Colorado River Panorama at Rocky Rapid Put In

Not-So-Whitewater Rafting the Colorado River

I just returned from a bachelorette party in Utah (I know, right?), three days in Moab sandwiched by some time in Salt Lake City. I packed conservatively for fashion, but excessively for sport should I get owned by nature repeatedly.

Albeit excited, I was terrified at the thought of my first foray into whitewater rafting. My wild imagination envisioned only the most extreme situations:

White Water Rafting Over Waterfalls

It seemed inescapable, me tumbling into the water’s icy cold, frothy mouth, and getting chewed up by the rocky teeth of the river monster:

Falling Out While White Water Rafting

I would see myself hanging onto the raft’s ropes with a white-knuckle grip that bests that of Rose and Jack’s, but I come to find all conditions are low: the water level, class of rapids (I and II), wind speed, and finally, my nerves. It is beautiful, and thus begins my epiphanous experience down this (Google Camera Emoji: me):

Colorado River Panorama at Rocky Rapid Put In

Life works its way down a fairly predictable river with inevitable rapids that move us faster than we would like. When the going gets tough is where we separate into those who fight for the wrong people, and those who take flight for the wrong reasons. That leaves the courageous who know that working through discomfort for the right people and reasons gets us further than many could ever dream or have the fortune to experience, who realize fate is what we make of it. These are those who dare.

Homer Simpson Drool, Mmm... CarbsThough we need our respite, there must also be excitement, so we stir the pot to progress, to disallow decisions to be made for us. We move forward and take risks toward grander fruits of our labor. So we paddled… A LOT! We need to earn that pasta dinner that awaits us! Mmm… carbs!

To break up the monotony, the Disney nut in me starts a delightful sing-a-long to Pocahontas’ “Just Around the Riverbend” at random turns and forks. Also, Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy” is a GREAT song for keeping beat.

Henry's Fork of Snake River, Idaho

As we near our finish line, the wind is so strong, our furious paddling literally gets us nowhere. Frustrated, some give up or wait it out while others paddle to their own dissonant rhythm thinking doing something is better than nothing. Eventually, we give in to the forces beyond our control until we regain our strength, and find purpose in perseverance and partnership.

Six oars and six hours later, we complete a half marathon down the Colorado River, and although it is quite an impressive, and slightly drunken, feat, it is the journey that gives me fortitude.

Water, like time, will flow on, so you can fight against it, let it pass you by, or my preference, just enjoy the ride, drink in hand. #thesquished6pack

Group Photo Bachelorette Party #thesquished6pack

Photo credit:

  1. Mantis Extreme
  2. Wired for Adventure
  3. Vietca Do (me)
  4. Henry’s Fork Music Fest
  5. Gels