Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Pink Heart Society: CRAFTY CORNER : Craftastic Blogs

The Pink Heart Society: CRAFTY CORNER : Craftastic Blogs: There are mornings where Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke wakes up and wishes she were crafty. Since she doesn't own a hot glue...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Down a River With a Paddle

I have the strange notion that if something shows up on Groupon, it must be a good idea. Hence the snowshoeing, ziplining, rafting, etc. that I've tried out this year. Today was date day (brought to us in part by Uncle Dan, who watched over our minions while were were out).

Hubba Bubba loves how I am taking him on dates this year. I mean, why wouldn't he? Little does he know, 2012 is his turn. He's claiming our Evergreen Escapes snowshoe trip was the best ever, and while I kind of agree, I need to keep trying. And how does a girl compete with a snowshoe date?

Willamette Falls
Kayaking. The idea of climing into a plastic boat and having to fend for myself on the wide Willamette river terrified me. Which was why I did it.

Our guides were young, fun, and completely confident that we'd all make the trip without incident. The dozen or so of us - from teens to grandparents - were shown how to get into the kayak, how to hold the paddle, and the basic strokes. The guides stayed with us, offering guidance and instruction, but I was the only one who seemed incapable of keeping my kayak straight. I think I bumped into all of my tripmates at least once.

Paddling itself wasn't a struggle, but you had to twist your wrist to get the blades of the kayak to hit right, and my wrist doesn't twist. I've decided to blame the titanium, instead of my own dexterity and skill. Because titanium is strong stuff. It can handle it.

Hubba Bubba? Loved every minute of the excursion I wasn't bumping into him with my kayak. I told him we should have gone tandem, but I think he knew I'd wind up being a mess on the water, and wanted distance from my chaos. I wanted distance too, but since I am me, I was stuck with it.

I think we'll kayak again. They do naturalist tours that I think would be fun (and easier to keep the raft straight since there won't be as much of a current). eNRG runs excursions to lakes, islands and even Nehalem bay on the coast. I know we'll do at least one of those!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Down The River

I haven't been rafting since I was willing to be seen in a bikini. When I lived at home, rafting down the Rogue river was a weekend activity, not really an event. The only planning it took was remembering the pump and getting refreshments in a cooler.

Now, when a girlfriend said she wanted to go rafting for her birthday, I wasn't even sure where to start. I have a raft and oars...somewhere. But, I don't know these rivers, and well, now I am old enough to be scared!

I scoured the internet and found Wet Planet Whitewater, where they handle everything. What a relief! We showed up and were outfitted with wetsuits (a first, clothing is minimal when rafting the Rogue in the summer), splash jackets, helmets (why do these adventures require helmets!), and booties. The jacket I was assigned smelled like mildew and sweat. GAG. But, the other gals had unsmelly ones, so I was just 'lucky'.

They sent us off to a white schoolbus and trucked us a few miles to the put-in point. They divided us into groups...and our foursome got matched up with part of a redneck themed bachelor party. Including a guy who reeked of beer and sweat. Who sat right in front of me. I could have smooched my friend Roxann when she suggested they trade seats!

Smells aside, it was amazing! Our guide filled us in on local history and ecology, most of which is probably true. He taught us all how to stay in the raft, which is the secret to enjoying any rafting trip. There were some great rapids. One time I almost got tossed (I used my odiferous companion to right myself), another time the guide had most of our crew sit on the front of the bull to 'ride the bull'. He told us after that particular rapid is also known as a nose douche.

We laughed and screamed and played with the waterproof camera. The birthday girl got a special treat -- because there were 7 on our raft instead of the normal 6, she got to ride 'princess'. No paddling! This means she was sandwiched between the two costumed rednecks up front, and tended to tip back when we hit a rapid, but the whole thing was just hilarious.

If all your friends jumped off a bridge, I suppose you would too. Actually, no mom, I wouldn't. But I did take pictures as my river divas took the plunge!

I'm having such a great time experiencing these adventures with my gals this year. I think we may need to keep the tradition going!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Pink Heart Society: Thursday 13 :: Vegas!

The Pink Heart Society: Thursday 13 :: Vegas!: "The Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke loves Las Vegas. And since she's currently planning a girls weekend there with some lovely..."

Tuesday, August 02, 2011