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First full day on the river


Finally! Took pictures today! I figured out that if I keep the camera in the dry bag, the tiny one that Mom and Eric loaned me, and tuck it under the secured dry bags, I can pull it out during the day and take pictures. Lots of pictures. I'm happy.

Kris and I spent the morning in Matt's boat, as Andy took to the paddle boat. With his sunglasses on, Matt looks like Brad Pitt with dark hair. Sounds similar, too. I'll have to reassess that statement after seeing him without his sunglasses on, which I haven't done yet. Eyes are key in this.

I'm thrilled to say I've figured out this peeing in a boat trick, and have been peeing a LOT. The guides keep telling us about keeping hydrated. Given how I spent a large amount of time peeing, I have to say I'm listening. Though Matt did figure out my bladder is the Smallest Bladder in the World pretty quick.

The trick, at least for me, is to pee into a can, then dump the contents into the river and wash out the can. I picked up a can last night before dinner, managing to get the ERG canister, which has a lid. I recalled my need to urinate all the time was a problem last trip, with my being unable to pee with my butt hanging overboard, with my lower body in the water, or (as usual) with anyone hearing. I couldn't care less if you could see me. If you could hear me, well then, the flow clenched.

Turns out, Matt has a similar "issue": he needs cover sound, too. Not normally a problem on a river with 18000 cfs flow, I think.

The day started off pretty rough for me. I was in the back of the boat, with Kris and Pat, a trip assistant and a friend of Matt's, in the front. I sat on the back left, Kris being in the front left, during the rapids and, at the end, crouched in the back and started crying. During the rapids, I was overcome with worry and was scared. It wasn't for myself, though. I was worried about Kris.

Realizing that this was going to make for a pretty horrible trip down the river if I spent the whole thing worrying about Kris, I calmed down, thought about the absurdity of my reactions, and was fine the rest of the day.

Today's hike was to Elves' Chasm, where a small waterfall fell at the end of the short hike. I remembered this waterfall, though not the hike into the side canyon. I also recall Eric jumping from the waterfall. Guy probably did, too, but I don't have any strong memories of his doing so.

Once the guides showed us we could jump off the waterfall, people started rushing the climbing hole to get up. Andy and Kris went, as did most everyone else, before I decided I wanted to go.

When did I become so fearful? When did everything become so hard for me?

I climbed up, slipping slightly once with Andreas helping me out. I froze at the top of the waterfall, even though it wasn't very high up and 10 people had made this jump before me. I needed Kris to call out 3 2 1, then needed everyone to call out 3 2 1 for me. I still paused, then jumped.

Well, Abbey commented that I more "slid off" than jumped, but I did go over the edge.

And looked terrified doing it, unlike Kris and Andy who looked calm and entertained.

My camera battery died just before Kris jumped a second time.

Tragically, I had left my spare camera battery in a ziploc bag, instead of the dry bag. Water was in the bag when I went for the battery, with blue acid oozing out of the terminals. The good part was that it was the crappy Lennar camera battery, which lasts less than half of the time as the Canon camera batteries. Unfortunately, I'm down to four camera batteries, and it's day 2 isn't even over yet.