Monday, June 21, 2010

Researching Colorado Whitewater Rafting

Today I did some research for my Rocky Mountain Adventure mystery series by going rafting on a section of the Blue River of Colorado north of Silverthorne in Summit County. I had heard about how much fun this section of river is, but the water level is high enough for rafting for only a few weeks each June. During this time, the May snow melt has filled the Dillon Lake water reservoir so more water is released below the dam into the Blue. I was so excited that I was finally able to take a trip on this section.

My hubby, college-aged son, and his roommate went with me, along with our effervescent guide, Michelle, from the whitewater rafting outfitter Arkansas Valley Adventures. It was a beautiful blue-sky day with temperatures in the low 70s. The wildflowers were in full bloom, and the scenery on the drive to the meeting spot was spectacular. The photo below shows the five of us suited up in our PFDs (personal floatation devices) and helmets and raring to go.

My hubby took his waterproof camera on the trip, so he was able to get some shots of us on the river when we weren't paddling frantically through the roller coaster standing waves. The next photo shows me with the big grin that I wore the whole trip when I wasn't whooping and hollering.

The next photo shows our guide, Michelle, a great poster-gal for my river ranger protagonist, Mandy Tanner. Michelle has a college degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and teaches snowboarding in the winter when she isn't leading rafting trips in the warm weather. She was excited about the series when I told her and gave me some great river guide jokes to use. Thanks, Michelle, for the material, as well as the super fun day.

Behind Michelle is one of the rapids we rode through, and in the next photo is a rapid we're about to enter. These are class III rapids, plenty big enough for excitement, but not as dangerous and violent as class IV and V rapids. If you've never tried whitewater rafting and are fairly fit and a good swimmer, I highly recommend it!

1 comment:

jrlindermuth said...

Sounds like a fun researching project.