Tuesday, August 2, 2011

FD 70: Day 4, Kayaks and Bikes

After the on-water debacles of Day 3, Day 4 served the purpose of reinstating my confidence in my abilities as a kayaker. The day began with seal dives into the river, which involves sliding off a ledge, down a rocky incline, and splashing into the current of the river. I was nervous about this, but after watching a few others do it, I also took a seal dive into the water. I didn't flip over, and the day continued just as smoothly. I rode the rapids, read the river with the help of two expert kayakers- Crabs and Pleaza, and by the end of the day I was disappointed when the guides in the front of the group started signalling us to the take-out location.

As we waited on shore for the shuttle to bring the rest of the vehicles to where we were, a rumor circulated about what was in store for us the next day-graduation day. When I heard the news, I think the individual telling me was curious to see my reaction- would I freak out? I didn't. When I heard that we were going back and paddling the same treacherous stretch we did the day before, my reaction was, "Really? Good. I want to do it again. I want to do it right this time!"

Despite how upset I was on Wednesday, I really was looking forward to going back. I'd never actually run a stretch of water more than once, and I liked the idea of having another chance to conquer the rapids that scared the confidence out of me.

The rest of the evening was spent enjoying dinner and sitting around the campfire. We had some unusual guests that night, and I really appreciated talking to them. It was a group of four guys- who called themselves Team Gillette, and a former FDer who you can look up on Facebook under the name Mike-On-A-Bike. All these guys are riding bikes from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon. The crazier part is that they didn't set out together, it just happened that the four guys met up with Mike-on-a-Bike and they continued together.

I really enjoyed talking to the guys about their journey and how they came to be riding bikes across the country. I think about them now when I ride, which has been pretty frequent since I returned home. I aspire to do something like that...Maybe next year :)

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