Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Winner of a Weekend

This trip was different than the last two years as we did the scary bus ride on the first day instead of the second. Which is good becuase there's nothing like a terrifying, near death-defying bus ride when you're hung-over and tired.

So we all (that's 10 of us) arrived at the gear drop off point at 9:30 am sharp, as indicated in the brochure, and proceeded to wait another 45 minutes until we were shuttled out. Grr...But we hung around the busses and chatted it up, sipping our cocktails (yes, at 9:30 am) laughing and scaring the newbies of the upcoming terror ride.

I am now getting anxious which means my mind spins at such a rate, you couldn't see it move with a normal eye. Then the heart goes. Not good. Can't have a heart rate of 200 when you're preparing to tackle white water. Oh...Now it goes faster becuase we're filing on to the bus. In 10 more minutes, I'll be near tears.

It's hot today too. Hot and dusty.
On the Bus Ride from Hell (crappy pix, crappy ride)

The first part of the ride is on a nice paved road but it's when you hit the dirt that you start shitting your board shorts. I drink more vodka. The "road" that leads to our drop off point is narrow. Only one vehicle can fit and it should be the size of a car, not the partridge bus. Part of the ride has cliffs on BOTH sides of the bus and the other part has just one cliff on either side...But there's' always a cliff involved. Now the downhill part is what scares you the most becuase if the brakes went out on these 1952 busses, you're fucked. No easy way to put that - YOU ARE FUCKED! It didn't help that the brakes were moaning like an old man dying or that it smelled like old brakes ready to give out...Man...But finally we can see the hundreds of rafts waiting for our butts which means we're almost there.

Filing off the bus and kissing the ground, we then have to stand in the hot sun for our 15 minute "You will die if you do this" or "You will die if you don't do this" speech. It's HOT...My heart is beating, I've got to get out of here!!! It doesn't help that the team leader loves attention so he'll talk longer just for that reason. Shut up.

Finally, we run to our rafts, pick out 5 in a row and wait for the others to bring the paddles. The rafts are like professional blow-up kayaks. (The first day, we were all on blue rafts and the second day pink) One sits in the front and one sits in the back. Yes, there are no guides. It's just you and nature and hopefully one of the "you's" is a good steerer. (which I am, thank you very much) oh man...I can't wait. We get on the water and head down to our campsite. It's about a 3.5 hour raft ride. The river runs through a beautiful volcanic canyon that is only viewable by rafting since most places are inaccessible by hiking. So the views are spectacular and quite serene, especially when you have a little alcohol running through your veins...Some how it makes beauty even MORE beauty-ish, as you can see...

(L to R: Me, Jeannie and Jeffrie)

The river consists of mostly Class I's and II's. And Most of us did pretty well navigating through the white water with little to no problems. Unfortunately, Dena and Sheila weren't so lucky. I was worried about them with the up and coming III but surprisingly, Dena and Sheila made it through it okay (tomorrow? Another story). However, it was Jeannie and her lovely sister Jeffrie that weren't so lucky. After Kevin and I counted 3 rafts, we began to wonder where the 4th was (the 5th, occupied by denas 20 year old son and friend were WAY off on their own)...The answer became clear when we saw Jeannie's mini ice chest floating alone in the river. They didn't make it. Their raft literally wrapped around a huge rock and ripped out all their stuff that had been previously tied down. Jeffrie had to jump out of the front, get in the back with Jeannie so the "rescuer" could push their raft off...Then Jeffrie had to fly back to the front to get out of the rest of the rapids. Not bad, chicks...Not bad. Kevin and I hung out and collected all their stuff while we waited for them to appear around the corner. As scary as getting dumped in to this river can be, it is pretty safe. Even if you do get dumped, calm waters await you soon.

So we continue our trip until we reach the final point for the first day. Here's where the work begins. You have to search amongst hundreds of tents, ice chests, chairs, sleeping bags, etc., to find YOUR stuff. Then you run as fast as you can to find a good area to set up camp. We were a bit later than we normally are so we had to set up camp in a sunnyish area. No big; it fit our two tents and Jeannies 'condo' quite comfortably. A few of us put on some makeup and I put on my housecoat. But I was too mortified to keep it on and if I got one more "you look pregnant!" someone would have gotten hurt. But Kevin put it on and looked cuter anyway. This is my fav pix becuase Sheila is walking up in the background cracking up. That disposable camera took shitty pix but you get the idea...

