The other day I shared the story of my daughter and in-laws flipping over their canoe in the Deschutes River during our Oregon vacation. Well, it appears this was some sort of family problem! I had a pretty scary whitewater rafting experience as well, on a Class 3 rapids called Big Eddy.
I don't know if you've tried this sport, but its pretty physically demanding and a real rush, especially when you're paddling up front. You're perched on the side of the boat with one foot anchored in a pocket-like thing on the floor of the raft, and you are bearing down, paddling through this roller-coaster-like water — just trying to get through it and stay in the boat.
I had already gone once. At the urging of my oldest daughter, I took her back for a second trip, feeling pretty adventurous and confident. That is until we hit a huge wave and I got wiped right off that raft, into the freezing cold water and hurling down the Deschutes at what felt like a 100 mph. Our guide had told us, if we ended up in the water, to keep our feet up so we wouldn't hit any of the lava rocks underneath and to look for him, which I did. As I was fighting for breath, he pulled me in with the paddle after what seemed to be a long time, but was really only 30 seconds or so! Even though it was frightening, it was a good lesson in staying calm and following directions. Everything usually turns out OK if you do that.
The rescue was the talk of the tour that day, and luckily we were all able to have a good laugh about it afterwards! Check out the photos.