Water splashes in your face. You hear loud roaring in your ears. The sun glints in your eyes. You feel like nothing can touch you.
Your heart races. You smash a wave, and then suddenly you’re sucked into cold darkness.
You’re victim to the river’s wishes. Your swim is more of a thrashing ride and there’s nothing you can do but let go, relax, breathe, witness the power of nature, and enjoy.
Earlier this spring my brother @gabrielseekins and I floated down some rapids at Granite Falls when the water was highest. Was super fun – can’t wait for more.
It was a moody overcast day. The water was cold but not too cold.
A couple weeks ago my wife and I moved to Granite Falls (to be closer to the mountains). We found this super awesome spot on the river like 3 minutes from our new home.
We started walking there like almost every day.
One day the water was ridiculously high. So I called up my brother, we bought some cheap Walmart rafts, and the next day we went for a ride.
I was a little nervous. A few summers ago I worked as a white water rafting guide on the the Wenatchee river in eastern Wa. And I’ve pretty much been a solid swimmer ever since I can remember. So I feel totally comfortable in water like this.
But with every extreme sport, there’s always that slight high – that nervousness.
Mostly I felt responsible for my brother, and that’s what made me worried. What if he got hurt? That would be in me. He doesn’t have the sort of experience in the water like I do.
But I don’t believe in letting fear rule your life.
And Gabe is old enough to make his own decisions.
So we took it easy at first. I taught him the basics. We went over river safety. And we tested out the rafts.
The first few rapids were a blast. I fell in once, Gabe got stuck on a rock, but we were having the time of our lives.
Then we decided to take it up a notch. Everything went great, the rapids were a blast, until we both flipped and went for a swim.
I was totally fine. I actually enjoy that sort of thing.
But all I could think of was my brother. Eli you idiot. What were you thinking?! He’s gonna break his arm or worse! And it’s gonna be your fault!
I did my best to communicate with him and warn him about what was coming up a head.
Once the current died down I was able to actually start swimming. I saved our gear, and then Gabe caught up with me.
At the end of the day we barely walked away with a scratch.