Great snowpack and summer runoff are making for great rafting this year in Colorado. On a recent weekend, we made the easy drive to Idaho Springs just west of Denver to seek that downhill liquid thrill from the snow we finished skiing upon just a couple of months ago.
On Clear Creek the water comes right off the Continental Divide and was a cool 46 degrees, so wet suits were required. Following a strong safety brief and specific paddling instruction we were on the rushing river pronto. Our spunky river guide synchronized our paddle strokes (two forward, one back) and instantly made a bunch of raft strangers an instantaneous team. We shared Colorado hometowns and cracked some jokes as we prepared to shoot class VI rapids in succession.
The first couple series of rapids were easier class III, a nice warmup for what was coming next. A few twists and turns keeping footing secure and leaning the right way with everyone working together. We laughed and cheered in raft unity.
For the next 30 minutes we shot through a series of adrenaline pumping and heart-pounding class VI rapids called double knife, terminator and hells corner. At hells corner, one team mate almost leaned outta the raft to be saved by great teamwork and guide instruction. Nothing like pulling together through twists and turns and the continously splashing of 46 degree water!
Finally we pulled over and got out of the raft to climb up and then jump off a large rock into the cold water to float feet first through a short easy rapids. Talk about getting literally right into nature!
We finished up with a couple of easy class III finally slapping our paddles together in celebration of sheer victory over conquering the river! A great bus ride back with stories and jokes and just a lot of fun.
So get outside this summer Colorado. We live in a great state for recreation. Don't miss this summer's Colorado adventure!