03 September 2011

river running

My roommate M.'s brother and sister-in-law were supposed to be here this weekend, and her mom had purchased a white water rafting trip for them, only her brother got sick, and so the spaces were open (actually four spaces were open, but one of them had not been paid for, and so it was okay that we only managed to fill three of them).

The water was not actually that white, because it is the end of the season, and the river out of the mountains is running low.

It was a stunning day nonetheless. The sky was blue; the trees were green. Et cetera; et cetera.

The river was 54 degrees. "The warmest it's been!" the guide told us cheerfully. The sun was almost warm enough to allow us to survive the water.

The air was clear, with a faint smell of forest fire. I should not like that smell of smoke as much as I do: thank you, growing up in a place where cooking and field clearing are both done by fire.

We squirted the other boats with giant squirt guns. We coasted over the rapids, which were, given that my only other white water rafting experience was on the White Nile just north of Lake Victoria, slightly disappointing. We floated through long, calm stretches of beautiful forest.

When the two boys jumped out, S. and I yanked them back into the boat so hard they almost flew over the other side and back into the water. That's what too much tae kwon do and kung fu will do for you.

We walked far out onto a fallen tree, above a swimming hole, and jumped down into the cold water. M. walked out slowly, carefully. "I'm so scared of heights!" she said. She braced herself, and we counted, but she didn't jump. She didn't jump until finally she and I held hands and plummeted together.

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