We woke up early to go white-water rafting. Several of the other people in our group stayed behind to watch all the kids under age 7, so we left several movies to keep the kids occupied. We had 19 rafters, so we piled in 4 cars to head out. We had about an hour and a half drive, and for some reason I envisioned a boring highway drive. But it was through a beautiful canyon, running alongside the Big Thompson River. It was breathtaking, with the river next to us and the steep canyon walls on both sides. We ended up about 30 miles from Wyoming, on the Cache la Poudre River.
Our first glimpse of our raft guides was Afro Man—he had on a black afro wig, a green headband, and green old school coaches shorts that were way too snug. Next we saw Bunny Girl—she had on pink bunny ears with lopsided ponytails. Mushroom Man was the best, though, with an enormous mushroom hat made from insulation and spray painted red. Sparkly Girl gave our safety talk, and we rode a school bus about 20 miles. I sat with a little boy named Ethan, who was 7 and scared to death to raft. He was from Wichita, and I just talked to him non-stop about stupid stuff to make him laugh. I saw him later on the river, and he smiled and waved at me. I was glad to see him having a good time.
Our guide was Jay, and he had on a short mini-skirt—thankfully with shorts underneath. I was quickly deemed worthless because of my cast, and sent to the back of the raft by Jay. It actually turned out ok, as he kept an eye on me and kept me from falling in a couple times. He also let me use his squirt gun on people. Our boat consisted of Matt and Mindy, Kurt and Lori, Lauren and Bobby, and myself, the useless one. Matt, Kurt and Bobby are all firefighters. Lauren’s husband didn’t go, so she paired up with Bobby.
We had Class II and III rapids. Bobby and I would like to try Class IV next time. Some of the better rapids were Killer Bridge, Roller Coaster, Pin Ball. At Killer Bridge we wrapped around the bridge pylon, and Bobby and Jay had to go up to the front to help Matt and Kurt push us out. I was instructed to bounce up and down to help dislodge us. We stopped at one point to play in the water, and everyone jumped in the current to float down. Bobby said the water was completely frigid and took his breath away.
The ride was about 2 hours, 6 miles. It wasn’t quite as adventurous as we thought it was going to be, but it was definitely worth it. Our guide was great—he interacted with us and joked around. Of course, we joked back, so he seemed to like us. A couple of the other boats seemed to not have as good of a time, and I think it was because of the guides. The guides were extremely impressed by the plastic sleeve I had to put over my cast; they’d never seen anything like that before, and every one of them came over to look at it.
We got back to Estes about 3, and picked up the girls. They played mini-golf, and Macy got a hole in one! She says she is ready for the big leagues, but only if she’s on Papa’s team.
We did another hike, this time around a lake in the rain. Hopefully we can go back before we leave to do some of the side trails we skipped.