Monday, July 26, 2010

My Perilous Journey

Dear McKay and Makana,
Yes, you are lucky enough to have a blog addressed to you. In order to appease your desires of hearing my written word I have decided to take you on a journey. This journey discusses my near death experience. Tears may be shed, so I warn you, please have tissues nearby.

When one is single and living in Utah one tries to think of things that only single people would want to do. One such thing, float down the Provo River. Now please don't be deceived by the fact that you have seen multiple families on the rivers. Those families just have parents trying to live their single years again.

Having decided to do this activity I got a group together and we set out. Earlier that day I had made a special effort to buy tubes so that I could use it the next time I went. What I got in return was a tube that was, well.. very small. In fact I imagine it was meant for a five year old. But I thought that as long as it helped me float it wouldn't matter if 85 to 90 percent of my body was in the water.

We got to the river and when I got in the water I began to think I had made the wrong decision on sticking with my tube as the water was not very pleasant. In fact on a scale on 1 to 100 in ranking the coldness of the river I would say it was around a 95.3. But with boys about it was not the time to declare my love for sitting in hot cars for two hours.. thus I dutifully jumped in.

From previous experiences I knew the first thing I would be encountering was a bridge. This bridge had acquired my hate ever since my first ride when it had knocked me off my tube and left me freezing the entire ride down. I was determined to not let the bridge get the best of me this time. I tried as hard as I could to steer myself perfectly under the bridge but instead ran right into the pole. My tube was whisked out from underneath me and down I went, right in a little gap between the poles of the bridge.

Before I continue let's get something straight by saying that I am not a fan of fast currents that are stronger than you. Nothing is exciting about being whisked about uncontrollably by water when there are rocks to be hit and you are at the complete mercy of the river. Well this time was no different. I was stuck under water by strong currents that were holding me in place in a little nook under the bridge (whoever engineered this bridge were not thinking of happy single tubers going down the river). I frantically tried to swim my way out, but I was completely powerless. After trying desperately to get out to get to the surface these thoughts went through my mind.

"I am going to die.. how odd is that? I always thought I was going to live a long life but I guess this is the way I am going to go.. But I really always thought I was going to live longer.. I really hope I go unconscious soon.. I don't want to be aware that I am drowning to death.. I hope mom isn't too upset about this.."

As you can tell I was surprisingly calm under water. I could see there was no way I was going anywhere and death to me was inevitable, especially since in every book I've read or movie I've seen when you are calm it just means that death is the next thing that is going to happen.

Just after giving up all hope I felt a rope. For some odd reason a rope under a bridge could only mean one thing to me.. there was a back exit to this nook! I quickly stepped over the rope and found my back against two wood slats. Barely having any room to manuever I crunched my body up and prayed that there would be enough room for me to squeeze by. I felt my body begin to squeeze through and I realized that it was going to work. I was actually going to live to tell the tale. The currents on the other side of the post quickly grabbed my protruding body and again I was whisked away.

Once I realized I was not going to die survival mode quicked in. I struggled frantically against the current so I could get to the surface to get oxygen that I so desperately needed. My head came above water and I was gasping for air. Once I got the oxygen all panic ensued.

"Help! Help me! HELLLLP!" Tanner had been searching for me and when he saw me come up he yelled and asked if I was ok, multiple times. Each time he asked I would scream "Help me!!!" People probably thought I was crazy but I didn't care. I had almost DIED, the river was still carrying me in deep water, and I still could not breath. Some strangers came by on linked tubes and I screamed help once more like a crazed fool and started to swim desperately toward them. They were kind to let me grab on as I started to gulp down air. They even swam over and got me my tube. I could see they were eager to be rid of me since really, who screams in panic like that on the provo river?

After floating a bit further on my dinky tube I could feel sweet, sharp rocks under my feet. I stumbled over to land to wait for my friends, survey the damage that was done, and try to not get hypothermia. I had lost Lexi's shoes (meaning I would be going barefoot the rest of they way and Lexi would soon know I had taken her shoes without permission), my headband, I had a gash on my knee and leg that had swollen, my neck and head had bumps on it from squeezing through the wood, and my head ached as I felt like I had swallowed gallons of water. But, I was alive.

Needless to say I will not be returning to that river anytime soon. From now on I will participate in fairly harmless activities like wading in the kiddie area at my local pool. Although the danger there is swimming in children's feces. Maybe I'll just stick to reading books about people's adventures.

Editor's Note: Lest you think I am exaggerating I'll have you know I had a friend there who was frantically trying to get me out. He was terrified and was sure I was a goner.