Thursday, June 03, 2010

One Final Adventure

Last weekend, I went on a rafting trip down the Chulitna. This is the same rafting trip that we did last year, but the weather was even better if possible. It was actually hot on Saturday and Monday!

Denali peeks out above the rest of the Alaska Range.

At one point we had to walk the boats around a log jam.

This year's trip was a little more exciting than last year's -- the boat I was in actually flipped and I took a wild ride down the glacially fed Chulitna. My life jacket literally saved my life, which is why we always wear them. (Do you hear that, Mom and Dad? You need life jackets for your rowboat!!) I was in a smaller boat this year, and we landed in an area that wasn't real great to launch from. We got up close to a big rock and then didn't react properly (we didn't jump on the high side). I came up hanging on to our inverted boat for dear life, but then we started heading for another rock. So Brenda told me to "Swim away! SWIM AWAY!" and I did. I was a little concerned that it would take the other boat a while to get me, but my friend Scott really hauled ass and came and picked me up right away.

The final moment, just before we flipped.

I had always heard that when you hit that ice cold water you involuntarily take a big breath, which makes you inhale a bunch of water. Fortunately, that was not the case. I swallowed a little, but probably less than if I were pushed into a pool unawares. And our safety briefings paid off -- I remembered what to do and therefore was able to literally keep my head above water.

Me in front of our flotilla of rafts on Sunday.

I will say that I could have gone my whole life without having that particular experience. But with everything you do, you take some risk, and all's well that ends well. And the rest of the trip was absolutely spectacular! It was a good last hurrah for our adventures in Alaska.


craftosaurus said...

Adventure is right! Glad you're ok! :)

Carlw4514 said...

Scary, Louise... glad you are OK

Uncle Carl

L said...

It was a little scary, but I feel empowered now that I know I can flip a boat and not end up dying.

Preparation is the key to safety.