CAMP KIVU, CO is the most wonderful place to be when it's 107 degrees in OK!
And rafting down the Animas River in the middle of Durango adds to the pleasure.
The whole kit-n-kaboodle went! Andy loaded up the equipment, Jamie loaded up the Fab5 and we headed out for high adventure.
I was confident this would be a good day!
UNTIL....we got the blue boat IN the river and Andy started giving some
directions as to how this whole ride would proceed. He seriously taught us, "If you sit in the
middle of the boat you're less likely to fall out." WHAT? Fall out? That's wasn't part
of my dream day floating down the river. Then, "When I say paddle, DO IT, and don't stop." OK, got that one! The one that got me thinking that MAYBE this whole idea was a mistake was when he shouted out, "GET READY TO RESCUE!" Everybody above the age of 4 grabbed an oar, tucked their feet into the sides of the boat for "fall out prevention" and we took off. We were snug as a bug in a blue plastic rug! The first couple of miles were uneventful, a family enjoying the sun on the river. THEN the rapids appeared on the horizon. Andy started "instructing" again. Evidently if our boat were to get stuck in a whirlpool we were in danger of being sucked under, to where I wondered. "IF you fall out, point your feet downstream and just float, we'll come and pick you up." (Feet first protects the head from rocks!) WHAT? How's a 59 yr old woman supposed to get her feet pointed in said direction? I was doing good just holding on with my cramping feet SECURELY tucked INSIDE that boat! Now I had to point them downstream? And how was I supposed to keep my wits when that freezing cold water threatened to "suck me under." After a few attempts of trying to bump BeBe out of the boat and laughing about it, I TRIED to convince the whole lot that our goal of the day was to KEEP BEBE IN THE BOAT, high and dry! We rode over rocks and Titanic sized waves, soaking me and Papa to the bone. (That WAS the intention of putting us in the FRONT of the boat!) The big kids jumped overboard and did a little splashing around at the quieter parts of the stream. The little kids held on wide-eyed, not sure exactly what their guardians of protection were about to do to them! We approached "SMELTER" the BIG RAPIDS, known for upsetting the most experienced rafters on the river.
"GET READY TO RESCUE!"
Gabby was re-situated onto the floor and we all held onto our oars with a death grip. Only those yellow paddles sinking deep into that water would save us now!
Andy yelled and we paddled with all our might. I didn't know until later that he also yelled, "WE'RE GOING TO TIP OVER." Hearing that in the middle of trying to survive would NOT have helped the situation!
The water rose higher than our heads, the boat dipped downward FAST and we paddled furiously. Talk about FOCUS!
After a while....PURE JOY! We were soaked but we made it! The water calmed! THANK GOD the littles were still IN the boat! I was alive!
Everybody was smiling and laughing and shouting, "LET'S DO IT AGAIN!"
Thank you Andy and Jamie for SUCH a good time.
It's a great day when you look DEATH right in the face and conquer it! What a memory! We'll be talking about it for years!