Okay, it's not an exaggeration...but it is def one of the most fun and scariest day of my life all wrapped into one!
Quince had this great idea to go White Water Rafting for my family vacation this year. So he got everyone on board, and we all packed up and headed for Ohio Pyle in PA. There were 16 of us total, if you count the two little ones (Cole and baby Riley). And 12 of us rafted the first day, 11 the second. (not cause we lost anyone or anything, just some whimped out and didn't want to come again, and also My Mom came the 2nd day (she was watching the babies the first day)).
Anyhow...the first day was great!! Lots of fun, no incidents....no fouls! Dad's boat lost some folks into the water at the start, but got them back in with only one lost paddle. Then they flipped again further down the river, but everyone was fine.
So we were raring to go the 2nd day....Piece of cake!!
Well the river dropped 5 inches over night, and what a difference a little less water can make...there were lots more rocks. (In the slide show you can see us stuck on a rock at the very beggining of our trip). But we had a good 'ol time. Laughing so hard we almost pee'd our pants on several occasions.
We stopped at a large rock along the way and most jumped off...it was lots of fun. (All of those pics will come later once the waterproof camera gets developed).
We made it through dimple rock (the most dangerous) without even a minor issue. Then a bit further down the river, we came across another set of rapids (the same secion dad flipped the day before, but he was on the other side). We made it through the day before no problem. but this time...no such luck!! We hit a rock and immediately our boat flipped up....I vaguely remember seeing mom being thrown over the top of the boat (it was standing straight up on it's side), Jackie went out the bottom, I was sort of stuck and remember seeing Ryan's leg. I yelled for Mom, then Ryan (I thought his leg was stuck in the boat) and then the water shot me out of the boat...but not for long...I got hung up in the rocks by my leg, I saw Quince and yelled, just as the rapids completely covered my face. Ever wonder what people think before they die??? I'll tell you..."OH MY GOSH! I'M GONNA DIE!!" atleast that is what I thought...it was completely terrifying, and I am not exaggerating it one bit!! Next thing I know I got loose and I was being shot down the river, I saw Quince standing there holding up the boat (or so I thought, turns out he was really hanging from the boat), I turned around to face down stream and put my toes up (as your told) and saw Jackie climbing out onto shore...My dad's boat was in front of me in the calm of the water...and they were pulling mom in. I banged my butt up a ton as I rafted down the remaining rapids (without a boat!) and became engulfed by the water repeatedly before reaching my dad's boat and being pulled in. I survived! (Just barely). I tell you, my whole life really did flash before my eyes, I don't think I have ever been so scared in all my life. I'm pretty banged up and very sore. But Mom got it really bad....we figure she fell about 5-6ft from the top of the boat, landing on a rock and jacking up her elbow. Dad took her to the hospital (after we finished our raft trip, of course)...but no broken bones...Thank goodness. I won't lie, I started balling like a baby once I got in my dad's boat. My mom's elbow was so swollen, (which is why we thought it was broken) it looked like a thumb was coming out the end of it. It was a very emotional experience, and I just may be suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), b/c all I see when I shut my eyes is water going over me...HORRIBLE!!! Quince isn't one to talk about his emotions or anything, but I know it scared him a bit as well....
Anyhow, by the time I was 'rescued' Quince had gotten back into the boat, and pulled in Ryan and Jacob, and gotten Jackie as well. So we were all found, and alive. Mom and I suffered the most injuries, but it could have been SO MUCH WORSE!
All that said and done, it was still a nice vacation, and we had a lot of fun. I just know we are all so thankful the injuries were not worse, and we can all live to talk about the craziness! And hey...we came out of it only missing ONE paddle!!! We snagged one from another company we found along the way and traded it for one from the company we rented, so all is good! I have also learned that the family can really come together in an emergency, the rescue efforts were pulled through flawlessly, though afterwards, the stress got to everyone and there was a complete mental breakdown of a few members of the group. But atleast, it was after all was said and done. Fear can do some crazy stuff to you!
But as I said, it was a great time, non-the-less. Cole really enjoyed himself and it was great spending time with everyone!!!
Moral of the story...you never know what can happen!! Live today as if it were your last! (It almost was mine, I kid you not!!) It will take some time, but I'll probably get on a raft again one day...but I do know this...Cole will NEVER raft unless Quince is with him....and I won't either.
So....here are the pics of our raft going down the first (or second) set of rapids. It really was a lot of fun!!
Here is dad's boat...
It's him, my brother Joshua, his gf Morgan, my cousin Patrick and my bro Jojo
More pics to follow