Welcome to our Rafting Stories!
Funny 'stuff about guides & river rafting
About RAFTING & GUIDING on the RIVER!
River Trips for the Copacetic Mind...
PO Box 160024
|As a guide, I have just about seen everything on the river. River rafters from all over the world have graced my boat and I have been blessed with the luck of the Irish in that I have never had a really bad experience, yet!
One day on the Southfork American, I had the pleasure of taking a group of high-profile clients who were accoustomed to a very high degree of catering. They did not expect that their feet would even get wet and some of the females had arrived in high heels. The men arrived in blue jeans and cotton sweatshirts. A definite no-no on the water.
Our guide staff quickly explained that the high steppers would have to go along with the cotton attire. Because of their reluctance, we outfitted them into plastic garbage bags over their swimsuits. That way they would remain as dry as possible. They took off their shoes and we issued them neoprene booties since most of them arrived without tennis shoes. (Their trip organizer had failed to give them any information about this trip.)
One woman asked about the "paddle boat" and wondered if the river boat would have a western paddle theme. Alarmed, I asked her what she meant. She explained that she had seen pictures of "paddle boats" with their large circular wheel rotating in the river. With a great deal of diplomacy, I explained that that type of paddleboat was more suited for the Mississippi river! I then explained the ins and outs of whitewater rafting. Saucer-sized eyes surrounded me and one woman looked as if she would faint.
A gentleman spoke up and asked if they were in over their heads. I looked at all of them. Mostly in their 40's & 50's, they were all in good physical shape and had the tans of golfers and tennis players.
|I bent down in the dirt and drew a picture of waves and rocks. I showed them how we would manuever the paddle boats through the obstacles and splash through the rapids. I warned of the possibilities of capsize and talked about falling in. Each time, I heard a low groan whenever I mentioned getting wet. I then asked if anyone wanted to "bug out." Not a single hand was raised!
We placed their lifejackets on them and pulled the straps snug. We continued with our safety talk and then boarded the boats. As I reassured my group, the river caught us in a gentle flowing motion, rocking and lulling us ever so smoothly towards the first rapid.
I shouted "forward paddle!" And everyone started flailing. I steered towards the wave, missing the boulder and smoothly entered the "V" splashing the entire group of us. Everyone was laughing. The woman who looked like she would faint earlier, started arguing with the front of the boat with a teasing comment about their "weak" paddling skills. I grinned and knew that my group had conquered their fears and would really enjoy this first-time trip.
When we stopped for lunch, the group came over to me and thanked me for an eye-opening experience. They were really enjoying themselves. I looked around at the funny garbaged-bagged people as they munched on lunch and I knew that the river had captivated more souls.
The river trip ended with all of them promising to be back again. And I know that they will never forget that trip ever in their lifetimes. --James--
copywrite January 2002