Here's our campsite: It's hard to see but if you look reeeal close you can see my cool camouflage tent...
and of course I'm doing something totally stupid. heh..heh...

Half our group in leis and hawaiian shirts that Jeannie bought everyone for "Hawaiian Night":

Here's a lovely glamour shot of me and me baby...Awwww.....

We hung out and played Catch Phrase which if you haven't played - you must. It's a great game for lots of people. After a few more cocktails, I always suggest the numbers game which was a total drinking game I used to play in my teens (yes, I've been an alcoholic for a loooooooooooong time). There are 10 people and everyone gets assigned a number. um...1 through 10. #1 starts and they have to say their number twice and someone else's number twice

"1, 1, 3, 3"
"3, 3, 9, 9"
Sheila is now super buzzed so she's so easy to pick on. She's #8 and I'm #9. Right by me.
"9, 9, 8, 8"
Sheila: "8, 8, no, no"..."NO! 8, 8, 9, 9!" Too late..She has to drink.

"8, 8, 10, 10"
"10, 10, 9, 9"
"9, 9, 8, 8"
Sheila: "9, 9, 8, 8" Drink again Sheila...drink again.

Chapter 2
Now this company that we go rafting through has a beautiful set up. They have appetizers about 1.5 hours before dinner so you get plenty of time to eat, party, eat, party, party, sleep. Very well done. Before our game playing we had appetizers and margaritas. Yes, they give away free margaritas for one hour. After our numbers game it was soon time for dinner so we headed down where they had a beautiful set up of steaks, chicken, baked potatoes the size of your head, corn on the cob and beverages. For us veggies we had earth burgers which were delicious! After dinner you have time to party some more which is when we played the "Me and my aunt Sally went on a trip and we brought an..." and you pick words from A all the way to Z. I remember most of the words...apple, bbq chicken, c, d,elephant, fan, giraffe, hepatitis C virus, igloo, javelin, kayak, lemons, money, n, ocelot, pamprin, queens, rooster, s, t, underwear, viceroy cigarettes, wet ones, xylophone, yams, zebra. I couldn't have been THAT drunk then...

more drinks, and now it's DISCO TIME!! They come around all the camp sites and pass out glowy necklaces. Down in the common area they play disco music and shine their flashlights on everyone on top of the already-hooked up colored lights. We danced for about an hour until it's near bed time. Some people party all night, but I took a tylenol PM so I went out shortly after that. But not after getting trapped in the stinky urinal for about a panicky 30 seconds until I kicked the damn thing open!

I slept GREAT! But, as usual, no one else did. shoulda taken a PM! (After the first year I won't go without it...) They have breakfast ready of eggs, avocado, sour cream, orange juice, cereal, milk, pastries...Then it's time to get back on the bus but only for an 8 minute ride now.

This day is, unfortunately, much shorter and we get to our boats and head out in less than 15 minutes. And not even 15 seconds in to the ride we're met with some class II rapids. Seems a bit early to be expeditioning through these but what choice do we have? Dena and Sheila, of course, flipped shortly in to the day, even though they just started off SO good!

Here they are accepting their fate with such graciousness!

We only pulled over for a little bit and had a beer and a smoke before we were guided in to "The Mother" The Mother is the last Class III of the day. (see? I'm always happy on the river!)

We all made it through The Mother okay accept...YOU GUESSED IT!...Dena and Sheila. But it wasn't their fault. A raft that had gone before them was stuck on the rock. When Shedena came around the corner, the nose of their raft went under the stuck raft and they were thrown. From their story it was quite terrifying. They couldn't catch their breath, they were worried about being slammed in to rocks and they couldn't catch their breath (that would be very freaky). Thankfully, staff wait on the rocks for this sort of thing and one jumped in and grabbed BOTH of them by their life jackets and brought them in. He then ran and caught their raft! What a hero!!

We needed to pull over and let them gain their bearings, eat, mellow out, talk it out and have some lunch. There were tears and anger which was not the way you'd want to wrap up such a great weekend but being near death probably does that to you...

So that pretty much tells the tale of our white water rafting weekend...A few of us had a 100% blast, and a few of us didn't. Some people were scared, some people were angry, some people were frustrated, some people were sad...yeah...This just might be our last year of the infamous weekend we have every year.

