Friday, June 12, 2015

Palmer Rapids

This trip brought so much excitement, anxiety and exhaustion. It taught me so much and I would be so happy to do it again.

As soon as we got there, we dropped off all of our things at the campsite and proceeded to dress and make our way down to the water. I was very anxious as I had never canoed through rapids before. We had practiced many times on the river at school but nothing compared to this. We got into the water and my heart was racing. We went over the basics in calm water for a while until everyone got the hang of things. Then Collin and Mr Brouwer went into the rapids and explained that we would be doing the same. They made it look so easy, and after a while, it became easy! I was partnered with Russel the first day, with him in the stern and me in the bow. We stuck with the short rapid closest to the site where we entered it and exited it, along with ferrying along the current to the other side. We flipped a few times which had been a big fear of mine. After about the 3rd time flipping, I wasn’t so afraid anymore. I was then put in the stern which made me very anxious since I was not very confident in that position. I tried the rapids a few times and we tipped most times. I went back to the bow but was glad that I at least tried it. We then went to the top of this rapid where it became a little more challenging. Collin and Mr Brouwer made sure we all knew where we should go, and what to avoid and assured us that we were capable of doing it.  It looked terrifying and I did not want to go down it and almost refused. With the encouragement of everybody, I decided I would do it and I am so glad I did. It was terrifying yet so fun! The adrenaline kicks in and you just do it without even thinking about anything possibly going wrong. We did end up flipping but not until the very end. I felt very accomplished. We went back to camp and set up everything and made dinner. It was not a very late night for anyone as we were very tired.

The next day we got up early, made breakfast and were back out on the water. This time they partnered me up with my sister which ended up being a very good pair. She was happy to be in the stern which was good for me. We continued on the same rapids that we were on yesterday for a while to warm up and continue to improve our skills. We canoed across the water to the other side where we walked along the shore to go over the dangers of the new rapids we would be going through. Once we were all aware of how we should go down, we went for it. Again the anxiety started up since this one was longer and looked more intimidating. We made it through without tipping the first time, and it felt great. I was very pumped to do it again. We took turns portaging it back to the calm water at the top. We tipped the second time which was a little scary, but Mr Brouwer was there right away to help us out. We kept with the route that we were familiar with and got better each time. We felt the exhaustion and made the decision to go back to camp a little earlier than everyone else. We all stayed up a little later this night and spent some time around the fire after dinner. Personally I went to bed quite early as I was very tired.

The next day we continued down the longer rapids, taking new routes. My sister and I remained in our regular route since we were more comfortable. After a few times, I was put in the bow with Collin. This made me VERY scared since I was not confident at all and did not want to tip in these rapids. With some hesitation, I did it, and we did not tip. He was able to correct my mistakes and I actually did alright.

All in all this trip was pretty great! Since we were able to stay in one site the whole time, we really had time to relax. I packed just the right amount and had my car there with plenty of space. I guess I could say we had it pretty easy this time. We had more than enough food as always but it was delicious. We learnt many new skills to take into the moving water like how not to tip, what to do if you do tip, different strokes and many more. I started with anxiety and left with a sense of accomplishment as I took on challenges I never thought I could do. 

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