Just Around the Riverbend

Yesterday morning, fresh out of Estes Park, Colorado and well fed on a three-bed room with two TVs, we went whitewater rafting.

It was my sister, my Mom, and I in a boat with two elderly women, a little girl, and a guide.

Our guide, to give you a visual, sported the most spectacular neck beard I’ve ever seen.  As if that wasn’t enough, he rafted wearing 70s flared pants, striped in the colors of your grandma’s living room, and laced at the front.  He did manage to guide us successfully through level four rapids and around formidable-looking boulders, however, so perhaps the George Harrison look wasn’t so bad after all.

The rafting itself was fantastic.  While you’re rafting, you feel just as badass as you had hoped to feel.  Your personal flotation device (or PFD, as the lingo goes) is pressing on your ribs and giving your back the appearance of one who’s recently escaped from a certain belfry.  Your helmet is reminiscent of the bowl haircut you sported in third grade.  Your Keens are wedged firmly into what can only be called a ‘toe cup.’  But you are planted proudly on the unpuncturable vinyl of the raft, with two hands on the paddle.  Your abs and shoulders dig into every stroke, and soon, you’re instinctively leaning into every rapid, anticipating the bump from every underwater rock.  You’re clearly queen of the river, even though it’s your first try.  You’re unconquerable.

And when the little girl commences screaming at every slight ripple of water, you seriously consider raising your paddle and whacking her out of the boat.

Being a true river queen, however, connotes a certain amount of mercy.

So you sit tight and hum Pocahontas under your breath.

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