Green River Rafting - Day 4

After our third day rafting the Green River, we had another awesomely final day as seen below. For these pictures, I was lying down in the rear of an inflatable ducky going backwards down the river. Fellow passenger Tiffany did a great job paddling from the front as Bret rowed the Oar Boat within five feet in the Rapids ... and even closer! My Canon 50D DSLR (with ultra-wide 10-22mm lens) was in a waterproof "Shake-n-Bake" bag with a flash attached to provide some fill light.

Wendy told me afterwards that everyone was laughing because as I was going backwards down the river, laying flat on my stomach with upper part of my body hanging out from behind the ducky about a foot above the water. And then we'd hit the rapids and while I felt somewhat wedged in place, I'd get bounced up & down all over the place. I might add that yes, I had no idea of what wave action we were about to hit (Tiffany would say "big waves coming") plus I was looking (via thick plastic) through a small camera viewfinder, so I was tunnel-visioned also. Too bad nobody took a picture/video of the setup!

The resulting low/close angle results in pictures (see below) that are pretty wild ... how often do you see the bottom of an oar boat closing in on you as it gets tossed in the air above you by the rapids?!? And at one point, I even got dumped out of the Ducky, so I had fun couple minute ride through the rapids as I held on to the Shake-n-Bake bag (with the camera) until Tiffany and Bret were able to fish me out. One bummer is that it was a cloudy day, plus I was often shooting into the Sun, so it wasn't the best light by any means. But the fill flash helped ... along with big smiles on my family's faces! ;-)

Wendy, Kyle, and Dirk rafting the frothy waters of the green River - mouseover image for closeup

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I asked Bret to try to get as close as possible ... which he did!

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I think my wife was hamming it up for the camera a bit here ... ;-)

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Plenty of smiles from everyone as they bounced up and down the Green River rapids

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As I was bounced around, the camera was often at (or below) water level ...- mouseover image for closeup

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Bret rows the oar boat in for another close approach!

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The Oar Boat was wayyyy above me when I was in the trough of the waves

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Bret starts out to the side of me, and then closes from behind

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On this approach, the ducky got "held up" going up a wave

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While the Oar boat came sliding down the wave and basically ran over the ducky - D'OH!

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Bret did a great job rotating the boat as the wave pushed him into us, but as we crested the next wave, our ducky rotated and got held up The last thing I remember as I looked through the camera viewfinder was seeing the front of the Oar Boat from above at about 30° pitch down and 45° roll angle and thinking I was going to fall into the Oar boat! However, I ended up falling into the Green River.

Fortunately, I held on to the "Shake-n-Bake" bag (which certainly passed the waterproofness test!) and after surfacing, rode out a decent-sized wave train into some mildly choppy water. At one point early on, I had a hand on the back of Bret's oar boat, but it slipped off. I was now a couple of dozen feet away, but slowly closed the distance even though I could only swim with one hand. I wasn't that concerned (I've been tossed into rapids before), but in hindsight, I should have given Bret a big thumbs up ... although Wendy said they could tell I was fine/calm because I held the "Shake-n-Bake" bag above the water.

I then realized that Dirk was in the ducky - apparently, he had gotten tossed out too, but only for a brief moment. They transferred him to the oar boat as I got closer, and then Tiffany paddled over and I handed her the camera bag, and climbed on board. And then it was back taking pictures (!) as the one below was shot six minutes after the one above. Note that Dirk is now in the BACK of the Oar Boat ... but he had a big smile as the waves continue!

Note that Dirk is now in the BACK of the Oar Boat ... with a big smile as the waves continue!

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Tiffany was a great "ducky driver" ;-)

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Brendan in the other ducky - he also went swimming so I ended up on the other hand of that "rescue" pulling him out

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Some tough looking rafters and Kyle with extra rowing arms - mouseover image for wide-angle view

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More bouncing around in the rapids ... Kyle loved being in the very front of the oar boat

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Bret powers through some waves - mouseover image for another view

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Wendy, Kyle, and Dirk go high and then come crashing down!

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Some misc. side shots ... closer ... and closer! ;-)

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OARS guides breaking down the boats at the takeout point

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Steve, Jay, and Seth with Bret and David in the background - great guides!

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There's also a complete rafting action sequence or go back to the Green River Rafting overview page
If you want to have an incredible rafting experience, check out the great trips at OARS - they were awesome!