Tuesday, June 9, 2015

PAD4O Moving Water Reflection

This was by far the most intense outdoor ed trip I have gone on. The fast water, white caps, rocks and cold water really gave me an adrenaline rush while also causing me to fear for my life.

On the first day of the moving water trip we immediately dropped off our equipment at our drive in campsite and headed straight for the water. We went over a bit of safety and then began practicing different skills required to move through moving water. This was pretty fun and somewhat relaxing because we stayed in one spot while practicing which didn't tire us out. After being on the water for several hours we became pretty good at navigating moving water, so we decided to go down a high but short rapid, known as the upper rapid. Before going down the rapid we went over some safety and took a look at the rapid so we could find the safest way down. When we finally went to go down the rapid we decided to go down without a canoe. We did this to get a feel for the rapid and so that if we tip our canoe while going down the rapid we would know what to expect. Swimming the rapid was nerve racking, but it was also the best ride i have ever been on. Once we swam the rapids we were then to go down in our canoes, but my partner and i decided not to. We were definitely scared and we didn't feel our skills were up to par, yet.

On the next day we continued to practice our skills near the upper rapids but we had to switch position in the canoe with our partner. My partner had only been in the bow a few times just as i had only been in the stern a couple times. With lots of practice we became better and more comfortable in our new locations. Once everyone could successfully complete all of the skills in the upper rapids, we began to head towards the lower rapids which was a long and wide rapid. Before going down the rapid we walked along side it and looked for hazards. After that we then found the route we would take down. When we went down the rapid we went in 2 separate groups in case an accident occurred. The first run down went very smooth as we took an easier route down. After that the rest of the runs didn't go as well. We had options of different routes to go down, so my partner and I choose to go down the intermediate route each time which almost always ended up with us tipping the canoe or filling the canoe up with water. After tipping multiple times I became more fear full of the rapids which would affect my next day of canoeing.

On the final day of our trip we went back down to the lower rapids. I was hesitant to go because I feared tipping in the rapids again. To solve this problem I went with Mr. Brouwer  down the rapids, which made me a lot more comfortable. On this day we tried to do more elaborate routes down the rapids and with the support of an experienced paddler it was a blast. We ended up doing 4 runs down the rapids and then we headed back towards our campsite, where we relaxed in the water.

Overall this was not may favorite trip but it was still a great time. The experience of going down the rapids is unforgettable. The fear of the rapids made the trip slightly worse but once I overcame the fear it was a blast. If I worked on my skills in the canoe I would definitely attempt this trip again.

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