How One Whitewater-loving Gal Convinced the Non-Camper in Her Life to Go on a Rafting Trip
When my boyfriend Joe and I first started dating, I got a flat tire on a treacherous country road. I use my damsel in distress cards sparingly, but this seemed a worthy cause. (I can change my own tire. But figured, why not call my manly man and have him do it for me?)
Being the gallant gentleman he is, Joe was on the scene in short order.
“I’ve called AAA,” he announced. “They’ll be here in an hour.”
The look on my face must have revealed what I was thinking, because he continued: “Look, I don’t change tires, mow lawns, fix toasters, hunt or camp.”
Clearly Joe and I had serious issues to explore.
The big question
“Have you ever been whitewater rafting?” I asked.
The flat tire thing could wait (and apparently we had an hour to kill). But a no-go on rafting could be a deal-breaker.
He returned my incredulous look with one of his own.
“Like in a rubber raft going over rocks and getting wet?” he asked. “God no.”
You would’ve thought I’d asked him if he’d ever eaten a worm.
But months later, here we are planning our first rafting trip. Joe has enthusiastically purchased all manner of camping gear–despite my protests reminding him that good outfitters provide absolutely everything. Once a man discovers REI, though, and gadgets like headlamps and firestarters and GPS, they become like teenage girls in a Sephora.
Men are Simple
So what made a man like Joe change his mind?
Since that day on the side of the road, I regaled Joe with stories of the gastronomic delights on my several OARS rafting trips–fresh-caught salmon grilled to perfection; melt-in-your-mouth tri-tip; waking to the smell of bacon and coffee…it’s truly astounding what river guides can cook out in the middle of nowhere. And my favorite part? I don’t have to do a darn thing except sit and eat.
If food is the way to a man’s heart, beer is the way to everything else. And while Joe was excited about the delicious dishes he had to look forward to, truthfully, it was probably the beer that sealed the deal.
“Why does beer taste so good after a day on the river?” the advertising for OARS’ Craft Beer Tasting trips asks. “Maybe because beer is mostly made up of water and paddling through exhilarating rapids can leave you parched.”
And I have to admit, there’s nothing quite like a beer chilled in the currents of a river and shared around a campfire after a long day on the river.
So off we go, me with a small duffle bag, Joe with a trunk full of gear he doesn’t need, (including, of course, his AAA card) and a cooler full of beer. Wish me luck!
Maybe Joe won’t change a flat tire, but with a little persuasion, he sure changed his mind about a rafting trip.