Rowdy Rapids

By: Mrs. Gritten

Rafting the Kicking Horse River

Did someone say adventure? I'm in!  That's what I said about 20 years ago when someone asked me if I wanted to go white water rafting.  I have always been a bit adventurous, and was thrilled about the opportunity to feel the adrenaline rush of the rapids.  As we prepared for our ride, we were required to go through safety training.  It just so happened that I was chosen to demonstrate what to do if someone tumbles out of the boat.  I thought, "This is stupid, who's going to fall out of the boat?" As our journey began it was just what I had visualized. The rapids were  like crystals, jumping in and out of the water.   "This is a breeze," I muttered to myself.  Just then I looked up, my eyes gazing at a wall of white sheets.  "Uh-oh!!" my stomach started to churn as I braced myself against the bottom of the boat. The guide yells, "Here we go, HOLD ON!" Within a split second I was under water and there was no feeling of a boat around me. I stood up and for an instant was on dry land, or so I thought. I realized I was standing on the bottom of the river bed getting ready to be absorbed by the raging river.  My mind was racing.  I was disoriented, and then a tremendous force  poured over top of me.  The pressure of the water crushed my body into the bottom of the river.  Pain soared throughout my entire being, and I started to panic.  "Can I breathe, am I still alive, is anything broken?" These were the thoughts flashing in my mind. Just then, I heard the guide screaming, "Grab her, grab her!"  Suddenly I felt two sets of hands grab my vest and launch me into the raft.  Finally, I was safe and sound in the watercraft.  I was cold, beat up, and needless to say, ready to be done with this trip. The guide assured me those were the worst rapids we would encounter the rest of the trip.  That was music to my ears.  I don't think I could have survived another episode in the cold, unforgiving river.   As we arrived back at base camp, I was the topic of conversation.  Who would of thought the girl they used as a guinea pig for safety training would be the same girl they had to actually save from the rapids of the amazing Kicking Horse River.

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