Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cheyenne, WY - Part III

Our last morning in Cheyenne, we woke up early to head to the Cheyenne Depot Plaza where they were having a free pancake breakfast. You cannot imagine the crowd of people. The line was ridiculous…

So, after snapping a few pics we decided that no free pancake was worth that kind of wait and so we decided to go back to the little diner with the amazing gravy!

After breakfast, we left Wyoming and headed for Ft. Collins, CO to go white water rafting. We were all super excited for our rafting adventure. We didn’t realize how short the drive would be so we were able to drive around for a little while looking at the mountainous scenery. It was beautiful, despite the dryness and the fires that had burned acres and acres of land.

We finally headed back to the rafting headquarters and put on our swimsuits and listened to the safety briefing. Which, let me mention, can definitely freak a girl out. I was not the least bit nervous about rafting until they started preparing you for all that can go wrong and what you need to do in certain situations. I remembered that if I was to come out of the raft to get on my back or swim on my stomach, but NOT to try and stand up (because you can break a leg on the rocks or drown, basically). Now, I should also mention that our first rafting reservation cancelled on us due to the low water in the river. So, of course, we couldn’t leave Colorado without rafting, so we called around and found a place that was rafting on a river that still had high enough water (but even that river still had a very low water level).

Also, this river is the second cleanest river in the United States, however, because of the fires it had turned the river BLACK. There was ash and all sorts of debris in the river, so they said not to wear any clothes/swim suits that we couldn’t bear parting with if they got too dirty.

So, after all that we got onto the bus for the 20 minute drive to where we would put the raft in the river. There were 6 rafts total and we were the only raft without young kids. It was Lauren, Cody, Blake and I, and then also a lady and her teenage niece. Our guide was 20 years old and this was his 3rd season on the river. We were excited to have the young, fun guide. On the bus, the guides pointed out the biggest rapid that we would be rafting through, a class IV rapid, which also happened to be the FIRST rapid.

We were the last raft in line to go through this first rapid. All the rafts made it through and it looked SO exhilarating! In hindsight, after watching the video, we were the only raft that came in sideways to this rapid. Unfortunately, the way the raft hit the rapid I was thrown from the raft as well as the teenage girl sitting behind me. She miraculously landed perched on a rock and waited for rescue. My head was being held under water by the raft and the surging of the rapids. Lucky for me my handsome husband was a rescue swimmer in the Navy for several years, so he’s very comfortable in the water. Blake was also in a bad way and couldn’t keep in the raft when we came into the rapid, so he let himself fall back into the water to pull me up by my life jacket and held us at the raft until the guide was able to pull us both back in. We paddled to the side of the river where the guide had to get out and walk back up river to throw a rope to the teenage girl to get her off the rock!

That was WAY more excitement than I had anticipated having on the river. And apparently the guide, too. He said he’d never had this much action this soon into the trip. I should mention that before the first rapid, the guide and another lady had already fallen into the river…I’m still not sure how that happened! Blake, of course, said he wouldn’t have thought the rafting was near as exciting had we NOT fallen in. I cannot say I share the same sentiment.
{please don't judge us for the crazy faces/looks we got going on!}

On the second rapid, we had to “highside” which is where everyone on the low side of the raft has to move to the high side of the raft to keep it from flipping over and dumping everyone into the river!

The rest of the rafting trip was thankfully uneventful. On our bus ride back we saw a black bear in the middle of the road. Once he saw the bus he scaled an almost-vertical mountain-side. I so wish we would have had camera’s on the bus, but we couldn’t risk them getting wet or stolen. But, seeing the bear was awesome.

{he was about this size!}

We left straight from the rafting outfitter and began our LONG drive home. We drove down through Colorado and stayed the night on the border between New Mexico and Texas. We drove through the Raton Pass, which was beautiful. We didn’t want to drive through the night again since we knew we’d have to be taking care of our kiddo’s and didn’t want our sleep schedule to be too messed up.

I can’t tell you how excited I was to see Stella. That was, by far, the longest I had been away from her and I was literally aching to see her. When we picked her up at my parents house she kind of stared at us like it was just dawning on her that she hadn’t seen us in a while. Oh that precious thinger!!

We had such a GREAT trip that was full of awesome memories! I really hope we can make the trip again next year and take Stella, Avery, and Cutter!

1 comment:

  1. You poor thing - so glad Bubba was there to keep you afloat! :)

    (And can I just say that the looks on Bubba's and Cody's faces in that rafting picture are HILARIOUS. LOVE!)