Another Week of Adventures for the Raft Rookies
Glenwood Adventure Company’s (GAC) raft rookies just finished week two of training and are even more excited to be part of the GAC team! This past week, we explored more of the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers, as well as the Lower Eagle River and Arkansas River. We also had a seventh member join the rookie team—all the way from Ireland!
Meet Fionn, 21, from Dublin, who found out about GAC through his uncle while looking for an outdoor summer job. He’s currently studying engineering in Ireland, hoping to one day be a biomedical engineer and work with prosthetics. He loves freestyle skiing and drawing landscapes and portraits, and once came face-to-face with a 10-foot great white shark while scuba diving!
Jumping straight into the mix of things, Fionn’s first day consisted of learning how to guide an oar boat, though the practice was new to most of us, too. Guiding a boat using oars is much different than guiding using paddles, but with the help of Lakota Guides’ awesome instructors, by mid-afternoon we began to get the hang of it.
Then it was back to using paddles the next day and checking out exciting new rapids!
Almost every day this past week we’ve trained with Lakota Guides—the other subsidiary of Adventure Outdoors LLC—and have continued to expand our rafting family. On Thursday we set off for Brown’s Canyon National Monument on the Arkansas River to run through class III rapids, camp out, and practice our flip training. This was the most technical part of rafting we rookies had experienced so far! As the instructors and senior guides rafted in separate boats around us, we practiced what we’ve been learning to scout out and avoid rocks, fallen trees and other obstacles in the river. Through teamwork, persistence and quick decision-making, we successfully navigated through (even though some of us unintentionally swam along the way!)
We did intentionally swim during one section, after we rafted through a safe area of rapids to initiate a boat flip—this was practice for gathering our crew, getting the boat flipped back over and steering to safety. The water was cold and intimidating, but we felt trained and confident in the task. And it was fun to work as a team to get more experience under our belts!
Afterwards it was another three leisurely miles down the beautiful Arkansas, and the sun broke out just long enough to warm us up.
Week two down, just a few more days to go for training. Have a happy Memorial Day and stay tuned next week for more updates and adventures!
By Jenn Cleary