Tuesday, June 12, 2012

White Water Rafting

Last week I got to fly off to Texas for a weekend of shopping with the girls, so it was only fair for my husband to have a weekend of fun with the guys. 

Friday morning, my husband, father-in-law, and six of my husband's buddies all drove to Durango, Colorado for a Manly Weekend adventure that my husband nick-named, "The Widow Maker."

Their mission:  To complete a 25 mile white water rafting marathon trip down the Animas River with tons of class III, IV, and V rapids.

Friday afternoon, the guys arrived North of Durango, where they set up camp.  Then they met with their river guides to get fitted for their gear. The men underwent some sort of training session about "How Not to Die", and then had a swim fitness test in which they had to jump off of the raft, float down the river, and aggressively swim back to raft and get back in. After a crash course in rafting maneuvers, they were ready for the challenge ahead.

Bright and early on Saturday, the guides picked up the men and drove them an hour up the mountain to Silverton.  Here, they suited up and started their big adventure.

They call this the "Men in Tights" picture.
Here's my husband.

Another pic of the crew with their guides.

They had two rafts, and a guy who kayaked along side of the men in case of an emergency. The low temperature in Silverton was 32 degrees, and the water temperature was 45. Brrrrr. They started at 9300 ft. in elevation and rafted down to 6500ft.

Here's a picture of the "No Name" class IV+ rapid.

One of the rafts lost their guide twice, and our guys had to rescue him.  I'm not sure, but I don't think that's supposed to happen. 

Half way down, the guys stopped at an old mining camp. The Silverton Railroad delivered their lunch supplies to them, and they had over an hour to warm up, eat, and explore the old mining camp.

 From their description, I'm pretty sure that the guys were at the beginning stages of hypothermia before lunch.  I think a little hiking around did them wonders.

They said that the back country was just breathtakingly beautiful...or maybe I said that. On second thought, I don't think the word "breathtakingly" is in men's vocabulary.  I think they said it was "awesome" or something like that. OK... moving on.

After they were fueled up and warmed up, they continued on the rest of their journey. The afternoon sun was a welcomed sight, and by now, the men were seasoned rafters.

At the end of the trip, they had the option to take the train back into Durango, or save $65.00 and hike 2 1/2 miles up the canyon. They elected to hike out to the vans, but after hearing their tales of the trail, I think some of them would re-consider.  The guides told them to slather on the Bug Spray. My husband said the mosquitoes were like a plague of Biblical proportions.  The hike was on a difficult trail straight up the rocky mountain.

On some parts, there was a sheer rock wall on one side.  Every time I hear the story, the hike gets longer. 2, 3, 5, 20 miles later, they made it to the van in one piece.

After working up a giant-sized appetite, they ate dinner in town and settled down for the night.  The next day, they ate breakfast, packed up their tent and gear, and made the long journey home.

They're already planning their next "Manly Adventure", so I'd consider it a success.  Who know's what death-defying thing they'll think of next?

I guess boys will be boys. 


  1. It's such beautiful country! I went to school in Gunnison and my roommate was from Silverton. When I saw the first picture I thought, "Hey, that looks like Silverton." BINGO! Good news! Long term memory is still holding up!

    See? That "How Not to Die" training session really paid off!

  2. This is funny. I guess. It's seems funny in parts.
    Especially the "Not how to Die" training course. Glad no one died. Gee. That'd have been the pits. And glad that they rescued their guide. Surely that's not supposed to happen?! :P

    Glad that the hubby got to go on a good "manly adventure"! Maybe they can top that one next time! Sky diving? Hmm. Don't tell him I said that. ;)