I took the kids, a couple of “boy-girl friends” and off we went for our 5:00 adventure at the US National White Water Center. The sun was getting low, the temperature about 85 degrees, I enjoyed the look on my son Andrew’s face- as I had watched Bobby, Amy and Judy’s before him– the look of awe. You really can’t describe this place until you have seen it, and even then words and pictures don’t do it justice. There was a gentle breeze and a good crowd filled the waters and viewing decks. We went through the training- I was concerned that the “newbies” didn’t get the full training, since we were veterans it was cut a little short– little did I know I’d have the ride of my life. Surfing in “Biscuits and Gravy” was a great way to work the water and our guide knew how to get us there. Body surfing through the rough stuff was yet to come.
I’ve decided the only thing that would have made it more fun was if I’d spent a bit more time in the boat– this just wasn’t my day. The first may have been the best, falling in slow motion at one of the first gates on the big run in front of most of the spectators. I may have been sitting too far out, but it really didn’t matter as there are no exits, or eddy’s for a long way, an no matter what the reason, I wasn’t getting back in for a while. Here I am catching a breath before I rolled and tumbled again- –feet first almost the whole way, down the chute and thought it can’t last long– and soon enough I was standing on the side in the big lake, the boat out ahead. Exhausted, scared a bit, and banged up more.
I’ve thought about it a lot and come up with no good answers. That was the first of three trips in, two quick dips on the other side, our momentum shifted rapidly, the boat went one way and I went another… once in Biscuits and Gravy, once just below, and by then I’d almost had enough. I insisted on another run through the big stuff, we made it perfectly without incident, not even close to leaving the boat and that was that
It’s left me tired, bruised and banged up, but none the worse for wear. I’ll tighten up the core muscles to give me just a bit more pull, I’ll sit a little closer in on the boat edge, and I’m going again in a few weeks. It is just too much fun and too much a challenge to let go.