My brothers were running the Epic Relays Rocky Mountain Relay for the second time and needed to supply volunteers. That’s why Tara and I found ourselves driving up to Buena Vista after work, barely finding a campsite at Ruby Mountain (yes, I should have reserved a site), grabbing a quick dinner and trying to nap before our shift. About 10:30p we “woke up” and drove into town and took over the duties of recording team exchange times at the 23rd exchange. Said brothers showed up just after us to check in.
Their first vehicle then drove off to the 24th exchange to get some sleep before their other team members caught up.
Tara and I set about trying to keep the exchange organized: keeping runners from loitering in the parking lot entrances, getting times and team numbers for each group, bugging the Texans about wasting fuel and not idling their engines forever. Yes, we ran a tight ship at exchange 23.
That was until we got bored waiting for some of the last teams and things had slowed down enough that we took a couple long exposures with the lighted wand. When a cop pulled over to ask if we were okay we decided to return to acting serious.
Finally, a bit after 2am we rolled back into our campground and got some 5 hours of sleep.
The idea of rafting after so little sleep seemed ridiculous now, but we were already registered and committed. Next time, we’ll just plan on sleeping in and doing a lazy drive home.
The Arkansas River wasn’t flowing very big, which was entirely expected for this time of year after a dismal snow year and early runoff. But easy is what I wanted for my first rafting trip.
Our guide Dan was full of stories and jokes to keep us entertained between the short rapids of Browns Canyon.
The scenery wasn’t bad either.
Tara, Dan and I were placed in our own boat, and the other 6 clients went into the second raft.
Towards the end of the float, we passed a cliff perfect for jumping off and watched as another group was just cajoling their last jumper to make the leap.
Nearly all of our group made the leap as well, a couple of us going twice – which may have been pushing my luck as my glasses came off when I hit the water the second time and sunk to the creek bed. Thankfully we were able to retrieve them so I could still see.