafting trip down the Arkansas.
Normally my understanding is that the Royal Gorge stretch of river is primarily class III and IV rapids, where I is a bathtub and VI is impossible to raft. Apparently they jump in brackets quickly. However, for those of you who don’t know, we didn’t get a lot of snow this past winter. It also heated up very quickly, so the melt off was fast. Water is low (down to 300cfs flow from what can go upwards of 4,000cfs). So, while that does mean beaching oneself on rocks might be likely, it also means the flow is slower and less scary.
Which is probably a good thing, since the trip leader spent ten minutes terrorizing Jamie into believing we were all going to drown, and I can’t swim.

There were two parts to our trip. First we had the lazy upper Arkansas River trip, then lunch, then the Royal Gorge stretch, which would be scary under normal water flow. Is it really “white water” rafting if you don’t fear for your life during the trip?

Jamie and I exchanged glances about halfway through, when the guide asked if our glasses were tied on. Our new mission became “Don’t fall off the boat.” We exchanged some high-fives when we made it down.

Our rafting company took some pictures:

Jamie and I are in the second row. Our friends who graciously agreed to come drown with us are in the front.

That’s me, working hard to pull us over a rock. I just wanted to show off my “rippling biceps.”

Apparently having such a lightweight boat coasted us through a lot of normally-dicey areas. The pictures the rafting company took would normally cost $21 ea (what??) but since we told the raft guide it was our anniversary, he had his girlfriend in the office burn us a disc. Good thing, too, ’cause they must have been using a 3mp point and shoot camera. The pictures are tiny.

I got completely nuked in weird places. Jamie was behind our friend Nathan, and he took the brunt of the splashes. Amber and I are closer to the same size, so I lost all the sunscreen on my lap, shoulder, and part of my left foot. Couldn’t wear normal shoes for two days. Totally worth it.

We had a great time and Jamie was already telling me she wanted to go again. It’s an expensive hobby, but the guides sound like they enjoy making a job of it.

I think our next plan is to try kayaking. If you’re interested in checking out some random adventurous sort of things, Groupon is a great way to go. So far we’ve gotten archery lessons, a trampoline park wonderland, and white water rafting for 40% or more off of their regular price. You can customize your preferences so it doesn’t send you body hair removals and teeth whitenings. Unless you want that stuff. Just make sure you read the fine print. I’ve gotten some amazing sushi pretty cheap too.

I know what you’re thinking. Sushi in a land locked state? I suspect my trip to Japan will ruin me for rolls, but right now I like them.

I hope all your adventures this summer are wild!


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