Thursday, September 09, 2004

How Not to White Water Raft

So I went on our annual White Water Rafting Trip last weekend on the Wolf River located on an Indian Reservation in Wisconsin.

Every year on Labor day weekend some friends and I unload about 20 cases of beer out of our cars and camp in some Indian's backyard. Then the following morning we wake up at 9am and start drinking heavily for a couple hours and head on over to this shady rafting outfit we always go to. No helmets, cheesy inflatable rafts that could pop at any moment, paddles that look like children's toys rather than steering devices, Life vests that "might" have fit me 10 years ago; going rafting with these guys basically has "death trip" written all over it.

And of course before they let you on the bus to the top of the river, they make you put your John Hancock on a five page waiver of small fine print that basically signs away any rights you might have had before you picked up a paddle, slugged down a 12 pack of Old Style, and hopped on a bus driven by some gap toothed Indian who's probably had plenty of the "firewater" himself.

Once you get to the drop off point, they throw all the rafts in the water and then the bus drives off and leaves you on your own with no guide, no direction on how to actually go down the river without dying, or any sort of instructions. Just, "Have a good time, and a loud chuckle from Chief Raftsalot as he sticks his head out the window and his back tires kick up large clouds of dust as the bus shoots out onto some random backwoods Indian road.

And it's about that time that we break out our "Gatorade Death Cocktails." An Assortment of gallon jugs in various flavors filled with 50% Gatorade, 50% Skol Vodka. Great idea, let's hop on rafts that we don't know how to properly navigate, and chug down Death Cocktails. So much for that college education, Huh?

And just to make matters worse there are Indians on the side of the river selling beer to you as you make your way down the rapids. And do we buy them? ummmmmmmmm.. Yes. Why? I don't know.

And it's not like this is just a lazy river all the way down, we are taking on bonafide class 3 rock infested rapids.

And when we approach the last major rapid, I fall out of the raft and split my leg open on some nearby rocks. And I'm bleeding everywhere and it's a mess and I'm laughing, but I really don't think it's funny. And that night, I'm drinking and not feeling any pain and am invincible and dancing around the campfire spouting off ridiculous comments to nearby friends, roasting marshmallows even though I don't like marshmallows, and having a grand ole' time.

But the next day my left leg had swollen to an abnormal size and I could barely walk.

And then it was Tuesday.

The first day back after a long Labor day weekend.

And my Boss asks me, "why are you limping."

And I said, "because you hired an Idiot."
Right Click here and go to "save target as", to see the actual video of me taking on the Rapid and losing. Notice that instead of helping me back into the boat, my buddy jacks me in the head with his paddle instead. Thanks, jackass.