Saturday, August 6, 2016

Rafting Redemption

Sam, Kyle, dad, and I had another adventure today.

In order for it to happen, our day began at 6:30 in the morning. Once we showered, gathered our clothes, and took our breakfast on the road, we found ourselves in Maupin, Oregon, after an hour and a half of driving.

At ten, we boarded a bus with a dozen other people, wearing ‘splash jackets’ under our life jackets. The bus took us down to the Deschutes River, where we took hold of our paddles and found our spot in the boats. If you haven’t figured it out already, we went white water river rafting.

This might’ve been my fifth time in the water but my first on this new river. The four of us had taken our turns on both the Middle and Lower forks of the American River not too long ago. Each time, we had taken to the river with the rafting company of Tributary. While we gladly would’ve gone with them again, their company doesn’t travel into Oregon. But All Star Rafting does.

The four of us took into a raft with our guide, another guide in training, and a family of three. This was another first. We never had to go in a raft that sat eight people.

It was much tighter than usual. Since my dad sat right in front of me, I’m sure I bumped him quite a few times when trying to avoid getting hit by the guy behind me.

This river housed many class three rapids, one four, and another six. While classes three and four are doable, with four being rougher than the other, class six cannot be done. In fact, if one were to make it out alive after doing that, our guide, Christina, informed us that there would be a $7,000 dollar fine. Needless to say, we pulled out the rafts and drove around the rapid.

Preceding the class six, we encountered a variety of rapids. Dad took to the bow of the raft for one of them, sitting himself at the very front as waves splashed before him and taking the brunt of the action.

Half way through the trip, we stopped for lunch. Our group of seven, excluding our guides, enjoyed hamburgers together.

When we got back on the water, we encountered a few small rapids until we hit the class four. The four of us were pretty excited about this, because, until then, the ride was fairly calm. I think we’re just used to the American River, which houses quite a few class fours.

Conquering that class four gave us – or, at least me – an adrenaline rush! I was ready for the more exciting things to come.

Shortly after, there was a chance to jump off a cliff. I was ready to go until we approached it closer, examining the thirty foot drop. I would’ve gone. I really wanted to go. However, there was something missing, so Sam and I returned to the rafts without jumping into the water.

I immediately felt the need to redeem myself, a little bit of regret looming over me for not going with the jump. As a principle, I try never to act on fear; I feel that’s when people regret stuff the most. A little bit of shame tore through me.

I found my redemption shortly after, though. It was our last rapid of the day, and our guide asked if anyone wanted to ride the bull.

There was a bit of hesitation, mostly because I was giving anyone else the chance to go before me. But, when the raft fell silent, I took to the front.

My grip on the rope was tight, although I could’ve gone tighter. I leaned close to the boat, so, if I fall, it will be back into the raft. And the waters came upon me shortly after.

As soon as the first big wave hit, I tumbled back in, soaking wet. I must’ve lost my grip. But that was the biggest rush of the day. As I tumbled onto my back, I couldn’t help to break into a laugh as I tried to get back on. But by the time I found my way to the top, the waves ceased. Instead of assuming my previous position, I momentarily sat there facing the paddlers.

I looked toward the waters, a smile filling my cheeks. Redemption.

Eventually, we paddled our raft back to shore. Feeling a bit of discomfort, I was glad to get out of the waters and get a chance to change into normal clothes.

We thanked our guide, Christina, for leading the way. Her determination and wisdom were a great part of the trip! The four of us echoed the fact that she could handle much tougher rapids than that.
Usually, after rafting, we stop by McDonalds and get McFlurry’s to cool us down and celebrate. But The Oasis’s milkshakes were a great alternative! It was this little shop that was recommended by Christina; we found ourselves at The Oasis at five o' clock (Gilmore Girls reference?).

The Oasis is a little restaurant in Maupin, Oregon, that serves
burgers, french fries, and delicious milkshakes.
Soon, we found ourselves back at the trailer. I took a nap on the way back and almost immediately fell back asleep once we returned. Instead, though, I got to have a barbecue chicken dinner that my mom made perfectly.

I couldn’t stay up much longer, though, so I cuddled on the couch earlier and took a nap. My eyes didn’t flutter open until it was already ten at night.

Quickly, I made my bed and fell into another slumber, waiting for the next day of adventure to come. 

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