Sometime earlier this year, my buddy from grad school suggested river rafting. If she’d suggested it a few years ago, I probably would have thought it was a bit too adventurous for me, but I was game for a bit of an adventure and decided that it sounded like lots of fun. It was. In fact, it was freaking fantastic.
We decided to raft with Kumsheen, a rafting resort based near Lytton, BC. They’ve been taking rafters down the Thompson River for 30 years and they have both power rafting (motorized boats) and paddle rafting (we do the paddling). We opted for a full day of paddle rafting because it sounded like fun. The trip down the river included something ridiculous like 40 rapids (some small, some big). My friend and I scored big time and ended up being at the very front for two of the best rapids – it was freaking awesome! But, it was loads of fun even when we were at the back of the boat (we rotated around fairly often to give everyone a chance to be at the front and to alternate sides so that we didn’t all ended up with one arm that was too tired to work any more).
It was exhilarating and exhausting. I’m especially glad we did it because it was a blast and a great reminder of how much I used to love paddling (we canoed at summer camp, aeons ago, and had a row boat at the family cottage). I think that I’m going to try and find some paddling or rowing courses/clubs next summer and I’m even seriously considering doing dragonboating.
It ended up being a great mix of excitement and scenic drifting. I didn’t take many pictures, because I was too busy either paddling or enjoying the view. We saw loads of eagles, odds and ends of history (including bits of the old – very old – road foundations), and endless impressive views of the surrounding mountain sides. To give you a bit of an idea of how awesome it was, here’s a video of Rick Mercer paddle rafting with Kumsheen.
I found a few pictures on Flickr that you might want to check out: power rafting with Kumsheen, the view from the resort (which pales in comparison to some of the views we saw), and, to add a bit of perspective with regards to the size of the rapids, a kayaker on the Cutting Board (one of the many rapids we experienced, but not the one with the highest waves). An added titbit of interest: apparently 2 of the guides on staff at Kumsheen are some of the best paddlers/kayakers in Canada.