All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


The Trip

The Upper Colorado River is a scenic bit of stream that wanders through some pretty mountains and valleys. We entered the river above a three mile stretch of water that appeared more like a looking glass than the torrent of death we hoped for. Trout were visible in the shallows. We were surrounded by ranch land. The scene reminded me more of a church group canoe trip than a great adventure. We paddled a relaxed pace till we reached a deep pool.

There were four of us in our raft; in addition to our guide, Waterboy, myself, and a girl that worked for the rafting company in reservations. We’ll call the girl Art Major, because that’s what she said her degree was in. Art seemed like a nice kid. She told us that she got to raft for free on her days off and she was looking forward to the trip. There is of course two sides to any story, and I have it on good authority (my imagination) that she was being forced to ride in our raft because she once let two old fat men book a trip on the Gore.

In order to run the Gore you have to pass a two part swim test. Part number one is a self rescue drill. The idea is to simulate being stuck underwater under the raft. The second part of the test is swimming a class III rapid. The idea is if you’re dumb enough to jump into a raging river rapid, you’re probably dumb enough to raft the Gore. The way the test works is you swim hard into the top of a small wave then roll over and float down to a take out point. You try not to bang into any rocks. I had to psych myself into it. Not really. I was being a gentleman and letting all the girls go first. Waterboy, who seems to lack some manners I might add, shoved his way to the front of the line and jumped right in.

We ran several solid IV and IV+ rapids, we caught a class V, named appropriately “Ball Breaker”. Ball Breaker has some nice waves on top and a small hydraulic at the end, right in the middle is a shoot that drops about 6 to 8 feet. If you’re in the back of the raft when you go through the shoot, you smack down hard on the water. Yes you can feel it. Art and Waterboy didn’t seem to mind. I wanted to ice myself, fortunately the water wasn’t to warm.

The waterfall was everything I expected and more. We didn’t gain sufficient speed as we entered the top of the run. I’m not sure if our guide over corrected or if we got caught in a spin at the top of the falls. Regardless of the cause, we ran the waterfall sideways. That’s not such a bad way to go over a waterfall, but at the bottom you come to a sudden and jarring stop. Art and I were on the side of the raft that hit the water at the bottom. I’m not sure how she exited the raft but at some point I did a back flip. We both went for a swim. I think I get extra points for the graceful acrobatics AND holding on to my paddle. I made a swim for the raft and grabbed for the safety line. Why the guide was laying down with his shoulder on the side of the raft is beyond me, but he was. My blind grab for a hand hold reached not the safety line but the top nylon strap on his life jacket. I pulled like my life depended on it; at least until I realized that yanking the guide out of the boat was counter productive. He recovered once I released my hold.

While my little drama was unfolding, Waterboy raced to rescue Art from being smashed on a big rock. By raced in that last sentence, I mean he flung himself across our somewhat vertically aligned raft, not unlike Superman flying down a mine shaft to save Lois Lane from falling. He heroically pulled her safely back into the raft. They toweled off, found their respective seats, had a nice chat, and fixed a spot of tea. Meanwhile, back in the raging torrent, your host had managed to get another hand hold (while never releasing his hold on the paddle). This time I was able to grab the raft and was starting to get myself back in when they fished me out.

It was one of the best times I’ve had on water. Art seemed a little bummed. She was hoping for a chance to meet a single guy, instead she got stuck with us. We told her about Eric. Frankly I’m not sure she’s his type. She pays more attention to hygiene, seems very nice, no chance for the menage au tois ala twins, no dread locks. The real let down for you buddy is that she has a lot more available if your boy was to give her one of his special “hugs”.

The run was the best and most physically challenging I’ve ever been on. It’s also the only run that has ever been able to unraft me. We’re planning on making the Gore part of next summer’s adventures. Join us.


They have pictures of us.

We are pictures 108 through 119. They don't have us in the waterfall, I'm not sure which rapid that was but it looks like a class V.

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