After a winter of epic snowfall, the river was running wild, as was the anticipation in our group of eight for a half-day rafting trip at Specie Creek outside of Telluride. Fitted with wet suits, life jackets and water booties, we listened to a speech on safety by Telluride Outside (and questioned our sanity) while we were assigned guides and rafts. As we gathered to get into the two rafts, we stepped into the frigid, fast-moving rapids for the first time. All sanity vanished. My brain was as numb as my feet.
The rafts were untied and it took only seconds for the current to shoot us quickly downstream, all of us laughing, eyeballs wide and wanting to scream hysterically at the potential danger and fun of it all. Being ignorant about rafting, we were at the mercy of our guides.
And what wonderful guides they were, giving us safety tips, pointing out all kinds of wildlife and flora along the way – as well as pointing out boulders the size of monuments that
we might have capsized upon had we not heeded the insistent and sometimes desperate commands to “Row left!!! Row left!!! Harder, harder!”
Drama ensued. A raft of folks behind us didn’t “Row left!” as quickly as needed and dumped themselves into the river which put my son in the position of pulling a 74-year-old woman out of the river. Leaning on the very edge of the raft (with his dad holding his legs) and extending his paddle, the woman was able to grab hold and was pulled into the raft. We found out later that she had recently been mountain biking with her son in the Himalayas and had been hang-gliding the week before. At 74, she was no lightweight – what an inspiration!
After everybody in the capsized raft was safe, our trip downriver continued. The air of danger and adventure seemed even more real now. Chicken that I am, I slunk deeper into the raft, not wanting to be the next victim. It was unforgettable fun for our family. Go rafting! Take a guided trip and ramp up the adventure in your life.