Well, it’s been another exciting fun week here in Idaho! This past Saturday we began work on our Digital Storytelling Projects. We all take a class about digital storytelling and create videos highlighting an aspect of our Alzar experience. Mine is going to be about the landscapes that we see along our semester experience.
Also this past Saturday we went kayaking along the main fork of the Payette River. We drove about an hour south, just out of the snow zone, and set up on a beach along the river. Those of us who wanted to paddle hopped back on the busses and drove about a half mile back north to put in the river.
While I was nervous, I was also really excited to get back to kayaking after a few weeks away. We gathered all of our boats, paddles, and gear along the beach and prepared to launch. After some initial waves and strong current, the river mellowed out for a little while. We soon realized that it wouldn’t be mellow for long as we approached the first rapid. The fact that I couldn’t see the people who had already gone down the rapid was a testament to its waves and decline.
My stomach churned as we approached the waves and I sucked in one last breath before my bow entered the white water. Stay loose! Look where you want to go! KEEP PADDLING! I repeated over and over in my head. Just as soon as the waves began, they ended, and I was spat back out into the calm river.
We practiced catching eddy’s (stopping in calm areas behind rocks) and worked on our paddling. Before long, we had reached the next rapid, promising to be bigger than the one before. I took a deep breath and started down. This rapid had a large rock in the middle of it, which I was careful to avoid. Finally we reached the other side. However, one person had flipped and swam (an out of boat experience). Somehow he was on one side of the river and his boat and paddle were on the other. After some ferrying across to return all of his things, we continued down the river to the biggest and final rapid.
My stomach churned more and more as we approached, and I took a minute to fully prepare myself. The waves on this rapid were huge. As I started up the first one, the water whipped around me. On my way down, the river seemingly began coming at me from all directions. One wave crashed over my head, and the next pushed me along the river. It’s safe to say that I was sufficiently freaked out, but having a ton of fun!
I was just crossing the third to last wave when I felt my boat go up on edge unexpectedly and my sense went on high alert. I felt my self start to tip. Suddenly I slapped my paddle not the water of the side I was falling on. And I was still upright…I had just done a low brace. Wow. I wasn’t swimming in the freezing cold water! Yes!!
The rest of the day was relatively uneventful. We hung around the beach playing games, singing songs, and reading before heading back to campus.
On Sunday I made Challah bread in the morning with a few of the other Jews, which was extremely tasty (see pictures below) and rewarding. After the fun weekend we headed back into classes, everyone looking forward to upcoming expeditions.