Saturday, July 9, 2011

Gotta Love the River!

So here I am on a Saturday night, blogging instead of doing something crazy... but I think I need a break from crazy. Especially after today.

Up past Preston there is a river called the Oneida Narrows that is very popular to float down on tubes. I did it two summers ago and it was really fun. So today, Kaela, Karen, Alyssa and I decided to go floating. We got up there, put on our sunscreen, and were ready for some fun!

It is about a two hour float if you start from the very top and even though there are little rapids along the way, for the most part, it is a pretty relaxing ride.

So we are going down the river and we come to a fork. Kaela and I go left, Alyssa and Karen go right. Once we get to the end where the two reconnect, Kaela and I keep going and the other two are nowhere in sight. I guess the shallow water and bottom caused the little air openings to come undone and she had to stop to re-inflate her tube. They eventually caught up to us and at one part Alyssa even flipped out of her tube, but was able to get back on.

Now here is the fun part (yes, that is total sarcasm). We were coming up a long set of rapids and all of a sudden I realized my tube was going flat, and fast. I didn't have time to get over to the side, so I hung on to what was left of my tube and took the rapids with my body.

It hurt. Really bad.

I tried to find the bottom so I could stop myself by standing, but it was too deep. Then I would hit another rock and fumble around trying to find something to stop myself and then it would be too deep again.

I was so scared! But surprisingly calm. I am a confident swimmer and I knew that panicking would only cause me to drown. I figured as long as I kept my head up and didn't hit it, I would be fine.

I caught up to Karen and tried to get on her tube with her but didn't have the strength or footing to pull myself up. So the next rapid came and once again I bounced from rock to rock. Karen ended up falling out too and for a minute I thought we were both in trouble.

She was able to get back on and by this time, the rapids were pretty much done so I was able to swim over to Kaela and Alyssa and we got out on the side. A very nice family was fishing right where we got out and they drove me down to get my car.

The whole mess really happened in less than five minutes, but it felt like forever. I now have really nice scrapes all up my legs and on my feet, as well as my arm and my behind. I am sore, but I am alive and happy. My tube has a huge gash in it. I guess I feel better knowing that it really did pop, rather than going through all of that just because it came undone and let the air out. But I really don't ever want to do that again. I like floating the river, but next time I am getting a higher quality tube, I think it might be worth the extra $10.

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