Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wild Ride

That's me back right, and Jon front left. But where's the boat?

We met up with our friends, and then the guys showed up with the boats and the wetsuits. We had to wear wetsuits, life vests strapped so tight you felt dizzy, helmets and booties. We all had to paddle.

The emergency instructions were so scary, like reading symptoms on a prescription bottle only much worse. I was barely able to climb in.

Did he say we were supposed to float feet forward or backward when we fell out of the boat?

When the boat tips on top of us, how are we supposed to find that line he was talking about?

Why is he going to try to hit me in the head with that red bag when I fall over?

Fortunately I didn't have to remember any of these things, because no one fell out, although almost everyone except the guide tumbled into the boat once or twice. We were all paddling on command. In the other boat the guide fell into the boat for a little bit of trouble.

Our guide said it was probably the most perfect day of the summer. The huge snowfall this winter had made for big water now. The river was white water the entire way, moving very fast at 15 mph, with class 3 and class 4 rapids. It follows the road we take to go to Sawpit and Placerville, and a guy caught our picture from a bridge we went under. We saw some nice water birds, a common merganser, a plover, and a diving bird named ouelet? We saw the back sides of the houses we pass frequently on the main road. I noticed that people who live along rivers all seem to have deck chairs on the banks, facing the river, although only one person was in one, and he was sound asleep getting very sunburned. I wondered if they enjoy seeing people rafting by, or if it's an intrusion.

The whole wild ride lasted about 3 hours, and we were very tired when we got home. It was a ton of fun.


Namowal said...

That looks fun!
The emergency instructions would have scared me too. Nothing like a worse case scenario to get you started. Maybe they should convert it to happyspeak like the airlines:
"In the unlikely case of a craft inversion..."
The current looks like it's running the show. Did paddling make much difference?

stray g said...

Sounds exciting! Glad you had fun. I wonder if I'd just be too scared to try.

Those emergency instructions remind me of the name of David Sedaris's new book "When You Are Engulfed in Flames," based on an emergency guide in a Japanese hotel room.

Mean Jean said...

Yay!. That is awesome. We've done that a couple of times and it is on the edge as far as I'm concerned.

In my experience the paddling keeps you on a course but doesn't propel you. The water does that.

Sally said...

mean jean's right-- you're not paddling for momentum but to help the guide get you past rocks and around corners. stray g, is David Sedaris related to Amy Sedaris?

Linda said...

Sally, my mom and I were back at the 3-D theatre at the exact same time you were on your wild ride I bet----and this time we were watching a movie about the CO River and let me tell you there were some wild raft rides----3-d cameras in the rafts and it was terrifying. I was hoping we could be best friends (you & me) but now I know we never could be because I would NEVER DO THIS!!! As I've said before I have good luck, uncanny luck, in the air--deadly luck in boats and probably on horses too. Oh well. I'm home and I'm giddy with happiness. When Stray reads your comment she will tell you that YES!!! Amy is David's favorite sister.

sal said...

Yes, as Linda said, Amy and David are brother and sister. He has several very funny books out and does commentary on NPR sometimes. I can't believe they grew up in North Carolina. The neighbors must have been amazed at their antics!

Sally said...

Linda, so glad you're back. I'm not a fearless person-- we can still be friends! If there's a cliff and any member of the family, including the dog, moves near it, I have to take matching steps backwards to somehow balance the whole thing.

I'll have to see about David S-- where?