by Julianna Buller
As we wound our way deeper into the canyons near Cañon City, Colorado, I asked my husband what had been his favorite part of vacation so far. “Because you’re going to totally forget how much you loved it once you’ve white water rafted,” I explained. I had a hunch the fireworks we had appreciated so much would become a distant memory once we had experienced a few Class V rapids.
We arrived and, donned with helmets and life jackets, received a brief training about how to anchor our feet into the inflated raft to help us follow the Most Important Rule: Stay in the boat. As flatlanders better versed in back pasture mud holes than raging rivers, we grew concerned about the actual statistical probability of ending up wearing the raft as a hat, which our guide so humorously cautioned as a possibility. Nonetheless, we waded into the Arkansas River, jumped aboard, and began our journey.
As we approached our first rapid, a Class IV, the excitement and apprehension was palpable by everyone except the guide, whose five years of leading trips had probably worn some of the emotion from the experience. Listening to the commands (Forward one! Forward two!), we easily traversed the roiling mass of water, our giddiness intact—if not increased—by the challenge. Once past the breaking current, we breathed easily, and rounds of high-fives were had by all.
The first Class V rapid we took on was a different experience entirely. Continue reading Not-So-Newlywed Adventures