Archive for January 2009

What a Rush!

January 26, 2009

Beginning of the trip. I'm in the front with the dark glasses and H is right behind me.

The most exhilarating, fun experience I’ve ever had was whitewater rafting. A couple of years ago H and I entrusted our lives to a guide from Wild Water Adventures near Banff, Alberta, Canada. The trip took us 20 km down the Kicking Horse River in an hour and a half. We wore wetsuits, polar fleece jackets, raincoats, neoprene booties, and helmets. I learned firsthand that wetsuits don’t keep you dry (that’s what drysuits are for).

Our self-bailing raft (water escapes through holes on the floor) would disappear into huge swells and the water would come crashing over the top of us. At 4°C (39°F) the glacier-fed river was quite refreshing and took my breath away. With each wave I could feel the icy water rush down my back and I was totally soaked in no time. I wonder if the water temperature had anything to do with the level of excitement?

We did several Class IV rapids, which is the highest level that a commercial trip can attempt. Class IV rapids can be described as erratic waves or holes. Large obstructions need to be avoided. Risk of injury if swimming. Very difficult.

Dangerous? Yes. But what a rush!

I started the adventure in the front of the boat. Half-way through the trip we rotated positions. I can tell you that the front position is the most fun and exciting place to sit! However, you will bear the brunt of the waves.

I have a hard time understanding the desire to sky-dive, rock-climb, and bungee-jump. But I do understand the call of white water.

Grand Canyon Adventure

January 9, 2009

Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk is a new giant-screen film that takes you on a rafting trip down the Colorado River, showing off the beauty of the Grand Canyon and the excitement of the river, all with an environmentalist twist. The most thrilling moments of the movie reminded me of my own whitewater adventure, which I will blog about soon.

Grand Canyon Adventure shows daily at the Science Museum of Minnesota‘s Omnitheater now through June 11, 2009.

Where Are All the Nature Songs?

January 4, 2009

I’m creating a playlist of songs about nature for my iPod. I would think that nature would be a big inspiration for songwriters, but I can’t find many lyrics referencing nature. Any suggestions? Here’s what I have so far…

  • Have You Ever, by Brandi Carlile
  • Wide Open Spaces, by Dixie Chicks
  • Singin’ in the Rain, sung by The Three Tenors
  • Mr. Blue Sky, by Electric Light Orchestra
  • The River, by Garth Brooks
  • Shoot the Moon, by Norah Jones