Happy Monday, kids!
And to all of my teacher friends in Maryland: have a great first day of school- there’s only 179 more days to go after today!
Whew, this weekend wore. me. out. I mean that in the best possible way of course! I went hiking with Paige at El Dorado Canyon on Friday morning and then worked at an event for KIND most of the afternoon and evening, which should’ve set me up to sleep like a brick that night. For some reason, my ability to sleep has just sucked lately and I need to amend that asap! Regardless, it was easy to get up on Saturday morning because a super fun day of white water rafting was in store!
AVA Rafting Company contacted me about doing a free trip with them earlier this summer and this past Saturday was finally “the day!”
My partner-in-crime and her husband also joined us and we set out to Idaho Springs in the morning to meet up with the guides for our trip. There were about 30 people total (give or take a few) for the trip and we divided up into five different rafts. We were each given a guide who would take us down the river and guide us along the way. Our guide was Travis – and he was awesome!
Travis is definitely a lover of adventure and has lived in over 14 different states (and has moved 45 times). He’s been in Colorado a little while now and is loving it. I was really glad to have him as our guide because his knowledge, skill and passion for rafting was obvious within the first few minutes.
After some brief instruction and safety talk, we all set out on our rafts in Clear Creek for a 7-mile adventure. Greg and I were grouped up with a dad and his two kids visiting from upstate New York- and they were a blast! UNFORTUNATELY, I did not get ANY photos from the trip. Since I knew we were going to get wet (and even possibly fall into the water), I didn’t bring my camera along. Guess I need to look into getting a waterproof or underwater camera, huh? In hindsight, I really wish I had just put my phone into a ziploc baggie and brought it along… but it’s too late for that now.
Here’s a photo from AVA’s website to show you what we kind of looked like:
The rapids were pretty much all Class 1 & 2: super easy. By the time I called to register our trip, the only option left was “beginner” so that’s what we had to take. I think we could’ve definitely handled “intermediate” but I guess we’ll just have to go back for that one (not a bad problem to have!). We learned the rowing basics (forward and back) and the proper form to get the best results. I’ll tell you what- it’s a major core (oblique!), back and shoulder workout! That didn’t really surprise me because I’ve been kayaking a bunch of times and figured the motions would be similar. What did surprise me though was how sore my glutes were the next morning (Greg said his were too!).
Along the trip we encountered a few exciting rapids and “drops” – and I loved it. Another part of me that was sore after was my FACE from smiling so much! I think I also “woo-hooed” about 500 times. Travis definitely showed his skill by being able to get us through some narrow passages quickly and kept us from getting stuck at any spots (and there were definitely a few other rafts that got stuck over and over again!).
The scenery during the trip was SO beautiful and we had a good balance of “rowing” and “relaxing” so that we were able to really take it all in. It was really cool to see the view of the mountains from Clear Creek because I usually just see that particular part of Colorado from I-70. We were on the water for about 2 – 2 1/2 hours total, which was perfect. Like I said above, I reallllly wish I had taken photos along the trip, but had to settle for just a few after it was over. We were all a little bit soaked – but had a great time!
By the time the trip was over we were all super hungry and thirsty so we headed right down the road to downtown Idaho Springs. Even though I’ve driven past the ton a ton of times I hadn’t ever actually spent any time there. It’s super cute! Upon hearing many recommendations, we headed over to Tommy Knocker Brewery. As soon as we walked in (and saw the beer list), we all knew that this was our kind of place.
Paige and I headed straight for the Pumpkin Ale. The rim was lined with vanilla and cinnamon!
We paired our beers with a delicious lunch and lots of laughter. I can’t wait to go back to Idaho Springs again soon (and luckily it’s only about an hour away!).
Because Saturday was definitely the main event from the weekend, I’ll make Sunday’s recap very short and sweet. Greg and I mostly got caught up on some work projects and ran errands… but also had a little bit of time for some Boulder hiking:
No matter how many times I hike at Chautauqua, I never, ever get tired of it.
I also always get a little flutter in my heart when I see the glow of the foothills.
And that’s a wrap!
*AVA gave me a free rafting trip to review. Opinions are my own (and my opinion is that they are great!)
Have you ever been White Water Rafting? If not, do you want to?