Sunday, April 25, 2004

April 23, 2004
As our small raft descended into the hole in the class IV rapid, we paused for a brief moment as the sheer force of the river held us firmly in place, then in a split second the blue rubber was yanked from underneath us and the roaring turbulence sucked us under.

Trying to remember how to coordinate my breathing with the ebb and flow of the rapids, I clutched my paddle firmly and kept my sneakered feet in front of me, the chill of the 50 degree water calmed by the sudden rush of adernaline. Looking behind me, I saw Ali and Elizabeth clutching one another; Spencer and the other girl Alison were nowhere to be seen.

Thankfully, the six hearty rafters that we had seen on shore were waiting in "The Room of Doom" for us. They scooped us up out of the river and kept their smirks and comments to a minimum. After offering us spare paddles and making sure that we were alright, they paddled ahead, beers in hand, to the next rapid.

Casualty Summary:
Spencer lost both of his aqua socks, another pair of sunglasses, and his lucky adventure hat.
Red-headed Alison lost one aqua sock and her disposable water-proof camera (The camera actually came floating back later).
Ryan lost his froofy beanie, and his black hoodie (it happened to be in the water bottle bag that was tied to the boat).
Elizabeth lost her map of the river.

Going to Westwater this early in the spring had its advantages as well as its disadvantages.
Because of the time of year, the water level was high and fast and the rapids were extremely quick and fun. The fast water made the flat water at the beginning and the end of the trip literally fly by. There were no insects to worry about while camping (it rained all night long), and we only got sunburned when the sun finally started to peek through the clouds after we only had a mile 'til takeout.

The main disadvantage was that it was freaking cold. The air temperature was only 7 or 8 degrees warmer farenheit than the water.
But hypothermia aside, it was a spectacular, fabulous trip. Can't wait 'til next year...?

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