July 23, 2008

White Water: Rash Decision

2 hours drive to the base camp. One hour bus ride to the starting point. 5 minutes in the river until flipping the boat, being submerged underneath it, battered by rocks, and eventually pulled to safety by the guide. Part 3 of a 3 part mini series. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

The guides took me on to the shore and checked my mental state. My complexion was pale, my hands were quivering, and my body was bruised, but my spirit was unbroken. I was offered the option to return to the bus and end my adventure, but my uncommon valor prevented me from accepting the offer and I chose to continue. This decision was met with a chorus of cheers from my male admirers. Tears of joy were flowing from the eyes of my female followers, and once they had been assured that I was alright, they too chose to continue the trip. We switched boats, with the most experienced guide taking over our old boat, and journeyed onward. The rest of the 2 hour plus voyage was uneventful compared to the first five minutes, with a few more close calls but no serious incidents. During a calm stretch, members of other boats took a swim in the chilly waters, but there were no volunteers from our boat. The backdrop was amazing, with glaciers and extinct volcanoes on each side of the river and tropical forests readily noticeable. I did not encounter any wildlife during the journey, apart from a mouse that crossed the street on the Sea to Sky Highway during the drive to Squamish.

After changing back into dry clothes, a hearty barbecue awaited us. The hot showers were not operational, but I had already had a cold shower. I signed an incident report that had to be filled out by our guide due to our accident. I mentioned that apart from general soreness and slight damage to my spectacles, I had a rash around my wrist. He said it was probably from friction with the wet suit. A passerby remarked that I should show him my other rash. The experience was one I would not want to repeat, but one that was worth trying once. As the tagline of the adventure company stated - "Live Stories Worth Telling".