Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Into the Raging Water - Too Much Information

I saw a video very much like this at the rafting outfitter's office minutes before we left on our 12 day trip. Lava Falls was THE rapid I was most worried about riding.

You'd think after surviving a flash flood I would be a little more confident but not so. 

It was late afternoon and cloudy with a few sprinkles when we arrived at Lava  Falls. We pulled over...a feat that always made me nervous. What if we didn't make the pullout and went down the rapid without being able to scout it? That never happened to us but I was always afraid it would because I am a worry wort. Yep...always thinking about what could go wrong. That's why seeing a video with a flipping raft caught in a "maytag" was too much information. I'd rather not know what scary obstacle I had to face.

We all went to the scouting site. Lots of discussion was had about who would walk the rapid. I had learned walking a rapid involved some pretty strenuous hiking and by this time in the trip everyone pretty much knew how I felt about strenuous hiking...not my favorite thing. Plus...this was a BIG rapid. It looked like some pretty mean water would have to be crossed by a raft to pick up a walker...what if the raft couldn't get to me through all the rough water? Even more scary...being stranded at Lava Falls.

So the best option to me was riding in the raft. Lovey and Huck were going to walk. That had been decided the night before by Survivor Man. Lovey had definitely had her share of water adventure in the flash flood. Everyone else decided to ride the rafts.

Zman - our confident raft captain for the trip through Lava.

Deep in prayer. We were in the second slot to enter the rapid of our four-raft group. All I could hear was my heart beating.

The video camera ran out of battery power so you see a very brief part of the trip. Did you notice how close we were to the left shore? That was just where we wanted to be...away from the BIG water.

All the rafts made it. We rendezvoused and toasted our success. 

I did get a little wet on my ride. 

We patiently waited for Survivor Man to join us with  Lovey and Huck. I made the right decision. Hiking Lava was intense. The trail disappeared and Lovey was scaling boulders most of the way down. 

The rain held off but we had to trek five more miles down river before finding an available camp. Two commercial groups went through Lava Falls right before us so the closest camps were taken as we made our way down the river. I really hated that pattern we were in...behind other groups when looking for a campsite.

Warning - More Complaining Ahead 
It was my last turn to cook. We made camp at 7:45 p.m. Everyone was starving. Our camp was crowded with Tamarisk trees. I felt so claustrophobic and stressed! Peacekeeper came up with a great idea to grab left over cheeses and salami from lunch to cut up for a quick appetizer. Fabulous! It got everyone out of my way.

 On the menu - Grilled chicken, steak, baked potatoes, pasta salad and a baked cake of some kind for the dutch oven. A meal that would take hours to cook! The chicken breasts got cut up and sauteed on the cook top. The baked potatoes got cut in half...most were partially rotted so my plan to make them cook faster worked with trimming bad spots. Grizzly Mamma made the pasta salad. A lot of our vegetables were going bad at this point. Dessert got axed...Hiker Girl did offer to make the cake but I thought it was unfair to the clean up crew to drag their chores till 11 p.m. That had happened to me on July 4th when we had our first cake from the dutch oven. It just wasn't worth it. It was easily after 9 p.m by the time we ate dinner.

This was one of my least favorite camps. It was buggy with all the vegetation around us. It almost felt like a jungle. That night it rained. The tent was so stifling. I had a rash from the top of my neck down my back. At this point in the trip we all had some spots of "river rash." 

Just two more nights and three more days. We should have had a big celebration that night after finishing our final large rapid but we were all pretty poopers.

1 comment:

Sand and Sunshine said...

Party poopers I can completely understand why. Sounds like a very long day.