"There is a great story I remember from a rafting trip last summer that always makes me laugh.
It happened at Randy’s Rock, a small riffle near a big rock jutting out from the Colorado River. I was learning how to raft the Colorado River, and the boatman was trying to teach me the importance of having my boat angled in the right direction. As I was listening to him I was heading straight for the shoreline. I tried to keep cool but instead of changing my angle and pulling away from the rocks I was about to encounter, I pushed right towards them. We had a rough, bumpy ride over some small rocks lined up near shore. Needless to say, the boatman was quite surprised and I was not encouraged by this experience.
The boatman unsuccessfully tried to convince me to continue rowing and got back on his oars. In a relaxed state, he rested as he placed the handles of the oars underneath his thighs. The boat floated into the next riffle, while he explained to me what went wrong and why I was unable to avoid the rocks we had clumsily encountered. I remember him saying, “So, what you did wrong was…” when all of a sudden the river current grabbed the other end of his right oar, and, in catapult-like action, dragged him across the boat and tossed him into the river. Before even thinking about helping him back in the boat we both started laughing until we had tears in our eyes!
What a humbling experience for the both of us! I guess the moral of this story is: You don’t tame the river, the river tames you. Just when you think you have figured her out, the river throws a curve ball. In defense of the boatman: He is an awesome guide who, after that incident, has an even greater respect for the river god."
-Thea, Grand Canyon Whitewater Guide In Training