Like that featured carnage photo?! Thanks to Forest for sharing that shot of a commercial flip in front of a turkey boat (all guides) flip about to happen in Big Horn Sheep Canyon.
All customers are informed multiple times that flipping and swimming in whitewater can happen, but it seems like most people climb into the rafts thinking they are going down a lazy river float. I think it’s cool that so many different people want to go whitewater rafting, I just wish they understood that it is an adventure activity and not a day with Mickey Mouse at Disney World. As a paddler, you are not just going to be able and relax and float down with a beer in your hand (unless it’s an after hours fun run…) Each customer is a member of the crew and has a legitimate responsibility to move the boat when your guide asks for paddle strokes.
I have picked up a couple of swimmers and had swimmers of my own and the look of terror on peoples’ faces is pretty crazy. Swimming whitewater might sound cool and badass, but it is also very disorienting and freezing cold in the Arkansas. I swam in the Numbers the other day (thanks for the dump truck Archie) and even after all of the swimming we had to do during training, I was still unprepared to be recirculated in a class IV hole. You can never underestimate the river.
We have a lot of families coming down to raft Browns Canyon in July. I’m super excited to take everyone down, tell my awesome jokes, and hopefully help them cultivate a connection to a National Monument on the Arkansas River. However, adventure is our middle name (seriously), so I hope everyone who wants to go rafting is prepared for a badass ride!