When I tell people that I have just returned from a four day rafting trip, I usually get a “look.” It’s a look of awe and wonder. “Wow, you must be outdoorsy,” they will say. Or courageous. Or rugged. Or athletic.
I glow in their estimation of me because I can assure you; I am none of the above.
You see, spending time on a river requires very little of those qualities. At best I am a klutz and could never be accused of being remotely rugged. Heck, after two skiing accidents (ski patrol, ambulance and all) I’ve been banned from my local ski resort. I throw like a girl. I can’t hit a golf ball or get a bowling ball down the lane. I could stand to lose ten pounds. Okay, maybe fifteen. I am afraid of snakes, terrified of horror movies and not too wild about elevators either.
But I do have just a little bit of a sense of adventure and the ability to not take myself too seriously. I don’t mind getting wet; in fact I kind of like it. I am thrilled with spectacular scenery and seeing wildlife (no snakes, please). I am an okay paddler, but don’t always jump at the chance. I love pitching in when I feel like it and staying back when I don’t.
I can tell a bad joke and appreciate a good one. I am pretty good at a little group game we play on the river banks called “Washers,” but also really good at sitting solo under a tree with a book. When someone else cooks for me, I am grateful. When the food is delicious, I am doubly so. I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I love a good craft beer riverside.
I don’t mind sleeping outside – if only because the stars are so spectacular. But make no mistake, on my last rafting trip on the Tuolumne River I slept on top of a picnic table in order to avoid, well, you know, a certain unwelcome midnight guest. (By the way, I have never once seen a snake on a rafting trip, and I’ve been on six.)
So while I am not the outdoorsy adventurer type – rafting makes me feel like I am. Oh, and let’s keep this between us, okay?