Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kings River Expedition

After browsing through old pictures last week, I came across our last summer's excursion in river rafting. Somehow it never made it's way onto the blog!

Last year for Father's Day, several of our friends decided to purchase (through Groupon again!) a Kings River Expedition as gifts to the husbands. Yes, the wives included themselves in the gifting and 4 couples got to go on a real wild water adventure! Matt & Aimee, Jeremy & Jennifer, Jared & Elizabeth, and (not pictured because they were on a different boat) Rick & Michelle. That guy in the back was our river guide, Ryan. We found out within minutes that we all knew his wife - she teaches at the elementary school our kids go to!

We all made our babysitter arrangements for the children and then headed out to the Kings River. We made it there in record time - thank you Matt for your mad driving skills - and arrived in time for our brief training. It's been so long that I honestly don't remember much, but I knew it would be a mostly safe journey because we were there at the end of the season which meant low water flow. That was good for me and my oh-so-non-adventure-seeking self. I was mostly worried about getting wet. Ha! That water was cold!! Yes, everyone in our group thought that fear of mine was quite silly and had a hay-day with the teasing before it all began. Everyone else was totally excited for this experience!

We slathered up with sunscreen, put on our water shoes, and hopped on the bus for a 10 minute ride to the head of the river trail. And when I say bus, I don't mean charter bus. This baby was an old rickety, 1932 original. (I don't really know what year it was made, but lets just say it was old, ok?) It had no AC = windows rolled down on this warm summer morning. The exhaust and fumes were pungent. And our driver took us over a rickety old bridge, but to make the turn after the bridge he had to BACK UP THE BUS! back onto the bridge to get us turned in the right direction! Talk about freaky.

We made it to our destination without incident and began our journey down the river. The river rafting company had their photographer perched at the most exciting point along the river so he could capture the moment perfectly. Let me narrate the photos for you...

Yeah, we're rafting, we're rafting...

Uhhh... here comes a big dip...


Ahhh! That's cold water!

*Nervous laughter*

We made it - yes! And oh, that is still cold!

This was the 2nd to last big rapid. There was still one more to go after the big photo shoot and Matt was determined to get it all on film. He had his Flip camera with waterproof casing all prepped and ready to go. He started filming just as we went over the top of the rapid, we hit a huge bump, his oar snapped in half, the splintered end of the oar rammed into our river guide's shin (so sorry Ryan!), and his camera shut off right before it caught any of the last of our river rafting experience. Bummer! The size of that last rapid was a quite unexpected! It was heart pumping and thrilling to say the least.

We paddled to shore and our guide hit the first aid station quickly to bandage up his fresh wound. Then he hit the BBQ to grill up our hamburgers for lunch! What a guy!

It was a great run. Really, it was. We had so much fun being there together as friends and doing something completely different than our usual out to dinner & ice cream dates. And the water really wasn't that cold. I'm just a wimp. Surprise, surprise, I know.

Our Minnicks have moved away since we took this trip. We miss them like crazy. Especially when we look at pictures and see how much fun we all had together. But let's not get too weepy. We will have more fun times together in the future! But, maybe next time there's a river rafting trip we'll just send the husbands. Guys only trip. I like the sound of that.

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