Another fun weekend for the summer of 2010 was accomplished. A trip to the Wolf River for some whitewater rafting with the Chicago Hiking, Camping and Social Activities www.meetup.com group. This was my first adventure with the group and a good time was had by all.
After arriving at the Rest and Raft campground I quickly pitched my tent and started setting up my campsite. I then began to socialize and met with the group leaders. I also met another African American named Sandy. We were glad to see each other because we rarely see African Americans out camping. We fast became friends.
This is Sandy. She’s pretty cool and loves the outdoors. We’re hoping to do more camping trips together. The trip was her first whitewater rafting adventure and she was a bit apprehensive. Since I’ve been on several trips around the world I assured her everything would be OK. After which she quickly recruited me to be her rafting partner! Smart girl huh? LOL!
The first night camping was good except for the band playing at the campground all night. It wouldn’t have been an issue but they played until 1:30am! They were having some sort of festival. The music wasn’t too bad just loud.
The next morning we were up and ready to leave for our whitewater rafting at 7:30am. The group leader was a bit nervous. The outfitter informed him the day before the river had been closed to rafting since the water levels were so high. He wasn’t sure if we would be able to go on Saturday as planned. Gregg learned the day of the trip the water levels dropped enough for us to go but they hadn’t been this high in over 20 years! Gregg wasn’t sure if the newbies would be OK. Since this river doesn’t require a guide I thought it should be OK and assured him everything would be alright. But people were nervous!
Before we left everyone was paired off for rafts which held two people each. Like I said before, Sandy recruited me very fast! LOL! Here’s a photo of the two of us with our raft. We dubbed her the SS Hood Rat! LOL! I was Skipper NeNe and she was First mate Pookie! Gotta have some fun right! Excuse the blurry photo. It happens when you hand your camera off to a stranger for snapshots! LOL!
The outfitters then put our rafts in the water and we were off. Sandy and I worked together pretty well. In the beginning the boat went in circles when we paddled. I knew what the problem was instantly from paddling experiences. One paddler had a stronger stroke than the other (namely me). I had to slow my stroke and match her stroke better. After that we were good. I taught her a few steering strokes along the way. She was having a good time so far.
After paddling on flat water for a while we heard the rapids in the distance. We prepared ourselves and remembered what the outfitters told us about where to hit the rapids for safety purposes. When we arrived at the rapids Sandy and I sat side by side and paddled and when we hit those rapids we scooted to the floor knees in the air and enjoyed the ride. It was so much fun! We made it through with no troubles.
There were a few more rapids were we did get caught on a log once but overall the before noon leg of the trip was good. We stopped and had a bit of a snack at the rest stop. Here’s some photos of us relaxing after the first leg of the trip.
This is Sandy, Gwen and me sitting on my blanket I bought. I had a dry bag with my camera with me. I wish I would have remembered to bring my underwater camera. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about getting my digital camera wet. I also would have been able to take more pictures. Next time!
This is Oscar, Denise and Dennis! Pretty cool and interesting people. Denise kicked Oscar out of the boat at one rapid. His story of course differs. He fell out of the boat. But we all know what happened! LOL!
After our snack/lunch break (some felt it was too early for a lunch break. I object but that’s another story) we were back on the river. Right at our lunch stop was a rapid. It was wonderful! I thought I took some photos of the rapids at our lunch break but I guess I didn’t! I can’t find any.
Sandy was a real trooper through these rapids. It was funny though how much water we took on in our raft after these rapids. We had water up to our knees. We found a spot and the guys (Dennis and Oscar) helped a bunch of us to empty our rafts and theirs too. We couldn’t find any solid ground so we stopped at this marshy area and made due. There was this tall grass and I think it might have been saw grass. Pretty sharp. The ground was very soft and we were sinking into trying to dump the boats. I kind of got stuck and had a hard time pulling my foot out of the muck. I almost fell over but the guys caught me and kept me upright. We were able to empty all the boats but the saw grass left scratches and whelps all on the inside of my thighs. What a souvenir huh? LOL!
We continued on through a few more rapids and ended up at the last and final rapid of the day. Big Smokey Rapid! Boy this rapid was no joke! We bumped and splashed and laughed and screamed through this one! Too much fun! Everyone liked seeing us go through a rapid. I can’t help myself. I scream and holler like I’m on a rollercoaster! It’s too fun for me to keep my mouth shut. LOL! We made it through and didn’t fall out! SUCCESS! Here’s a few photos of the end of the rapid.
We sat at the rapids of a while waiting for the others to come through then we paddled over to the bank for our take-out spot. This was one of the Native Americans from the outfitters. The river is on the Menominee Indian Reservation. I thought this guy was kind of hot. He just picked up the raft and threw it on the pile of others. So manly! I was in love! LOL!
There was also some fun photo opportunities at the take-out spot. I took full advantage of them. A very nice bridge to a spot by the river where you can view people coming through the rapids. There was a rapid there too but it definitely wasn’t navigable. Too many large rocks! But pretty!
This is my calendar girl shot! LOL! Hot stuff! Tee Hee!
As you can
see this trip was a lot of fun. I would return to the Wolf River again especially if the river is high like this time. I didn’t think it would be as enjoyable as the other rivers I rafted. But it was a lot of fun!
Until the next adventure!