Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rafting the Rapids of My Imagination



Week 28 Topic: Life is what you make of it...
bonus points
(hard, 2 points): Include a sentence in a foreign language.
(easy, 1 point): Mention one (but only one) of the seven deadly sins.
Final day to post: Sept. 15th, midnight GMT.



Yep, this is a picture of me whitewater rafting. I'm the one in the back with the red helmet and I'm most likely the reason for the predicament that we found ourselves in when this picture was taken. Leave it to Marvin to have someone snap the shot at just the moment we happen to be teetering on a huge boulder! Where he had the camera person stashed I do not know… maybe K-9 snapped it from the shore somewhere. He could have had one of those people in the crowd that gathered on the shore to point and laugh take it too… who knows for sure really. Gawkers!
It all began with me sitting at home feeling like a sloth. I've always been told that I have so much potential that I just waste away while I vegetate in front of the television. It was time to stop living vicariously through made up characters and those somewhat 'real' ones on the reality shows. Time to get out there and experience life!! What's the age old adage "Life is what you make of it?" Yep, that's it, and up to this point mine was pretty much mashed potatoes with greasy gravy. LOL, get it... couch potato?? Anywho... as usual there I was sitting on the couch watching some T.V., White Water Summer to be exact. Yep, that movie with Kevin Bacon being sort of creepy until the tables turn and he needs help from the boys he was harassing. Does this give me a link to him somehow in that 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon game?? Ok, I digress… back to the story.
I'm watching the movie and I thought to myself that although it's not the best example of it, going down the rapids is one of those things that I always wanted to try. I figured that it was never going to happen if I didn't make it so I decided to scoop myself off of the couch and give myself the chance to crisp out in the sun as I have a little fun in the water. Hey, could I then be called a potato boat? You know, it's a name that some restaurants give to their potato skins... when they are fully loaded with all the good stuff. Okay, okay enough with the potato references. I did a little checking and decided that since I have never been to Tennessee, I'd go there and visit the Ocoee River to get my rafting on. It's in a gorge located in a national forest and is surrounded by scenic wildlife, what more can one ask for? Well, I could ask that I come out of this extreme adventure unharmed but other than that I couldn't ask for much more!
I stocked up on a few life jackets because I figured that the more I had the better, seeing since I really can't swim well, then off I went. I had to go on my own because no one else wanted to join me in the spray of the rapids as we ditched rocks and waterfalls, how insane is that?? I'm a little on the clumsy side so they were afraid I'd tip the raft during our trip and someone would drown or something... whatever! When I arrived I signed up and was lucky enough to get in with a group of other people that came on their own. We decided to risk our lives together for the ride and I'm pretty sure they regret that decision to this day. Marvin happened to be there and decided to join us; everyone was honored so we were more than happy to have him. I myself have a little crush on him… oops, digressing again.
We went through a little training and then we were off with our paddles in hand, or are they called oars? You know what I'm talking about. I still feel like I should have got to use the pink one but nooooo, Rudy thought it suited him better and gave me the black one. He was German so I was a little excited to be able to hone my German skills, which pretty much suck, but he nipped that in the bud. I still insist that if I had the pink one we would have ended up with a much safer experience. Even after all that happened that day, the first thing I think about is Rudy in his blue Speedo with his pink oar. Come on, guys in Speedos are just funny!!
Whew, I'm getting long winded here so I should wrap this up. We started out on calm waters; everyone was feeling pretty sure of themselves. Then the waters got a little rougher but we were excited and pumped up with adrenaline so all was good until…. I got a little distracted by a bear on shore. Okay, I should have been paying attention but there were 5 other people in the raft and Marvin was navigating so my little lapse of focus shouldn't have mattered all that much. Of course I was in the back of the raft so I guess it's a little more important than I thought, I must have dozed off during that part of the training. We veered off course a little due to the rough current and that's how we ended up teetering on that boulder. What you don't see is that we slide down it safely and I paddled my little heart out but we were caught up in an even stronger current that led us to a waterfall.
Come on, how extreme are ya if you don't white water raft your way down a waterfall??? We all made it out unscathed! My wish of not being harmed was granted for one and all. The others didn't quite see it my way and were in a rush to escape my presence for some reason after all of this so there were no s'mores by the campfire to be had for us afterwards. All Rudy had to say was "Es Gibt Sachen, die gibts gar nicht!" Basically he said "I can't believe this is happening!" Spoiled sport!
There was no harm to any of the particpants of this story or the beautiful waters and landscape of the Ocoee River or the great state of Tennessee during the making of this story. Mainly because it all took place in my imagination and never really happened but it's still very real so I'm marking it off my list of things to do as being done... CHECK!

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