Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Bumpy Ride!

This Saturday was a ton of fun. A bunch of us signed up to go to Three Rivers for a white-water rafting trip. Burumun organized the entire trip and brought all of us together to Kaweah White Water Adventures. We all got up early and met at CalTech around 5AM and took two cars to Three Rivers. It was quite a ways away but well worth the trip. We arrived just before 9AM and stopped off to buy some fresh fruits at a stand by the road. I must say they had some awesome fresh fruit. For those of you who know me, it's amazing for me to compliment fruits. The oranges were juicy and sweet. I bought Rainier cherries that were plump and sweet. If we go again next year, I will know where to pick up great fruit!

It was a beautiful and sunny day. We all had sunblock on but somehow we still ended up with a big sunburn on the knees. The people who opted to wear a wetsuit were fortuitous enough to not get the knee burn. My goal for the day was to not fall off the raft... and boy did I miss that goal! O=P Not long after we began I fell into the river, but at least I wasn't the only one. Luckily I was close to the boat so the guide pulled me up fairly quick. I still had a gigantic drink of the cold mineral water. Apparently I was thirsty for more. As soon as we both got back into the raft, we were just in time to see another raft flip and help save their passengers. Our luck with the raft wasn't the greatest as we were caught on a rock and had to leap to the right side so we wouldn't flip completely down the rapid. It was pretty scary because the guide asked one person at a time to get off. Even though I was the closest one to the exit point, he pulled people further away and asked me to move further away from the exit point. I was getting nervous because I didn't want to become dislodged and plummeting down the rapid by myself. The guide stepped on me, scratched me, and used me to brace upon as he took people off the raft. There were only two of us left when the guide and another guide dislodged us from the rock. I guess you can say we were lucky because we were the only two to experience the ride, although a rocky and panicky one.

We went down many level III and IV rapids. I somehow managed to stay in the raft for the most part and I thought I had made it... until near the end. There was one rapid where we were sent propelling a little bit. I think our guide was sent into the air and landed in the middle, which almost knocked everyone on the left side off the raft. My hand was gripping a strap, so I shouldn't have fallen off. All I can remember was that I was in the boat and holding on tightly until something knocked me off. I hurt my hand because I think I was still holding onto that strap, but quickly grabbed onto the purple rope around the raft as the guide stated we should. Unfortunately... I was down stream and the raft was trying to go over my head and the water level was extremely low. My knee and feet were dragged along the rocks. All the water shot up my nose and into my brain, it was quite awful. Thanks to people on the boat, I was pulled up. Everyone was in a state of panic when I got back up. Apparently two of us fell over and everyone was disoriented atop. Nobody was sitting where they originally started. Only Burumun and Dr. A made it through the whole trip without falling from our raft. Booooo on them! They didn't experience "the ride"... lucky them!

All in all it was a great experience. There were tons of great people in our group. We all had a wonderful time and great conversations. It was too bad that we couldn't all be on the same raft. We often saw each other on the river as all the rafts traveled in a pack. Next time when we go, I will be sure to pick up a few disposable cameras that are not 4 yrs old... Burumun... lol I hope the pictures turn out well ^_^. Although, if I bring cameras next year Burumun will have to keep them handy because they will get soaked if they stay with me. O=9


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