LOVE showing off my adopted home state.  Ashton & Tom flew in from Jersey, Stephen from New Hampshire.  What better way to kick off Memorial Day weekend than whitewater rafting in Colorado?  Yahoo!

Woke early on Friday to drop Ro at Camp Bow Wow and squeeze in a mile-half glacier hike at St. Mary’s near Idaho Springs.  Talk about troopers, my East Coast bunch faced snow & 10,300 ft elevation less than 24 hours after leaving their (almost) sea level homes.  Up, down in an hour-half…then back on the road – destination: rafting company, Liquid Descent on Clear Creek.

Signed us up for an advanced ½ day rafting trip (Class 4 rapids) so asked my visitors not to share actual skill levels until we got on the boat.  No regrets.  Go big or go home, right? 🙂

Forward, backward – no worries.  It was the multiple commands where we struggled – left back, right forward.  Think I’m reaching an age where I need 5-10 seconds reaction processing time.

No more than 15 minutes into the trip, Alan (our guide) shouted ‘High side left’.  Ash went left (correct), I went right (wrong) & suddenly 3 of us were out of the raft floating in the rapids reaching for hands.  Ash got trapped under the boat but came up quickly & subsequently pulled in by Alan.  All back in the boat & catching our breath, Alan asks Ash to let him up so he can steer our raft — yeah, we’re still floating down Clear Creek.

Gotta say the 4 of us now actively listened to Alan’s commands much more closely.

For the record, (1) the water was crazy cold (created by snow melt) & (2) Stephen was today’s only non-‘swimmer’ (often razzed for swimming during a raft trip a few years ago on Lake George, NY – guess that will have to stop :)).

On the bus ride back to Idaho Springs (shared ride with 2 other raft groups), Ash was crowned ‘swimmer’.  Why Ash?  Near the end of our day, Ash took a 2nd dip & this time not successfully pulled back into the boat.  She did all the right things, laid on her back with feet pointing downstream, kicking boulders to protect her head as she personally rode the rapids.  Another boat guide ahead of us rescued Ash, and kept her shoreside ‘til we caught up.  Bruised tail bone & some arm bruises (from being pulled out of the water) but no cuts or broken bones.  Yeah she’s tough as nails.  Super impressed.

Awesome way to kick off a 4-day holiday weekend.  Sign me up again!

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