We woke up early, at first it felt like I was headed to work, but then I remembered the exciting day ahead of me. I gathered my things, grabbed a cup of coffee, and head out. The drive was very easy, as there is hardly anyone on the road at that time.
Upon arrival at the Granite Outpost, we were greeted with friendly staff smiles and more coffee! Once we checked in, we were outfitted with a wet suit, splash jacket, helmet, and PFD. We introduced ourselves to our fellow boaters and hopped into the van. The drive to the rappel location was very quick! Still groggy from waking up so early, we followed our guide along the short path up to the site where the rappelling begins. After listening to the safety talk and properly outfitting our harnesses, our guide asked who wanted to go first. One man eagerly volunteered, excited to be in Colorado celebrating his 25th anniversary with his wife. Once he safely made it to the bottom, we all followed suit. For those of you who have experience climbing, rappelling is a no-brainier – something you wouldn’t think twice about. I have very little climbing experience, and as such, was a bit nervous. However, once I got over leaning back into the harness and aligning myself parallel with the wall, I completely relaxed. While you are in control of the pace, your guide still has ultimate control. The views from the wall are breathtaking ~ to your left is the section of whitewater on the Arkansas River known as Pine Creek.
Once everyone has successfully rappelled, the guide sent our life jackets down and quickly followed himself. He walked our group down to the river where we were reunited with the rest of the group who would be rafting the Gauntlet. The first part of Pine Creek is somewhat mellow, but don’t let it fool you! The excitement is still coming! I have rafted Clear Creek, the Blue River, and a few rivers in Wyoming, but nothing ~ nothing ~ compares to the excitement of the Gauntlet. AVA’s guides are extremely knowledgeable and took us down a great route, avoiding potentially dangerous obstacles. Once we finished Pine Creek, we were onto a section of whitewater known as the Numbers. The numbers is a Class 4 section of whitewater ~ Pine Creek is Class 5.
I was sad when the Numbers was finished, but boy was I hungry after all that paddling. Not to worry…arguably the best part of the trip is the sizzling hot riverside fajita lunch prepared riverside by the guides at the end of the trip! For information on adventures just like The Gauntlet, give one of our adventure experts a call at (877)-GORAFTING!