9.05.2011

Glenwood Springs, Part 1

{Completely unrelated - I'm rather vexed by Blogger's new posting pages. Nothing that you're seeing, but it's kind of messing up the mojo on my end. So if the mojo seems a little off to you, it's Blogger's fault.}

After the fun we had in Breckenridge, we headed farther west to Glenwood Springs, our final destination for our mini vacation. We had a great home away from home at the Hampton, complete with friendly, helpful staff. Since we rolled into town a little late, we got settled at the Hampton, then drove around looking for some vittles, er dinner. Supper to some of you. The only place we could find with decent parking that we knew would be open late was Village Inn. So yes, we drove hours away to eat at a chain restaurant that's close to home. Oh well. Getting some nourishment trumped the desire for something unique.

On Saturday, we had originally thought we'd head to Hanging Lake in the morning and then go to the Hot Springs later that day. Turned out that Saturday was going to be the hottest day and hiking to Hanging Lake takes some effort. Expending that effort in the heat didn't seem like such a great option. We checked out other local activities - of which there are many - and settled on renting some tubes to float down the Colorado River. So we made a quick phone call to one of the adventure companies only to discover that the river was too high and they weren't renting tubes that day. How about white water rafting? That looked promising - hubby made the reservation and we scrambled to get ready.

We made a quick jaunt over to Target (needed a couple things, as we hadn't planned on rafting), grabbed some fast-food lunch (oh joy), and headed downtown to the Glenwood Adventure Company. Downtown Glenwood can present some parking challenges and we were getting very tight on our timing. As we drove past the company, with its four parking spaces, we're looking all over the place and finding nothing. Our son said he thought there was a place in their parking lot. As if! But after going around a couple of blocks, we drove up and discovered that there was ONE place left. Apparently the Angel of Last Minute Rafters had saved it for us. Hallelujah! That got us there right on time.

We checked in, got fitted with vests by our guide, Mark, and attended the Everything You Need to Know About Rafting seminar hosted at the patio furniture out front. It was presented by a humorous Irishman. Because the Irish are so well-known for their mad rafting skills.

Then we all piled into a ratty old van, the company's transport vehicle, and headed upriver.

There were only two parties heading out that afternoon, which was rather unusual for such a warm, perfect afternoon. We had already told the boys that we'd be on a raft with a number of other people, but the four of us could sit together. Turns out that was only half right. The other family went on a different raft while the four of us joined Mark on our raft. It was nice in some regards, because it was a little more laid-back with just the four of us and Mark. But that also means that we were the only paddle power for the raft.

Once the raft was unloaded and we had all the appropriate raft safety gear, Mark gave us the All The Safety Things You Need to Know as well as the Listen to My Commands and Know How to Implement Them speeches. It turns out there was a reason we had to seriously know this stuff at the beginning of the ride. All the good rapids on this particular run happen just about the time you get into the water. No time for practicing. No time to try it out and get a little correction. Just chuck you and the raft into the rapids and hope you paid attention to the onshore speeches.
rafting-4

Fortunately, John & I have done some rafting in the past, so we weren't complete newbs. Therefore, the boys did not volunteer to ride up front. And since there were no other people in the raft, except for Mark, who has to ride in back, that left those positions to John and me. You know, the face-first-into-the-rapids-and-waves position.
rafting-3

Other than the first set of rapids, in which were not quite in sync (no Justin Timberlake), we managed pretty well. After that little spot o'uncoordination, we pulled it together. The second portion of the run was fairly mild. But it gave us an opportunity to enjoy the amazing scenery in Glenwood Canyon, visit with Mark, who just happens to have grown up where we live, so we had a lot of commonality there, and just relax on the river.
rafting-2
Mark was a silly raft guide.

It was a great day.

Oh yeah, it's a good idea to wear waterpoof mascara when you're rafting. Or none. But since it was a last-minute adventure, such things never occurred to me. Until after the first set of rapids.

White water rafting rule #5: wash off your makeup first

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds great (except you probably really should get some waterproof mascara next time)!

Mom :-)

Beth said...

FUN!! We love rafting and hope to do it next summer.

kaye said...

looks like a grand time.

The dB family said...

What a blast!! It's still on my to do list to go rafting some day!!

Blessings!
Deborah

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