Rafting on the Río
I don’t even know if I asked my friends Elizabeth and Jasper if they wanted to go rafting. I just simply said: “Hey, we’re going rafting.” I had been dying to all summer! But the water was way too high for me. I’m a wus! I like the thrill of adventure but there is no way I like the high water.
I booked us with Los Rios because they’re the best and sure enough, the shop was pro – from easy online booking and communication to payment to waiver signing. There were two cool experienced guides there: LeAnn and John Harvey. Both had easy, friendly demeanors but you could tell they were no dummies. I was pleased that we got one of them: John Harvey. The other guides seemed nice, but they were just young and hipster and too cool for school.
John walked us through the history and the geology of the Río in an easy conversational way. He also indulged us nicely when Jasper asked if he could jump off a rock! We tipped him well.
We boarded the craft with a family of three from New Jersey. So that made all of us in the boat from Jersey – what are the odds. The daughter was affable and chatty. The father was a curmudgeon and the mother was voiceless.
But, the big news about this trip is that: I fell out of the boat! Oh well, there’s a first for everything and it was innocuous enough. Here’s what happened:
We were in a lull, a slow stretch of water and either I was just zoning out on the landscape or John was telling a story. Either way I was not prepared because when we bumped up against a rock, I had no center of gravity and went over backward – paddle and all!
To Mr. Curmudgeon’s credit, he was concerned and immediately reached out for me. I was fine – I had not hit any rocks, was not scraped up at all – so I reached for the black strap on the boat to connect with the craft and then handed Elizabeth my paddle.
Mr. Curmudgeon reached down and was going to yank me up with just one hold on my PFD. I instructed him to grab both and he fell backward, pulling me into the boat. John Harvey was nonplussed; he’s seen a million overboarders in his lifetime and I was fine. Just wet, bewildered and pride wounded.
All of the trip went well. I got out to float alongside the boat for a long stretch– floating in the Río Grande which I just love. I truly do love that river and am highly aware that she has a spirit, a personality, and even a temper. I’m grateful I got to experience her for the day. Next time: More Mindfulness.