I should totally be sleeping, but here I am on the computer finding directions for tomorrows airport run to pick up Rob and also the Ragnar Race stuff that I have been sucked into doing, only because I am a nice person! :)
On Monday I went with my sister-in-law and one of her friends to float down the Toutle River. I had to purchase a float which I wasn't real excited about but very happy once I went down the river. We had the 2 tubes inflated and then the little tube for the cooler all ready to go. I just bought mine on the way out of town so it was still in the box. We brought my dad's pump that hooks up to your cig. adapter in the car. We drop off the car at the lower part of the river where we will get out and then drove to the upper river area where we would get in at.
We get out start getting ready and then realize the pump will not blow up my float. BUMMER! We drive back down the road to the first gas station we come to (maybe like 4-6 miles). They don't have any air. We drive back to the freeway which is another 4-6 miles and find air. It cost 75 cents. I find quarters. We have to do it 2 times to get the raft totally inflated. We drive back up to the river where we want to get in at.
All goes well. Sarah and Natalie tell me that the Toutle is so much warmer than the Cowlitz which they have both floated before. As I am jumping into my raft, I have that catching your breath, can't breath because the water is SO cold feeling. I am thinking, this is NOT warm. Okay, so later it is pretty warm. It ends up feeling really nice.
There are many areas that the river kind of forks so we were trying to decide which way is best to go. We found some ways NOT to go, as we are dragging our bums across the rocks in the shallow area. We hit some nice sized rocks in other areas of the river too when the water wasn't so shallow but just a rock or two where poking up a bit.
When we got in the water, the girls where putting on sun screen. They asked if I wanted some, "no I prefer to burn," I joked back to them and never did get sun screen on. I paid for that later, still am really.
The float was absolutely gorgeous! I wish we had a camera! It was beautiful. We saw a big bald eagle, and a young one, and then two together soaring around the sky. We joked that they were trying to see if we were dead or not or they were waiting for us to die. They lucked out, we didn't die.
We hit some good rapids too. One that totally suprised me when we came to it. I saw it but it didn't look that bad until I was at the top of it looking down. It totally splashed over all of us, and turned my tube on the side. The other girls' tubes went under water. We were all tied together so we kind of all went the same place. It was fun that way and in other areas maybe would have been better to be untied, like at the end when they rammed me into a rock! Sarah thought I was going to come shooting over the rock, and I am glad I didn't! I think I would have fallen off my tube.
Much of the river was just slow moving, and then there were some parts where it was just bumpy and wavy. We had some parts that were good rapids too that were really fun. There wasn't wasn't ever any part of the river that was like scary or that I was afraid. There is a spot where there is an old bridge that is down and some wood in the banks of the river side that you have to miss. We got out and walked there and put in our rafts after that spot where there are already 2 rafts deflated and stuck in the wood fence looking parts.
I was hoping to get to do it again, but it took 4 hours just to float it. It takes a little bit to get to the places to park your car, then you have to go back and get the other car too. The 4 hours was just the river time. If you paddled you might be able to make it faster.
A few times we almost lost our cooler too, which had some keys in it for the car. I had my key tied to my shirt string. I noticed the cooler after the biggest rapid we hit, I noticed it was all sitting sideways. We fixed it and then realized that it wasn't tied on anymore, the clip on the rope had broken. Shortly after that I noticed the cooler upside down in the water in the middle of another rapids spot. I grabbed it and could feel the cold ice water rushing out of it. Luckily all items where in tact in the cooler. We had to beach our rafts to redo the cooler.
I have bruises on the under parts of my upper arms and around my elbows from paddling or steering our group of rafts at different times. As we got out of the river at 5pm (we got in at about 1pm) I noticed my legs felt like they were on fire. I also had noticed a bit before that they were a little red. Yeah I should of used sunscreen. Later that evening I was wearing my church skirt and then wore it the next day too. I looked pretty funny with a skirt and tennis shoes while I was out with the horses while the girls rode them. Today I am wearing shorts, but they are loose shorts. I did notice a little blister on the top of my leg. I am sure it is the only spot though. They do feel better today, even though they don't feel great. You would think I would learn from all my sunburns and use SUN SCREEN! Next time, I will for sure!