Archive for the ‘Rafting’ Category

When You Fall Out of the Boat

August 6, 2009

(This is a feature article from our website.)

When Emily was eight-years-old, we traveled to Colorado for a family reunion. (Incidentally, during that trip I finished the song, Listen to Me Breathe, which is on The 15th Floor’s album, From the Dining Room.) My father was undergoing chemotherapy for advanced colon cancer and this was his last hurrah. One of the highlights of the reunion was a river rafting trip.


Because of the chemo, my father was not feeling particularly well, but stoically managed to participate fully and enjoy himself—I am sure well entertained by our bumbling rafting expertise. Emily, by far the youngest to participate, was a bit afraid and on the drive to Fort Collins from Estes Park took a lot of convincing it would be fun and very safe. At the rafting company headquarters, all decked out in wet suits and ready to go, we congregated outside for the final set of instructions. The speaker, one of the guides, started with these words: “When you fall out of the boat…” Emily heard no more. Totally freaked, she headed toward the changing rooms, feeling tricked and betrayed.

At a point, when I had resolved to stay behind with her, our friendly neighborhood river rafting guide took over and performed a miracle. He made an eight-year-old distraught girl trust him and willingly go where no one in her family thought she would ever go—into the boat. She did not fall out of the boat. As a matter of fact (and pride), ours was the only boat that did not capsize, i.e. tip over, dumping everyone into the raging river! So it goes. She trusted the right guy.

This became a song, but has since been forgotten. Oh well.