Going where no squirrel has gone before… the Lochsa

I doubt the average person looks at me and thinks “whitewater adventurer.”

The evidence:

  • I take my kitschy umbrella (it has Georges Seurat’s “La Grande Jatte” splashed across it!) with me if the sky bodes even a sprinkle of rain.
  • I once shielded my body and screamed “AHHH, DEATH!” when I thought Zach made a risky left turn.
  • I wear argyle from time to time.

Now, I enjoy the outdoors, but I would rather do so leisurely with a run along the river, a brisk day hike or an overnight camping trip, preferably at a designated campground with some form of rudimentary plumbing nearby.

I’ll be in the middle, holding on for dear life.

Why do I tell you all this?

Because tomorrow, I’m going on a rafting extravaganza on the Lochsa River in northern Idaho. And by “extravaganza,” I mean “heart attack-inducing death ride.”

I don’t exactly recall how my co-worker roped me into this. I do know that I’ve only been whitewater rafting once, and the rapids on the Lochsa are about 10 times bigger and the water moves about a gazillion times faster than on the measly stream I tackled then.

Simply put, I could die.

The Middle Fork of the Flathead I’ve rafted before has rapids ranging from classes I through III. A few of them get the heart pumping, but the majority are lame. The only person who fell out was an old lady. The fact that an old lady was on the trip in the first place is a testament to said lameness.

Conversely, our outfitter’s website says the Lochsa, a raging torrent of water no squirrel has dared ford before, has 37 Class III rapids, 25 Class IV rapids and two Class V rapids. There’s some downtime in between, but it equates to about 2.6 seconds.

Most of it looks like the scenes in this video, aptly titled “Lochsa Karnage 07.”

So, again: I could die. But I probably won’t. If (OK, when) I fall out — say on one of the rapids affectionately named Bloody Mary, Grim Reaper or Termination — I’m just going to point my legs downstream and trust the guide will save me.

And scream. I’ll probably do a lot of screaming.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Booty beer!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Zach on June 4, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Er, that was me. I didn’t realize I was logged in as Allison. The ‘booty beer’ comment probably didn’t make any sense!

    Reply

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