“Let jump right into this”, these words are not only referring to my first real blogging experience, but to events that will occur later on in this post. Not many photo’s were taken to highlight the different aspects of the trip, but they do give a good sense of the wacky experience.
The day started out calmly enough in a typical erratic fashion. A 6AM wake, which turned into a 8AM rush to get to Fort Carson. We were making sure to use our buddy Derek’s connections to the Army. Fort Carson supplies discount adventure outings to military employees, but rarely get used. So we decided to exploit help employee these services, will continue to do so in the future.
So a bus full of hungover and rambunctious young-en’s headed to Canyon City. Canon City is known as the commercial white water capital of Colorado. By far it is the most rafted river in Colorado. Another factoid of Canyon City is that it is the Incarceration Capital of Colorado ( maybe the west?) including, several federal penitentiaries, country jails, and a super max prison. However, I’ll save this for another day.
The part of the river we were rafting was Big Horn Sheep Canyon, known for the incredible amount of promiscuous sheep that frequent the canyon. We put-in alongside a couple other groups of rafting hippies (otherwise know as river rats). We dawned our rafting apparel, played a game of Frisbee, and stood for the initial badass pose. The water being a balmy 50* degrees (fresh snow melt, yum) we decided to keep our wet suits on (except Sean, who want to show off his Hawaiian surfing calves).
Our rafting guide, Dave turned out to be a super cool dude, and by far we were the awesomest boat crew of the trip. Dave proceeded to tell us all sort of jokes, which became more racier and naughtier the further we drifted downstream. Blonde jokes , Irish jokes, and some “I dare not menton” jokes were had and maybe enjoyed.
So down the river we went, destroying class III rapids, nomming class IV. The river was no match for the prowess of the seasoned 8-man crew. Past dead dog tree (named because it had no “bark” , haha?), over the Sharks Tooth, and pounded by Fluffy Muffin (funny story there), the river was not ready for us. Then came the swimming portion. At this point, Dave said ,half-jokingly, that we could get out and enjoy some of the refreshing Rock Mtn water and rapids. Never before had he seen his entire crew completely desert the raft and launch into water of their own free will. Pushing, tackling, and diving ensued; leaving Dave to float downstream without a crew. After floating through some rapids and swimming with the fishes, everyone climbed back in and we said jokingly that it was practice, and that practice made perfect.
We took a break at a rock cliff and did some free form diving/cactus jumping. The jump was approximately 15-20 at its highest point, and about 10 at the lowest, we would not let anyone jump from the lowest spot, which would have resorted to some severe name calling. As is true with any extreme sport, style was key.
Numerous jumps and chilled bones later, we proceed downstream. Sean wanted to ride the bull ( sit on the front, of the boat through rapids) so he hopped up front and sat down. He took some pictures and readied for the ride. While he was waiting, everyone else silent agreed and nodded that he wasn’t going to be in the boat much longer. I then continued to body-check Sean out of the raft, and everyone watched/waved to him as he floated downstream. Looking for help and feeling betrayed he asked another boat for help. Their reply was “forward 2…” and proceed to paddle away leaving Sean a drift and cold. The one other causality on the trip was Paul, who fell out of the boat of his own free will, while we were spinning on a flat section of water, very very odd. After numerous punishment oars to the face we decided to pull him back in.
We landed at a beach and disrobed our wet gear, excited that we would be eating soon. However one thing remained, the manly picture of the day. The studliest group of rafters that that river has ever seen and probably ever will see posed in triumphant success.
The half day trip was over and we packed up the van. Satisfied that we had a new friend, Dave the Raft Master, we headed back to COS. We decided to saved the royal gorge for another day, which is were real extreme rafting beings. Next time…….