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Saturday, August 23, 2008

body surfing new mexico

For as long as we've lived here, I've wanted to go river rafting on the Rio Grande. It looks like so much fun, bobbing along on the water, screaming over the rapids, jumping in for a swim in the calm pools. Swimming in the Rio Grande sounds so romantic, like something from an old cowboy movie, or if you're farther south, it's a good way to get arrested for illegal border crossing...

Yesterday Rick and I met up with some friends after our hike, at a popular spot under the John Dunn Bridge, where the Rio Hondo meets the Rio Grande. We set up chairs and dragged coolers full of food and beverage out of our cars, and proceeded to relax in the shade. It was one of those perfect 90 degree days that gets pretty hot, even under and old cottonwood tree, so some of us started to talk about a swim. The best spot for a dip is on the other side of the bridge, so we wandered over there to cool off. Katy said she wanted to float back to camp, and I jumped at the idea, thinking it was as close to rafting as I was likely to get any time soon. Rick, Karena, and Heidi decided to just swim a bit and walk back, telling us we were flat out crazy to go drifting down the river without a boat. But did we listen? Noooooo...

Katy George has lived on the Rio Grande most of her life, except for a short stint in Paris. The Rio is her heart's home, so I figured she knew what she was talking about. We hopped in and drifted slowly at first, chatting and giggling and feeling oh so brave and adventurous. As we got to the bridge, the water started to move a little faster, and Katy said it would be best to go through those little rapids up ahead, and get out on the other side of them, where it's an easier beach to climb out on. So OK, I followed Katy The River Guide as the water sped up, and we were swept into the rapids. Fortunately, she remembered to tell me to keep my feet in front of me, but I quickly saw that no matter where my flip-flop clad feet were, I was totally out of control. I watched Katy ahead of me, bobbing and bumping along, as I did the same. My feet found the very large rocks that created the rapids only a split second before my butt did. I bumped and slammed and dunked and sputtered along, thinking it would never end. One of my shoes came off, and I calmly announced out loud, "Oh. Lost a shoe", feeling pretty happy that was all I'd lost. The next moment I was able to reach out and grab it, and made the follow-up announcement, "Got it back." Finally, after thirty seconds that seemed like three days, we made it to the calm water at the other end. Our friends on shore were worried and sent John and a large dog to rescue us. He helped us out and we stumbled back to camp, laughing maybe just a bit too hysterically.

Once we caught our breath and surveyed that damage, I asked Katy what in the world made her think that was a good idea. I was sure she had said she'd done this before. Her smooth Texas/French reply was something like, "I never said I'd done it without an inner tube!"

This morning I have more bruises on my backside than I can count. There is not a comfortable position to sit in, so I'm writing this in considerable discomfort. I do have a new theme song though, at least until the bruises fade... I think it's an old Cold Blood song, in which Lydia Pense belts out, Talk about your lowdown blues, I got 'em. I do believe I've hit rock bottom.



Next week we all plan to meet there again. I think I'll stick to the swimming hole.

5 comments:

Katy said...

o la la, kim, i was hoping you weren't as bruised and battered as i am. but alas, no. i remain in firm denial that my navy blue toe could be broken. i'm gonna buy some good river shoes! no more river surfing for me without an inner tube! sorry my judgement was so bad. glad we got through our adventure alive. and praise goddess for this wonderful french ibuprophen gel i kep slathering on. onward thru the fog.....
love, katy

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Should have asked me first. That George woman lies like she breathes ... enjoyed the slide show though! Looks a bit like the Gorges du Tarn in France.

Kim Miles - Beadist said...

HaHa! Daphne, I have to assume you're a friend's of Katy's! And Katy - I hope your toe isn't broken! I'm finding new bruises everywhere... I'll need to rest up before next week's adventure! Nothing less than an inner tube for me from now on! But you know, I had a blast! I think we all need to just prove we're still alive and kickin' every now and then. I think we accomplished that! ;o) xo!

Anonymous said...

Oh Kim,
Adveentures are good - especially for the young - as when I got tumbled like a beach stone in Carmel. Couldn't get past the surf, couldn't get into the beach. Even my hair was bruised. Thank God I had tanks and a regulator. It sounds like you have friends who are a "baaad influence" as my mother used to say :-). Melaleuca's Pain A Trate works really well under these circmstances, too. I know, sigh... Norine

Michelle ~ UK said...

It looks lovely there Kim ! What a lovely place on a hot summer's day ! I bet Heidi enjoyed it ! (I love her BEAD collar !!!)