Colorado River White Water

I went rafting down the Colorado River in March before the regular rafting season officially started. It was an amazing way to see nature and to get away from civilization. Each night we would camp on a sandy beach and the only sounds were the wind and the river rushing by. And seeing the millions of stars in the otherwise jet black sky was awesome. No electric lights, no power lines, no music, no cars. Just nature at its finest.

Each evening we would set up camp and cook dinner. The food tasted so much better being outside, especially as the day faded into evening, making ever-deepening shadows on the canyon walls.

There would be long stretches of very calm water, where we were just being gently carried along by the stream. Then you become aware of the increasing roar of the river and catch a glimpse up ahead of the churning white water of the rapids. As we approached them, the noise intensifies and everyone is holding on tight to the boats and is bracing themselves with straps and all. The boatmen are looking up ahead and jockeying for a good approach to the rapids. A good approach being the smoothest way to get through without hitting boulders or being rammed into the walls of the canyon by the current.

And then the boat begins cascading into the rapids and dropping down. Often the raft runs into a standing wave and is picked up, verging on tipping over, as the boatman yells 'High side!' at which point everybody gets to the high side of the boat to keep it from flipping over. And if good fortune is with you, the boat crests the wave and... and.... and goes down the other side through the rapids and is intact.

As the boats slows down into the calmer water afterwards, we "eddy out" at the edge of the river and look back to watch the other boats as they come through the rapids. 

The day is very hot, but the water is always ice cold. I've experienced few things as incredible/exciting/beautiful/intense/humbling as this in my life.  

sunbear sunbear
41-45, M
1 Response Mar 15, 2009

Thanks, girl. Not a good swimmer? I'll tie you on. lol. No really, no one has ever fallen overboard on my watch. Let's go!