|It’s Labor Day weekend and we’ve decided to do a raft float down the Salt River. It took about an hour to get to the River. Upon arriving in the parking lot, we finally found where the “reds” come to play in Arizona. Lots of tats, butt cracks, cowboy hats and country music. Yee-haw! It felt like we were back in Florida for a moment.
We got our tubes, including an extra one for our lunch (which Dave tied to his tube) and we all went down the river to put-in. There was lots of eye sore around as we sauntered into the chilly waters. I bet it was around 70-75 degrees. Getting our butts in the tube was a shock but then it felt comfortable, especially with the sun shining overhead. The scenery was pretty, with small orange hills filled with greenery and cactus. As for the people, the song “Redneck Yacht Club” comes to mind.
Near the beginning, Ava got caught up in another group’s rafts. It was a black guy and 2 blondes in their mid-50’s. He was drinking an Oasis Daquiri right from the carton. Ava was in front of them with her raft facing out. She looked at me and said, “I need to get out of here”. She was able to paddle out enough so I could grab her foot and bring her closer. It turns out the guy was pretty friendly and did the Gator Chomp after the last rapid.
We hit 3 different sets of rapids going down. It was so hard to stay together, but on the flats, we would paddle as close as we could to one another and sometimes be able to grab each other’s raft. The 1st two rapid sections were fun!
But on the last rapids, Jen and Dave ended way ahead of me and the girls. Lily had hold of my raft but Ava couldn’t get to us in time so she ran the rapids by herself. She was coasting along the side where the branches go over the river slightly and I was so afraid she would hit her head or she’d get knocked off her raft. It made me so nervous!
Lily and I were yelling, “Head down, hang on!” But every time Ava put her head down, her butt would sink lower, and we would yell, “Butt up, hold on!” It was a torturous 30 seconds for me. Next time, she’s riding with her parents’ through the rapids. It’s just too stressful to watch. Although, by the picture, it looked like Ava was having a ball!
Soon after the last rapids, we found a spot to pull off for lunch. It was right towards the end. We did the 1st section of the river, which only took about 90 minutes. The next section takes about 2.5 hours more. After lunch, we floated slowly to the put-out section. As we get nearer to the shore, “Sweet Home Alabama” begins playing in the background. Dave, Jen and I crack up as we bob our heads and sing along. What a perfect song to end our 1st float trip down the Salt River!