Or maybe next year it'll just be the two of us...and that's not so bad.


Blogger tabitha jane said...

it sounds so awesome!! i LOVE rafting! i am not very good at it . . . but i love it! my friend guides rafting trips all summer all over oregon and sometimes in idaho and washington. he always takes us at the end of the summer, but he guides us and steers and he knows the rivers backwards and forwards so i am never worried that we wont be safe. plus when we went last year, my friend dylan was with us and i would trust him with my life! he pulled me out of the water when everyone but him was thrown out of the raft on a class III.

we should organize a bloggers rafting trip! in new zealand! that would rock.

p.s. you're right, i had to look very close to see your camo tent!

3:44 PM  
Blogger Tanya Kristine said...

i love rafting too. and every year when i'm done with taht trip i just wanna do it aaaall over again! i was thinking of doing a one day class IV, you know, with the helmets and stuff? i'll give it some thought becuase the fear of it can realyl take your breath away...


4:20 PM  
Blogger Valerie said...

wholy crap. That sounds sooo freaking fun and awesome AND scary. Yikes. Never been.

Where actually WERE YOU?

Great photos btw.

4:41 PM  
Blogger captain_howdy_girl said...

I'm glad you had a nice time.
You and your hubby are a cute cute cute couple. What did Kody do while you were away?

4:47 PM  
Blogger Tanya Kristine said...

hey val: we went to cache creek. by the casino...we do it every year but each year something sucky happens.

vb4: thank you! he's darling - it's ME who's the problem. My brother watched Kody. he's his built-in baby sitter which is frickin cool becuase i'm too scared to put him in a kennel. he's too high maintenance...

and the house coat was a joke too. it sounds lik that's what i normally wear...

7:36 AM  
Blogger GlitterGlamGirl05 said...

Wow - that sounds like so much fun! I'm so jealous!!

8:15 AM  
Blogger tabitha jane said...

i think i'd be too afraid of class IV . . . but go ahead and do it, take pictures and tell me about it. i wont be coming with. class II is as high as i go . . . well, i think i might have accidentally done a class IV once . . .

i'm doing good by the way, thanks for asking! 4 more days of break before i loose my weeknights to classes again!

i also love the "glamour shot" of you and the man. SO SWEET!

9:16 AM  
Blogger Potted-flower said...

that was too long. My eyes hurt. Its true. THEY OUCHIE.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Senor Guano said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Senor Guano said...

Ok when do the other pictures get posted?
You know what I am talking about.
The "other" pictures.
The buzz on the internet and around the building here is that the pictures involve a tub of Crisco, a gifted Belgium midget and a five legged goat.

10:10 AM  
Blogger barbieluvsu8181 said...

You'll be ever so proud! I have my own blog! It sucks but oh well it's a start! it's barbieluvsu8181.blogspot.com....see ya there!

10:19 AM  
Blogger Tanya Kristine said...

i know it was long. And i'm not a talker either...but i had two days to write about...

just be glad my background isn't black with white words...now THAT hurts!

SG: where the fuck do you come up with that shit?? It worries me...

10:19 AM  
Blogger barbieluvsu8181 said...

By the way you two are such the couple! AWE! I am glad to see that you guys had a great time!

10:20 AM  
Blogger Senor Guano said...

Tanya darlin,

Where do I come up with this stuff?
I work with you remember.
I am sure you are an influence.

Or is could have been the Sky Vodka and assorted things over the weekend.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Jaxe said...

TK, that looks soooooooooo fun! I've got to go sometime! (although I would stop at Goodwill and buy an old wedding dress to wear on the river, don't ask, its an attention thing.)

*sigh* I miss Colorado trips :-( Also, did I see a few 'birds' flying in those photos, hehe.

10:40 AM  
Blogger captain_howdy_girl said...

Soooo TK, you think cause you made an extra long post yesterday you don't have to make a post today?
Get blogging baby!

2:39 PM  
Blogger Tanya Kristine said...

true that VB4, tru that...

i have to answer tabbypoos questions anyway and i think i've now got time...

3:27 PM  
Blogger Bahee said...

Ah, I've been white water rafting in Colorado...gorgeous and so much fun! My dad and sister were in a boat with a guide and we had him cracking up b/c well, we are quite the clan...singing Baby Got Back to boot. Lovely pix!! Especially the one with you and peng. Awww.

9:04 AM  

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