Last weekend, while I was gone in OK, my family took a little trip to Jackson Hole to run the Snake River. I was a little bummed that we couldn't go, but it's Ok, because I got to spend to quality time with my sister.
Going to Jackson to run the river has been a tradition in my family for many years. It's one of my absolute favoritest things in the whole wide world to do. (Yeah, go ahead and spell check me..see if I care!!!)
My Dad said that the rapids were HUGE! Man, I'm sorry I missed that.
My sister, Kat told me that she heard that the last time the river was this high was reported on July 4, 1998.
So, let me tell you a little story about that date.
Ten years ago, Clint and I decided to go on a little camping trip with some friends from our student ward, for the 4th of July. I offered to bring our raft (because then we don't have to pay out our rear to go on those guided tours, and we can go as many times as we want!). Clint and I hadn't been dating for very long, so this was our first "trip" together. My brother Josh, and sister, Kat came with her boyfriend Austin (who is now her husband). The river was really high that year, and we had a lot of first timers on the river (read: people who refused to paddle in the rapids). Ok, I might not be the most patient person in the world, and neither is my brother, who was guiding the raft.
We were floating the river for probably the 5 or 6th time that day. It was late afternoon, and the rapids were HUGE! We might've gotten a little cocky, and were being reckless, I don't know. What I DO know, is that there were so many people on the river that day, that there was actually a line, YES, a line of rafts backed up waiting to go through Lunch Counter (the "big" rapid on the that stretch of the Snake). And it's not exactly like you can stop on the river, so there was a lot of bottle-necking. When we finally approached the rapid, you could see where the water dips down into an enormous hole, and then spits out the raft on the other side. Talk about FUN! There was another private party raft right in front of us. With all the crowding going on, and the lack of cooperation on the part of our fellow paddlers, we couldn't quite get straightened out, so we hit the hole dead on--facing sideways. We may have had a few passengers that were "horizontally challenged" if you know what I mean, and as soon we hit the rapid, the boat cap-sized, as did the boat ahead of us.
I felt myself go under the water. Just so you know, if you fall out of the raft in a roaring river, the protocol is to remain calm, don't struggle. Fighting it will only push you under more. Also, don't let go of your paddle, because they're damn expensive and the cost to replace it is coming out of your funeral budget. I'm sorry, but to heck with protocol. When you get shoved under the water, with the massive force of all that wild water, your instincts kick in, and all you can think to do it FIGHT! I remember kicking and swimming as hard as I could, and thinking, "Where in the world is the surface?"
I felt like I was getting no where, fast! It felt like 10 minutes had past, and for the first time in my life, I thought, "I'm actually going to die. I am drowning."
At that moment, a sudden peace came over me, and I felt OK with dying. I just thought to myself, "Just let it happen, relax, at least I can drown with dignity." The moment I relaxed my body, I popped up to the surface at the bottom of the rapid, in the calm water below and was able to swim/float to the side.
The sweet part about this story is that after the fiasco, Clint told me that not only did he "rescue" my paddle (ahem, yes, I dropped it), but he told me his first thought when he went under was "Where's Sherrie?"
Aaaww. Isn't that sweet? At that point in our relationship, I didn't know if he really even liked me much more than a friend, and I was completely over the moon about him, so it was nice to know that he was so concerned about me.
So, Throwback Thursday is dedicated to this event. Sorry, I didn't mean for the story to be so long, but you know me. I get going and I get carried away.
My brother, Josh, and me and Clint
My sister Kathryn and I wrestling. Obviously, she won. She is one tough girl!
Clint looks totally super hot in the picture. No wonder I was so ga-ga over him.
p.s. Don't let this deter you, if you haven't ever been river rafting. There is something exhilerating about facing death in ice cold water. I LOVE IT!!!