Kristi Fuoco 2Like any true BC girl, I always wanted to go river rafting. I imagined myself whipping down the rapids with a paddle, manoeuvring between jagged rocks, nearly flipping over and then suddenly righting myself all on my own and making my way down the rough and wild river like some adventurous goddess. My first rafting experience was totally different but equally hair-raising.

My family and I decided to try out Kumsheen rafting on one of our many summer road trips into the interior of BC. This was going to be our special treat. We stayed in one of the adorable and rustic and yet totally cushy (when you’re used to sleeping in tiny tents in the wilderness) Kumsheen tents which made the whole experience even more unique.

The morning of our trip we really had no idea what to expect. We met with the groups down by the river, got suited up in our life jackets and much to my disappointment I realized we were going to be in giant, motorized raft, rather than paddling down the river like I always imagined. But I soon learned the benefits of the motor; My family and I quickly claimed the front of the raft, which we were told was the best and roughest and wettest place to be. It was hard for me to imagine getting soaking wet in this giant boating boat, but we most certainly did.

The ride started off fairly smoothly and quietly, but the moment we reached our first rapid, I understood the benefit of the motorized raft on a river. It’s all about the power. Our guides knew just what to do and just how to manuveur in order to get the most out of each rapid and with a thundering splash like a whale breaching we were propelled up into the air and slammed down on the river, and a chorus of screeches of joy (mostly) filled the boat every time we hit a rapid.

Each guide tried to compete with each other and get their guests screaming and laughing the most. I’m pretty sure our boat won.

We were soaked from that first rapid onwards and gripped on to the boat with white knuckles and chattering teeth as if our lives depended on it.

The thing that amazed me was just how long the trip was. We went for the whole day, stopping at lunch for a yummy meal prepared by Kumsheen and then continuing along the river for the rest of the day. It was hot and sunny BC summer weather, but by the end of the day I was shaking and shivering, but completely happy and exhilarated and grinning from ear to ear.

When we headed back to our tent that night we were lucky enough to be able to rid ourselves of our wet clothes and hop into the outdoor hot tub there. I can’t tell you how amazing it felt to soak in that hot tub after a day of being drenched by that turbulent and chilly river. It was the perfect British Columbia natural amusement park experience.

My family still has two photos on the wall from our trip taken by the Kumsheen staff. Kind of like the photos you get from Splash Mountain, in the shots we’re screaming and happily surprised and looking like we’re about to pee our pants.

I can’t wait to do it all over again. And then probably again.

– Kristi Fuoco