July 6th, 2007


Day on the River

This is being written after we got home, so sorry if I missed stuff.

After having worked all night, Paul came home in the morning, and we all started getting ready go to rafting. Swimsuits, sunscreen, and loading up their minivan and the trailer. Two other carloads of folks came, one a mother with two kids. The other a dad and his teenage daughter who had their own raft. We loaded up the trailer with the rafts and then went to a farm with a barn that had two inflatable kayaks in it. We put them on the pile of Stuff, while Jet and Marina played with a tiny miniature horse and watched goats ducking in and out of their pasture through barbed wire covered with their fur. It was beautiful up there.

Then we drove to the lower Kalmath, and set in right over the border between California and Oregon.

We unloaded and filled all air pockets, I did a lot of work with the pumps to fill things. We tried on all the life jackets and the kids tried them in the river. Jet giggled a lot as when he went on his back, he couldn't get back on his feet as he wasn't heavy enough to tip the jacket enough. He said, "Mom! Mom! It's like a canoe!" He peacefully paddled along through the water, being gradually taken along by the current. I waded in and pulled him back up.

We had a great day on the river. Lots of little rapids in the 1s and 2s, one or two larger ones probably in the 3s, and good long stretches of calm water. The kids would jump into the cold river water at any chance. It was fun to watch Jet peacefully floating on his back in the river by the kayaks or the raft. He really enjoyed that a lot. Almost as much as he enjoyed doing the bumpy rapids sections with John in the inflatable. He would go "Wheeeeeeeee!!" down the bumps with John, using his padel as he was able. That was pretty cool.

Then there was Restart Rapids, where one could swim back up to the rapids from an eddy below it, and then there was a swimming lane that people could swim down. Jet and John went for it and John said, later, that Jet was singing, "We're swimming in the rapids. We're swimming in the rapids." gently to himself as they were rushing along in the fast water. John had a hard time getting Jet to the edge of the fast running water. Erin, the guy with the boat, came out to help, but John managed it, but lost his Sunday Afternoon hat into the water.

Jet didn't notice anything wrong, he said, "We only went through half the rapid." *laughter*

And there I was, scared to even do the relatively small amount of swimming it took to get to the head of the rapid. I never touched the rapid itself. The sliding rocks were enough for me. The funning thing was that when I saw them getting a bit past the point where it would be easy to get into the eddy, I was ready to jump in, but I saw Erin start in first. So I held back, but I now think I might have done it. I'm actually a pretty strong swimmer when I want to be, but I have no confidence.

I stayed mostly in the raft for the day. I didn't row, I didn't go in the kayaks, I mostly roasted in the sun and sometimes sprayed people with the water sprayers. It was good enough for me.

Lunch was on a sandbar. Whatever folks brought, and it was good enough. Tasty when one is hungry. Jet sang a little to his lunch, too. Hee.

At the very end, the clouds came in and thunder roared a bit overhead. The rain came for a very brief bit, as we unloaded things from the river. I helped pull the rafts and inflatables out, lift them onto the trailer and helped where folks could tell me what to do. It's hard to be so incompetent sometimes. But I was willing to do anything and just let people tell me what it was they needed, from bungee cords to letting air out of stuff. Then we all piled in and I got a few photos of the river as we drove alongside it back up to where we started.

A very good day. But it wasn't over, yet. *grin*

We got back to Paul's, got cleaned up, and then made dinner, ate dinner, and then packed everything back up into the van. They packed up their cabin stuff, and we headed out. We got more gas, as we needed it, and they shopped for groceries. I followed Paul and then Jan and then drove up to their cabin at the Lake of the Woods. We got there in the dark and there was this horrible switch back driveway to get there, so John did the driving backwards to get us down. Thank you, John.

It is a very simple cabin, with all non-potable running water. We drank and brushed our teeth from two big coolers. The rest of the water was piped directly from the lake. It smelled like the lake too, not bad, just... green. :-)

It was much cooler up there than down in Ashland, so once the cabin was aired out it was easy to get to sleep.

We unloaded and settled, and I took a ton of Tylenol before getting my jaw to settle enough to be able to get to sleep.