Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Arroya Seco Tubing Adventure

A friend of a friend suggested a tubing adventure. Adventure is our middle name we all collectively said. So we found ourselves equipped with Wal-mart inflatable chairs and two Gatorades each. The friend of the friend had given careful instructions on the type of chair and size of Gatorade. We began the day intrepidly, darting up the fire truck path, deep into Los Padres National Forest, along the Arroya Seco river.

The Gatorade, which at first had seemed like overkill, was quickly drained as we trekked to the drop-in point. Dipping into the promised pools motivated every step.

It was all fun and games in the first large pool. Dogs splashed nearby and teenagers, with less common-sense than us, leaped from the surrounding cliffs, showing-off for the girls below. Winded, breathless, we filled our chairs until we nearly fainted. It took an hour to recover.

Of course, it wasn't quite the adventure we had envisioned. Afterall, nearly everything we had done so far could have been done at the public pool at the YMCA. We followed the river, anxious to happen upon a waterfall.

We picked our way through shallow, moss-covered river beds with all but the most sure-footed of us landing upon our tushies. The round, smooth river stones somehow always transformed to hazardous jags right where we landed. Just ahead, there must be a pool, or some fun. And there was. Secret hideaways, with no one for miles. Rapids that tested our resolve. Deep, dark waters hid unknown fearsome creatures that the ophidiophobic among us was certain were nipping at his feet.

We rested in other pools, the careful stepping along the river, the diminishing Gatorade reserves and the zapping strength of the sun, all taking their toll. The hours passed and our uncertainty grew. Where did the friend of a friend say the exit point was? Did this bend look like it could be the bend?

Paddling. Searching. Adventuring. Unlike the amusement park, you couldn't just get off the ride. We pressed on until the way became clear. Dragging our wet bodies up the steep and dusty ridge, eroded over centuries of the Arroyo Seco biting down upon it, we saw the last obstacle. A rope lay in front me, the top grounded 10 feet above. The only thing between me and the civilization of the car loaded with Gatorade reserves was this bit of climbing. I wish I could say it was without trembling, but my knees were knocking every step. Hand over hand I pulled, unable to close my eyes to the height and control the fear of falling.

Back at the car, we commiserated. It was a bit more adventure than perhaps we could handle. Masking our disappointment with exclamations of "We're too old for this shit!", we resorted to comedic relief. Later at the hotel, under the 1970s original motorcycle artwork, we recounted the fun and the terror. We nursed our bruised feet, our sunburned bellies and wounded pride.

WeVerb 2014 - Remember
I'm loosely participating in WeVerb 2014 as I catch up on several saved posts and reflect on last year! Join in the fun:

1 comment:

  1. Sounds fun (and scary!) at the same time. Definitely a good adventure.