Sitting with legs lodged in different directions while balancing on the edge of a raft and rowing for three and a half hours made me aware of muscle groups I did not know I possessed. This advanced two and three level whitewater trip on the lower Eagle River outside of Vail, Colorado, was a blast. Not only was the scenery–red rock cliffs and snow capped mountain peaks–breathtaking, but the water was clear and cold and rushing rapidly. All of the trip, save one small section, was whitewater. I had the three grandgirls on this trip, Mikayla, Miranda and Aurora with me. Our guide was fantastic and we felt safe under his care. We all loved the level three rapids we encountered. Dressed in wet suits, wind breakers, life vests, helmets and water shoes, one would think we would not be cold, however, being regularly soaked in the rapids, we were quite cool. There was one rule drilled into us, “Stay in the boat!” And we did! The only real problem for me was getting out of the raft when the trip was over. My muscles did not want to respond and my feet were numb from sitting in 40 degree water for over three hours. Oh, did I mention that I sat at the very front position on the raft, the one that takes the brunt of the action? Did I mention that you do not sit in the raft on level three journeys but on the edge of the raft? You lock your feet into crevices that fill with water to secure your body for pulling the oar and to keep your body from falling backwards into the water. And in case you wondered, Aurora did not row, but held onto safety ropes to keep her safely in the raft. What a great day we enjoyed together!
While we rafted, Kathy and little Micah mountain hiked with guides. It was rated a moderate hike, but Kathy said there was a misprint. She declared it was moderately extreme. In fact, it was a five hour hike going straight up the mountains with an over 2500 foot ascent. Little Micah stayed at the front with the lead guide while Kathy and the rear guide followed. The destination was a beautiful waterfall about 11,000 feet above sea level. They actually walked over five miles on the journey and Kathy said she had a few sore muscles when finished. Micah started out in clean white shorts and tee and came back covered in dirt from head to toe. What a great day they enjoyed together! WEG