06 July 2011

Out of dust and into water

When we met the guide for our white water rafting trip on the Arkansas River, (Corey, wearing a red and silver glittery helmet as you do) and the others in the raft, 4 Denver guys most likely not yet 21, we should have know there'd be an attempt to capsize the raft at least once. The rafting itself was quite easy due to the high water level from snow melt. This meant nearly all of the rapids presented no risk of leaving the raft and very little actual paddling was required (nothing like the excitement of the rafting trips we'd both been on as teenagers). We stayed in through the first serious rapid of the day, despite our raft being swamped and me copping the shoulder of the guy in front to my cheekbone (to our surprise, this did NOT result in a black eye). There was talk through out the trip of making a deliberate attempt to flip the raft in our second last, and most serious rapid. When we got to it the other rafts on our trip took a line to the side of the main part.... Corey took us right down the middle, and as expected everyone except him promptly left the raft. I'm proud to say I watched the other five go out, before letting go when I thought the raft was flipping (it actually didn't). In my brief time in the water I successfully lost a contact lens and swallowed nearly as much water as the time we went scuba diving in Thailand. Brad however was underwater for longer than the rest of us, and surfaced looking somewhat like a drowned rodent moving swiftly away from our raft before he was grabbed by another. We're definitely planning more water adventures on this trip, hopefully with more exciting rapids.

No, we didn't magically tele-port from Zebra Canyon to mid-way through Colorado, along the way we visited the very aptly but not very creatively, named Arches National Park, so called for the rock arches which are continually forming,

and Mesa Verde, a series of ancient villages built high into cliffs.
Both unique places, better served by pictures than words, and feeling more crowded with tourists than anywhere else we've been so far. We also discovered a few more things that had shaken loose on that dirt road, of note the mount holding our house battery, resulting in the connector eventually snapping – something we only became aware of when suddenly we no longer had power. Luckily Brad is even handier than I realised and impressed me with his ability to attach a new connector thingy to the wire, then the next day convince a guy at a welding supply shop to attach a new mounting bracket.

Definitely no more dirt road adventures for Gil.

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