Rapids!

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I had only been in the car with my grandparents for twenty minutes, and that was enough time for me to have pulled out half a head of hair. Within the first five minutes, the four SAT prep books had come out. I was thirteen years old, and had more SAT books than the average junior in high school.
Normally, I only read books that are required for school or summer reading, but on this trip and car ride, I read the sixth and seventh Harry Potter books, about 1,300 pages. This car ride felt like five days, when it was only a ride from Denver to Beaver Creek, Colorado. As I saw multiple signs go by I tried to avoid a few topics, like school, my “love- life”, and what operas I’d like to go see with them.

Normally, when we’re home, my grandparents encourage me to read a lot. The one time when I want to read, on this car ride, they won’t let me. It was as if reading had suddenly become a privilege. There were a lot of really beautiful sights, but really, how many times can a person look out of the window to see mountains. I was now being yelled at for reading.

My grandma would say, “David, I knew he wasn’t mature enough to take this trip, he’s ungrateful.” As much as they yelled at me to look outside, I do think that I got to see most everything worth seeing.

We had finally arrived at their house, and we were awaiting our first activity. We planned on white water rafting the next day. I had been white water rafting many times in my life. My grandparents had also been white water rafting before, but weren’t at my level. I was excited to go in the Colorado River for the first time.

We were in a bus that picked us up from their house, and we were a few minutes away from the river. We were with another family; they were nice, but a little irritating. I’ve never liked small talk, but this day, it was the only conversation I had. These people would not shut up. They would go on about their hometown, and topics that I could care less about. I wished that they were on a different boat. I wanted it to just be me and my grandparents, no small talk with strangers. My grandma was very scared that my grandpa wouldn’t be able to handle the roughness of the river, because he recently fought lymphoma cancer. I was pretty confident that my grandpa could handle it, he’s very tough.

We were now on the river, and it was a beautiful hot day. Everything was going well; the rapids weren’t too rough, but rough enough to keep me awake. The guide was explaining to us what rapids we’d go on, and what level they were. He told us that we were going on two class 4 rapids. I was excited, but my grandma wasn’t.

I was very uncomfortable where I was sitting. I had to sit in the back, opposite the guide, the most dangerous seat. My bathing suit was chafing me the entire time, and I was sitting on a slope, making my bathing suit ride up. It was as if I was being dragged on a carpet, getting carpet burn in a place a person really doesn’t want a carpet burn. To make it worse, the smell of mildew and old rubber was burning the inside of my nostrils. One of the worst things was wearing those grotesque smock- like windbreakers that they provided. It was like being wrapped up in sticky saran wrap that had one of the most foul odors around, just next to burnt hair. At least we were now one rapid away from the most brutal rapid, I was really getting excited.

We had just gotten to the rapid, it didn’t look too bad. We got started, and it wasn’t that bad, but then I looked a little farther down. There were 15 foot boulders in the water, and the water looked like the bottom of a huge waterfall. I stuck my feet under the seats really tightly. We were at the roughest part of the river, and I said my prayers.
Next thing I knew, there was a big bounce, and I found myself floating in the class 4 rapids. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I look next to me and there is my grandpa! I heard my grandma screaming, “Get my husband! Please save him! Save him!” I was in the river so I could see that he was fine and had nothing to worry about, so I was cracking up. It was a little painful having large rocks bruise my shins as I went down the river. I also had some anxiety of getting my feet stuck in between two rocks, and being pulled under the water.
The guide pulled my grandpa up from the water, and after he was up my grandma said, “Oh yeah, get the kid.” After this experience, we could laugh about it. I thought that my grandpa had fallen in on his own, but later on he told me what really happened. Apparently, I was at fault for him falling in. I felt myself falling, so I looked for the closest thing to grab onto, and he was that thing.





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