Sunday, September 07, 2008

Good Times!

When I first heard that one is now required to pay to shoot the rapids in the Elora Gorge AND wear a helmet AND a life jacket, I was outraged. “They take the fun out of everything! Why when I was younger, we just jumped in with our swimsuits and hoped for the best”. We also walked to school. Uphill. Both ways. With no shoes.

But yesterday, as I stood at the top of the run, I was secretly glad that these rules were in place. I gave my PFD belt a little extra tug just to make sure it was snug before dumping my arse into the middle of my inner-tube. The water was cold, but at least it was high from all the summer rain and that would keep us safe from the rocks. Or so I thought. “Keep you butt low to prevent tipping” I advised IronMan and my niece.

As we went through the first “girlie” rapids, my backside met the topside of a rock….so much for that theory! Popping my hips up to keep me safe, I settled in for some fun. Approaching the main section, I quickly dropped them back down as low as I could get them. My concern now was for my life, not getting a scratch or bruise where the good Lord split me.

I floated on through without incident and even managed to get to shore with little trouble and without going too far down stream, saving myself a long walk back to the top. Childhood confidence returned, we went further up the gorge so we could have a longer run. As we bobbed along, the heat was sucked from my body and my teeth began to chatter. Looking towards the rapids, I told myself I just did it no problem. Be the river. Be the water. All will be okay.

Well the water took that literally and as I went down the first big drop, I went down, my tube went up and my helmet floated away. Chin strap too loose apparently…who knew? A couple of gorge water mouthfuls later, I popped up about halfway down the trench. Thinking myself safe, I grabbed my tube and let my legs have a rest. And that they did until my right thigh met a submerged outcropping.

Checking the water for blood, I managed to reclaim my helmet and make for shore as IronMan defied his name seemed to glide along the top of the water. “This is fun” he said as he stepped onto shore while I spit up water.

Luckily, that was the only tip I had for the day and the next few times were more fun than flounder. As we wrapped ourselves in towels catching some rays from the fading afternoon sun, we saw one foolish soul secure his helmet strap around his leg (I guess technically he was wearing it) and jump in with no lifebelt. He came out the other end none the worse for wear.

For a moment I thought of doing the same for “old time’s sake”. But when the next person we watched tipped out of their tube and we actually felt them smack against a rock, pause for the briefest second before floating on in obvious pain, I pressed myself back against the tube and patted the ground with my hands and feet. Feeling the warmth of the stones, I decided to stay right where I was.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home