|View From our Balcony|
Today, I finally was able to leave the dreaded bed that held me back from so many days of fun. In the morning, Dan came by the hostel to help me outfit my boat, lend me some gear, and simply pick us up for the long day ahead. Once we had all our gear sorted and were loaded up in a taxi, we headed towards the river. From the car, I could see our run and it looked pretty big. I have to admit, I was a little bit scared.
Once Dan had gone over some brief review, we all jumped in our boats and slipped into the water. From the put in, I could see that beyond a short and steep rapid, the river turned around the bend into the distance. This rapid was a little too hard for me so I went down holding Dan’s boat, or “rafting up.” There were some big waves and there was not much space to avoid them. I was glad I rafted up with Dan. Once we had turned the corner, we caught an eddy on the right side of the river.
Around the corner, we came to a confluence and the river became murky, brown, wide, and powerful. I was a little intimidated and became even more so when I realized Dan’s style of teaching. He wanted me to lead! I thought this was a little crazy, but it gave me a couple of advantages. He said he could rescue me faster in the case of a swim. Also, he wanted to have me learn how to take my own line down the rapids. I agreed, and scouted the rapid from my boat behind a big rock at the start. I had a great time, but it was very scary! I hit some huge waves and boated over a drop that snuck up on me. For the most part, I followed my line well, but cussed all the way down. The following rapids were not as violent or as long, but still harder than most water I have paddled before.
Once the hard section of the day was finished, we stopped for a lunch break. The rest of the day was mellow and I had some opportunities to practice my roll. I did some small rapids but none as hard as in the morning. It was raining pretty hard, and we were all tired when we arrived at the take out.
Back at the hostel, I took a shower, put on fleece pants and a sweater, and curled up in bed. I read my book as the rain fell on my window. “What a day,” I thought, “what an adventure!”
Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!