Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Rapids of Moose River
Sometimes in life, you have to ride the rapids. I am not usually a risk taker. I live my life pretty controlled and like things to go as expected. The older I get, the more of a control freak I am. We took the girls this summer on a canoe outing in Old Forge. We rented a nice canoe and canoed the middle branch of the Moose River. Although Brian and I have canoed and kayaked, we have not done it recently, or with the girls. This part of the Moose River is normally pretty calm, which is why we choose it. However, when we left the canoe rental shop, we were told that due to the rain, there were some riffles on the last part of the paddle, just before we were going to take out and ride the Adirondack Rail Road. He sounded so casual about it, so we grabbed the equipment, put on and left.
The trip was awesome. We were the only ones on the river. It was a beautiful day, not too hot, and the scenery of the Adirondacks was amazing. We took out and carried around the dam, and ate lunch in a nice flat here. We put back on and were enjoying a nice swift current when we head the riffles before we saw them. Funny, they sounded like rapids. No problem, the guy said we could carry around them and put back on. We rounded the corner and saw the riffles. Riffles my ass, these things were genuine rapids. They roar was loud, as was the beating of my heart. We decided to take out and carry, only the current was too swift, we couldn't aim at the carry out spot. We were heading into the rapids. Brian yelled "hold on." I was in front, the muscle woman digging in and paddling. Brian was doing the steering, thankfully, because I wouldn't have been strong enough or quick enough to steer us. We saw the spot where we had to take out and carry up the hill to the train stop. We realized that if we missed it, there would be no train, and we would be in even more rapids. We had no idea what lie ahead on the river or how to get back, so we manuevered the canoe and prayed. I kind of felt like we were just along for the ride. The girls were freaking out. Miranda said " We should have never come." Anna said " I want to get OUT." I was feeling the same way.
Somehow, we managed to ride the rapids and aim for the bank. At this point, I dug in and paddled my butt off. We hit the bank with a thunk, I jumped up like Flash Gordon, grabbed the canoe and hauled it up out of the water fully loaded with my family. It was like that scene from the Grinch where he had the strength of 10 Grinches that day.
When we looked back at the rapids we realized a couple of things. First, Brian and I as a team rocked the house! We were awesome. Second, if we had origanally taken out and carried we would still have had to aim the canoe straight accross the rapids to get over to the take out point for the train. We would have chickened out. Sometimes it's better to put yourself to the test, to challenge yourselves to your limits. We felt exhilerated by the time the train came and we got the canoe on. People already on the train saw the rapids, the two girls, all of our gear, overheard the stories and were looking at us like they wished they did what we did.
I need to remember, as I micro- manage my life, to stop and ride the rapids. Listen to the roar, feel the water spraying my face, and enjoy the feeling of a personal challenge.