The Stake that I grew up in had an annual trip to canoe down the Colorado River for the girls that had completed their Camp Crafters program. I was able to participate in the event twice and each time was an interesting experience.
The first year began in an interesting way...We started out the morning we were to begin rowing by discovering that the canoes that had been rented from the Army had holes in them. We had to go to the camp store to buy a lot of bubble gum and duct tap to repair them and then use a whole lot of prayer to keep those canoes together. Once we got going things got even more interesting though, the river had the absolute worst weather that the leaders had ever experienced in the many years of going. We had rain, hail, lightning and thunder. We were supposed to canoe about 50 miles over the course of the week, but with the weather we were having a rough time of it. On the worst day we were sitting in our aluminum canoes in the middle of the river while being pelted with rain and hail, and then if that wasn't bad enough, the lightning began striking near us. Needless to say we had twenty some girls in tears and praying harder than ever before. We had a motor boat with some adult leaders with us and they went ahead to scout a place for us to set up camp. They came back for us a while later and towed us all to this little island. The island must have been about 100 feet long, and 25 feet wide. Not much room at all! Because we had not expected the weather to be anything like this our gear was not prepared for it and we had very little left among the group. Of the six girls that I was with we had one two-man tent, one sleeping bag and one mummy-bag that had survived the day. We all piled in real close in that tent and used the one dry sleeping bag under us and one of the girls moms that was on the trip gave us her sleeping bag so that one went on top. We were quite warm in that little tent.
We were able to finish out the trip with the weather a little better the next couple of days, but boy was that a crazy trip! To top off the end of the trip though, on the way home we hit a wind storm that managed to knock over the trailer carrying the canoes in the middle of the highway.
The next year I didn't go on the trip and they had perfect weather. The girls were able to swim, cliff dive and have an excellent time.
I was able to go the next year and I was all set for an awesome year. Well it was better than the first but still not great. We had cold temperatures and lots of wind. Until coming to IF I had never experienced wind like on the river that week.
One great memory of the second trip was meeting up with a group of boys on a scout trip who spent the day floating and flirting with us, that was fun. In the picture you can see the canoe from my second year. We had brought boogie boards with the hopes of being able to lay out while floating and getting a tan, well in the end all they did was slow us down with added drag, there was no way we were getting in that water.