Rafter appreciates professionalism of rafting company
July 12, 2009
To the Editor:
My husband Joe and I moved to Winter Park two years ago from Phoenix. We had been on numerous whitewater rafting, ducky, and sea kayak excursions, so needless to say every time we drove to Denver our eyes were guided toward Clear Creek. We finally booked our trip for Saturday, June 20, with Adventures in Whitewater.
With all of the rain we had recently, the river appeared to be running fast and got even faster as a huge thunderstorm erupted as soon as the rafts were launched. We were all smiling and enjoying the thrill until our raft hit a snag on the rapid called “Phoenix.” My side of the raft was taking in water and I thought it was going to flip. As we attempted to maneuver to the “high side,” the rafter behind me and I were thrown into the churning water. “Oh God, this is not supposed to happen to me.” As I am more mountain goat than dolphin, I was absolutely terrified submerged underwater. Then I remembered the safety speech and found myself getting my legs up, but I had no idea if they were pointing downstream. When I finally got to the surface and caught a breath, I was confronted with an enormous wave. As I went under again, I tried to stay calm and get my legs up. Then I heard my husband’s panicked voice screaming my name. I surfaced to find the raft right there and our guide Darren pulled me in.
Ironically, during the safety speech I was the person chosen to help demonstrate how to pull someone out of the water. The other rafter was safe also, being rescued by the second raft. What seemed like an eternity to me was actually less than a minute. I realize this experience may not be a big deal to most adventurous souls, but to me it was my worst nightmare. Thanks to the experience and professionalism of our guide Darren, it did not dampen my desire to ride the river in the future. Only next time, I think we will try something a bit tamer, like floating the upper Colorado. Thank you again Darren for your genuine concern and the wild ride. I will never forget my adventure IN THE whitewater.