No, I didn't drown ... not on the river, anyway. (Feel like I'm being sucked back in by the undertow of daily life, but that's another long, boring story.)
Here I am taking the last swig of the blackberry brandy* my Uncle Mike ordered me to bring as an offering to the river gods (which immediately endeared me to the group):
*tastes like cough syrup -- ick!
And a couple of shots of Jeff that completely crack me up:
Not bad for a disposable waterproof camera, but most of my shots are blurry and badly composed. Hoping the others might have better stuff to share; especially Mark with his fancy schmancy camera that I hope wasn't permanently ruined. Mine are on my Flickr page (see left) if you're interested.
Once I slipped out from under the high-stress anxiety that had been building up over several weeks, I was able to truly relax last weekend. And once Korb woke up and taught me how to paddle, I seem to have done a pretty dang good job, if measured by the fact that we didn't dump once all weekend.
The river was beautiful -- slow-paced and meandering, the occasional excitement of dodging downed trees, navigating switchbacks or pushing our way off of sandbars. Very pretty, bouncy rapids late in the first day; several numbingly cold springs that I couldn't bring myself to sink into. The cliffs maybe not as pretty as the Niobrara's, but it still feels like such different country than the Nebraska I've always known. My legs are pretty scratched up, but I think most of that is from blazing various pee trails along the bank.
Weathered a mother of a storm Friday night -- the others have been canoeing for 17 years and said it was by far the biggest storm they've had to ride out. Barrage of lightning-streaked, wind-rattling downpour from about 9 p.m. to 2 or 3 a.m. My tent stayed dry except for where the wind drove the wet in under my rainfly. And I've always cursed my wide-mouthed, dribble-inducing Nalgene bottles, but now I understand just what genius they are, as the storm forced me to learn how to pee in a cup. That wide mouth turns out to be the perfect size for full coverage.
Next up: My snowboarding cousin has just moved from Vail to Fort Collins and wants to know if I want to come hike a "14er" with them. I have no idea what that is, but I think that yes, I do want.
And, of course, Tucson late this fall!
Quote of the day (courtesy Miz K):
"Happiness isn't something you experience; it's something you remember." -- Oscar Levant