Friday, July 29, 2011

Youth Conference - 2011

I wanted to write about our ward youth conference before we leave for our next adventure. . . in one hour!!!

We headed to Ashland, OR for a fun-filled two days! On Friday we worked on a service project, headed to the lake, and had a fireside. I slept on the floor in the hall on Friday night because we had heard that a couple of the girls were talking about sneaking out. Definitely not my best night sleep!

Saturday morning, we woke up super early, headed to the Medford Temple to do baptisms, then headed to the Rogue River to do some rafting. We stopped for ice cream at the famous Rice Hill on the way home.

Here is my favorite moment from the trip:

It has been years since I have wake boarded! I popped right up as if I just did it last week. I even got a few good jumps in (in first pic I'm landing) before face planting it pretty hard! It was AWESOME! We also rode on a 12 man banana which was way cool. I've only ever done a 6 man. This was so fun. There are pictures on someone else's camera so if I ever get them, I will add them to this!

My not so favorite moment of the whole trip:

I wanted to write about this before it was too far out of my memory. When we were dividing up who was in which boat when we went rafting on Saturday, a bunch of the young women wanted to be with me and few other female leaders. We ended up with an all girls boat that had 9 of us in it. When we started on the river it was about 11:30 am, and the water was swift and cold! Ok, cold is an understatement. It was as close to freezing as you can get with out actually having ice in it.After about ten minutes of paddling some of the young women in our boat decided they really wanted to paddle. We started switching paddles and positions and everything when we realized we were heading straight of a bridge pylon. By the time these inexperienced girls starting paddling, it was too late. We ran straight into the pylon and the current started sucking the back end of our boat under. The whole boat flipped and sent 7 of us floating down the river. 2 clung on to the raft for a while trying to get it unstuck from the pylon before a fisherman came over with his boat and rescued them. I was one of the unfortunate ones that got dumped in the freezing water and floated down the river. Our Bishop's boat was a little ways ahead of us and could hear all of us screaming. They paddled to the side of the river and we all made our way over to them. The bishop reached his hand out for mine and he was within centimeters of grabbing me. I reached my other hand toward my friend so I could pull her in as the Bishop pulled me in. Well, my friend grabbed my one hand a half second before the Bishop grabbed my other hand, and it spun me away from the Bishop's boat and back out into the COLD and SWIFT river. The Bishop's raft was able to pick up everyone else who got dumped out except for me. I was terrified. The day before we left for youth conference there was a story on the news about an 11-year old boy who drowned in the river. All I could think about was I was going to either drown or die from hypothermia! I was probably in the water for a total of 8 minutes, including a set of rapids! By the time another boat came and rescued me I was freezing. I could barely talk, and I couldn't stop shaking. Since I was one of the first out of the seven of us to make it to Bishop's boat and then got sent back into the river, I wasn't able to see if all of the other girls and leaders in the boat made it. I was really worried about them and I just wanted the new boat I was in to pull over so I could wait for them and make sure they were ok. I eventually talked them into pulling over but they missed a clearing in the shore line and we ran into several trees. One of the boys that was paddling in the front pushed a branch back so it wouldn't hit him in the face. As soon as he passed it, he let go of it and it whacked me right in the head and gave me a nice little cut. At that moment, it took everything out of me to not cry. I looked down at my watch and we had only been on the water for 45 minutes. This was supposed to be a 3-4 hour float. At that moment, all I wanted to do was be dry and warm and at home with my kids. I did not want to be rafting anymore! We eventually made it to the river bank and waited for about 45 minutes. We never saw them which worried me even more, but the boat I was in didn't want to wait anymore, so we left. I eventually hopped in another boat that wasn't into getting in water fights with every other boat that they saw. I enjoyed my ride in the third boat and made it safely to the take-out spot with no more incidents. 

About 45 minutes later, I start to see all of the girls from my boat! I was so happy to see that they were ok.

{There was a ton more to the story here, but when I pushed "publish post" it disappeared. We are now leaving in 17 minutes and our car is not packed, so I will have to redo it when we get back! Boo.}

It was quite an adventure. At first I said that I'm not sure I would ever get on a raft again! But I'm pretty sure I will as long as we are more organized and smart about who is paddling and when we switch paddlers. It is definitely an experience I will never forget!

1 comment:

The Benson Family said...

Sounds like an adventure! A similar thing happened to my sister and mom down some rapids once and my sister vowed she would never do it again. She has done it once since then but is still hesitant!

I'm glad you are okay! I hope the rest of the trip is less exciting than that but enjoyable!

I miss the ward and tell Maisey I miss her too! She is so cute! Your message came on just the right day. It lifted my spirits! Thanks!