Monday, July 11, 2011

As The World Churns

Drama. Yes there was weekend drama. We are back from our Poconos excursion and skirmish. The problem is the trip turned out to be a bit scary for my sister, two other rafters and myself. We went white water rafting, and I assumed it was the beginners level when I signed us up. I told the girl on the phone we wanted beginners level. It was about three hours into our rowing a raft with six people, all first timers, five adults and an eleven year old. Pretty much following along in about the middle the whole trip. The rapids we hit were scarier at the beginning with mild ones here and there.

On the second tier of class three rapids we noticed a raft was stuck on a big rock and we headed straight for them. Being other large objects we bumped into so far, we figured, or I did, that we would bounce over to the side and go down, and a guide would help them off. You do gain momentum once you begin going down the tiny water falls (rapids) and have little control (maybe without experience).

Our raft went up on top of them and threw me, the lady and her husband in the front off, then my sister was in the air, and went into the water last. Luckily she is smaller than the rest of us and she drifted quickly down stream towards the other rafts. My husband and the couples eleven year old daughter never left the boat, which totally was just freaky.We assume their weight kept them on the other raft, but then was pushed back down into the water. He stayed with her to secure the raft over to the shores edge.

I honestly thought the raft was going totally upside down, but it did not. I hit the water first and felt my favorite blue and world traveled Cape May Ferry hat coming off so I grabbed it thinking "Oh noooo you don't!", then began churning around and around in the rapids and current of the river. It was up to my chest as I tried to stand up (which they tell you not to do) but other rafts pushed me back under, and went over me. I might have thought someone would have tried to grab me, but none did. Not sure if they even saw us. The whole time I was swallowing lots and lots of water trying to catch a breath as I rolled over and over.

The couple managed to hang onto a big rock and were pulled back into the raft by the guide and my husband. Another boat saw my sister down stream and began to pull her in, but just as I came up for air again, back floating (trying to breath as an asthma attack came on) she heard me saying "someone please help me" and pushed off of their raft to come after me. Idiot, but I know she loves me, but I told her she should have thought of herself first like the guide said in the safety talk.

Another guide in a kayak came upon us and I grabbed the front as he had instructed. She was holding onto my leg, or life jacket. She might have drowned me just from that alone. We had a talk about this, but "she wasn't going on without me" came out of her mouth. Both of us were pretty banged up. I did not sleep at all last night. I now know what it is like when someone is drowning, or stuck in a washing machine *smiling*. One of my biggest fears is too drown, and I was afraid of water until I was eighteen. Even though my dad threw us in over the boat as kids. I learned how to swim before I left home and am pretty strong, but currents are stronger.

Outside of this, I enjoyed the thrill of the rapids and being on the river. I am a water girl no matter what, and would do it again (without her). The time I have spent in the gym and swimming the past year helped. I am not as sore today as one might be without the exercise. Phew! is all I can say. We got the full experience of the white water rapids and those were the mid-level experience. Hubby said maybe we should have done the beginner/family trip. No one in our raft knew about rowing. Hubby and I have had some experience and you have to be in sync. Lil'sista and the couples daughter were totally useless. The couple's hubby was suppose to be the leader. They asked me too, maybe next time I will do it. They do over pack those rafts, one of the complaints from the couple. I do not think if we had less or one more we could have avoided that freak accident. Chalk it up to experience.

I have to say, I love my sister but in dangerous situations...she does not hold up well in panic situations. She even admits she did not hear anything at the safety training.

I went back into the water today and am working out the sore muscles...she cried like a baby just bending over.Thanks Brian (my trainer) for pushing me this past year to get in shape. I am going to the gym tomorrow and restart my training with him. I had muscle strength which helped me get through this ordeal.

(How did I take these photos? I bought a Aquapac container which fit my IPhone, so it stayed dry and I got these great photos) I also posted more trip photos on facebook.


farmlady said...

Well, well. You are quite a brave person.
There is a group here on the Mokelumne River that does raft trips and I have yet to sign up. I see those rapids when we drive up there on the river and I don't think I want to scare myself that badly just for FUN.
Now, reading this, I think that may be my permanant position on this subject.
I'm glad everything turned out OK.

Toon said...

So glad you survived this "fun". Next time just go lay on a beach somewhere with a tiki bar nearby.

Jeanne said...

Sounds like quite an adventure!

keri said...

OMG, E... you're lucky you all made it back in one piece. Aren't you the adventurous one... RAPIDS? and I thought you spent all your time in the kitchen or quietly writing masterpiece poetry! ha.

keri said...

and your world did churn! amazing

Pearl said...

wow, that's quite the vacation getaway. amazing to have people and photos surviving all that. as someone who gets woozy from the wild and crazy idea of changing momentum, position or speed while sitting or walking, sputtering underwater would definitely have me overwhelmed.

Bagman and Butler said...

Wow! Scary while happening but an adrenalin shot you will never forget. I dumped out in exactly the same way last year on a similar trip. A well-told adventure story. Now that you have all survived, consider how much more exciting it was than simply drifting along. Good for you!