Thursday, June 13, 2013

Whitewater rafting ...


Marlene Terry Picture
Marlene Terry
Just heard that Idaho's Treasure Valley adventurers can look forward to getting wet (and very cold at times) starting Friday, June 14, when the Boise River opens for floating. For more details read my Community Page

Been there done that. And I'm not talking about the inner tube type float which although is very fun, is nothing at all like the experience you get rafting through the white water on the South Fork of the Boise River.

My sons, Jim "Dundee," adventurer and owner of the raft, and Mike, an unsuspecting first mate, were our hosts that day we put in the river near the Anderson Ranch Dam.

I was prepared I thought. I mean I had cute little snacks packed for everyone and conveniently placed in a cooler. My camera was swathed inside a plastic sandwich bag and attached to a brand new neck strap so I wouldn't lose it, and extra clothes, warm and dry, were rolled up and ready for us to slip into at the end.
Picture of the mountains from the Boise River

It really did start out as a gentle journey, and I was thrilled that my sons made sure I was in the front seat. 
Thought it was just so I could blissfully travel along on that lovely smooth water and view some of the most beautiful country you can imagine.

However, everything soon began to change, and before we knew it we were making snap decisions about what was most important to try and keep inside the boat.

Picture of Marlene rafting on the Boise river with her family
I think I remember wondering for a moment when we steered over to the bank in order for everyone to don their life jackets, why that was even necessary. But we did as we were instructed, and prepared for the journey through Devil's Hole and Raspberry Rapids just ahead.
"A perfect opportunity to walk down the shoreline and snap a photo of what was coming up," I thought.



Picture of the Boise river from the raft
Spray from Boise River's white water  rapids is visible above the trees just around the bend
"NO WAY," was my reaction as I gasped at the sight of the large gaping chasm that the river dropped violently into. "We must be going another way."
... Right! Everybody knows that all rivers have off ramps you can row down if you don't want to continue.

Suffice it to say, after making it through Devil's Hole, Raspberry Rapids wasn't as docile as it sounds. We plummeted over the edge, hit the rapids dead center, and were engulfed in the torrents. My camera, now magically WITHOUT its neck strap, hit the bottom of the raft about the same time Mike, who'd been seated in the back, was catapulted first into the air and then into the river. I ... even lost my gum!

Happily it all turned out all right. We disembarked at the appointed bridge and walked soaked to the skin and freezing up to the roadway where our shuttled vehicle was waiting.

A once in a lifetime experience?
You bet!

Do I ever want to do it again?
Not in this lifetime!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.