We awoke to a dry sunny morning though neither of us slept very well. I suppose it was the anticipation of what lay ahead with the rafting. We were dressed and up at the office at 10:00. On the way up there we there noticed the hillbillies had moved off site. Had we been told they were moving this morning we may well have decided to have stayed on our original pitch.
There were to be 10 of us in total, most of who arrived from elsewhere by car. The rafts are for 8 people, and so we were to use two rafts, each carrying 5 people. Although I had Gore-Tex waterproofs I chose to borrow some rubber gloves and booties from the campany store, which would allow me to wear a pair of socks inside them, keeping me warmer. Although The Chef also had Gore-Tex clothing she elected to use most of the options for loan kit. Normally there is a fee for the loan of this kit, but because the river was still so cold and fast flowing the fees were waived.
We were bussed a few miles down the road where we were to be launched in to the river. The trip was to be 8½ miles long and scheduled to take up to two hours. Before setting off we had all the safety lectures including how to rescue and be rescued, and where to swim to if we fell overboard. I found this mildly amusing since I couldn’t swim (unless you count half the width of a swimming pool at the shallow end on one lung full of air). I had somehow forgotten to mention this fact for fear they wouldn’t let me do it. I just figured that I had my lifejacket on, and if the worst came to the worst I’d just float down the river guiding myself to the bank at some stage. We were shown how to hook our feet in to the boat to give us stability, so I wasn’t too worried. I felt that with the water being so cold and fast running, a swimming certificate isn’t going to count for much if you fall in anyway.
We were paired up with another couple and their daughter who had some previous experience. Before they realised what had happened we’d volunteered mum and dad to sit at the front of the boat and set the pace with the oars, oh - and also get very wet.
The trip took us through grade 2 and 3 rapids, and was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I never once felt in danger, it really was great fun. The Chef really enjoyed the trip as well. She’s not a lover of paddling but on this trip thoroughly enjoyed doing that also. The latter part of the trip took place during a thunder storm, so we had rain, thunder and lightning to accompany us. I think we’ll be looking to do this again, probably on grade 3 and 4’s next time. Our biggest regret is that we couldn’t take our cameras with us to record the event. Still we do have the opportunity to buy some photographs taken at one rapid by a local photographic studio.
On returning to the RV we dried off a bit, did the laundry and enjoyed a luxurious lunch of HEINZ baked beans on toast. We bought two tins of this expensive imported item from a store in Las Vegas. This was the oddest thing for us. Heinz is supposedly an American company, and yet you won’t find one tin of Heinz beans or soup on the shelves here. The major seller of soup here is Campbell’s condensed.
Later on we walked across the road and booked a horse ride for tomorrow morning. I think there may be just the two of us plus the Wrangler; this being the start of the holiday season and things are still pretty slow. I did tell them that we’d never ridden a horse before, “Don’t worry about that” we were told, “We’ve got horses that have never been ridden before” I was reassured by that – I think.
This evening whilst walking past the rear left side of the RV I spotted that the stainless steel wheel trim was missing. After hanging on by just one nut for thousands of miles it had finally decided to give up and go its own way in the world. I’m sure it was on there the last time we filled up with gas which was not so far back, but now it’s gone.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Snake River Park KOA, 9705 S. U.S. Hwy 89, Jackson, WY, 83001.