I recently realized the memory was getting cloudy as I half-heartedly recounted the story of Jake, his interesting tattoo, and backwoods winter whitewater raftin’ that was once my go-to anecdote. This story exposes both my wild-sportsman and outrageous prankster sides, as well as my humanity — and it was becoming a bit opaque.
You can find my lame attempt at the start of this story on the internet$, Raging River – 3 men enter, and it’s not worth clicking on (despite the PV earning me millionths of thents!). In theory I gave it this sensationalized 3 men enter title because I was going to turn the story into something else. Something with death and violence and perhaps one character would come out of the closet. In actuality, the real characters and weird things that happened make the story good enough as non-fiction.
Now that I’ve built it ITBTS (impossibly-too-big-to-succeed), let’s continue…. The alps, deep Northern California, chilly February, 3 friends, a cab-over-camper, some serious parallels to what you might expect to find in rural Arkansas, West Virginia, or Kurdistan. We did a bunch of rafting in my friend E’s “pea,” a small-yet-mighty 4 person raft.
E is a rafting obsessive; spending his summers between law school livin’ out of his van, rafting the froth¹ and buying a bunch of gear, including this pea. He spent 10 summers outside of Salida, Colorado at a couple of different rafting companies that run the Arkansas river, and now lives outside Denver. I’m convinced that if he could find a decent woman to live in his van with him, he’d probably have foregone the whole law thing and just stayed livin’ down by the river. Why some good woman simply won’t MOVE INTO HIS VAN!!! is something I still can’t figure out.
This was our beautiful home in the Trinity Alps. Scotty’s cab-over-camper replete with chef’s kitchen, and enclosed patio. We lived out of this beauty for 3 days of rafting Northern California in the mid-00′s.
Advanced rafting technique, whereby you try to knock your friend’s helmet off so that he has to jump into the freezing river to retrieve it. Safety first!