Monday, September 19, 2005


There has been a significant amount of change in my life over the past seven years. One thing that has remained constant is my annual white water rafting trip.

My cousins started organizing this adventure many many years ago. I'm not sure who originated the outing, but I know that at one point it was managed by my cousins Joe and Suzanne, to be taken over by my cousin Cath, and most recently is being arranged by myself. We go to the same place every year, Drift a Bit in West Virginia, to raft the New and Gauley rivers. In a way it has become a comfort to arrive each fall, to come back to a place that essentially stays the same in this ever-evolving world.

The funny thing is, I'm not really sure why I enjoy these trips so much. It seems that every year something rather uncomfortable or painful occurs. Not of anyone's fault, merely by chance. For example, one year I got a killer bladder infection the night before the trip. As the constant need to pee might become a wee (pun intended) bit uncomfortable while rafting class five rapids, I went to the local emergency room and got some antibiotics - which were so strong they caused intense nausea and eventually vomiting at 3 am. This led to another visit to the emergency room to get drugs to replace what I spewed. After no sleep I raced back to Drift a Bit in the nick of time to make the bus for the rafting trip. Drama drama close call.

There are many more stories of this kind where the rafting trip is involved. Yet I love it so. Maybe it is how complete of a getaway it is. Nine hour drive, no cell phone reception, no watches. Every meal is a struggle, every minute stretches to an hour. Maybe it is the beauty of the West Virginia Mountains. Maybe it is the fresh air.

Maybe it is the rafting guides.

There is something about the guides that is undeniably hot. It could be their deft ability to handle a boat of tourists down a death trap a la mother nature, or the way they shout out the commands with such authority, or the fact that you know that your life is safe in their hands. Whatever the quality, those tan rugged men have a way of turning us city girls to Jell-O. Let me tell you, they have starred in quite a few of my fantasies. They definitely are recurring characters when I...well, you know...think and stuff.

This reaction is not limited to myself, as all the girls who join in the trip fall under their spell. Well, except the taken ones I suppose. But I digress.

This year I got some serious flirt time with a guide. A little bit of time on the river, some more on the bus ride back, a few beers later on. Such a hottie, gorgeous blue eyes. And unfortunately, quite the gentleman. No action, but oh so much temptation.

The killer is that I am no shrinking violet. I tend to be fairly forward and direct. These long standing rafting guide fantasies could have finally come true, but when faced with them in reality I choked! Looking back I could have suggested a walk, taken a drive, something - anything.

To add insult to injury, the second day of rafting I had to go in a different guide's boat in order to join friends that I had been looking forward to riding with for some time. As I said goodbye to my hottie later that day, I could sense his disappointment on my lack of follow-through. So not only did I let a long standing fantasy right through my fingers, but now I'm the famous cock tease from New York.

Great, just great. I suppose it wouldn't have been a regular trip if something hadn't of gone a little awry. And there is always next year. ;)

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