April 01, 2008

We set out for shotgun eddies campground late at night and get there in time to set up camp and prepare for some of the best rafting in the lower Michigan area, The Wolf River.  The Pestigo river is another spot to white water raft but the rapids are a bit shorter than this long day on the water was for us.  It was quite the adventure. There were about 12-13 of us that rented 4 rafts the following day as we left our campsite for the rafting trip.  We got shuttled up to the rafts and left our cars at the take out point which added a level of convenience for us.   For some reason they allowed us to bring alcohol on this trip which in reality may not have been the best idea but at the time it was one of the best decisions we could make!! The water was rather cold as it was snow run off and the temperature of the air was a cloudy mid 40s with rain at times.   Oh yea, wet and cold with a case of beer and vodka floating down the river in a cooler with us.  It turning into a real shit show, moments after that as we encountered the first set of class 3 rapids.  Nobody didn’t really know how to steer the raft through this so we just went head on, profoundly inebriated from cheap alcohol and, all the mid 20s confidence in the world. We made it through with some challenges as a couple of the rafts go stuck on a sleeper.  We took in some water so for the rest of the day, we were pretty soaked. 

After the poison drip hypo thermic cycle kicked in the alcohol distracted us from the chills except for the occasional shiver here and there. Some of us were so drunk we were speaking cursive. Than we decided to port near another set of rapids to plan how we would get through this challenge but when one of the guys got out of the water, that’s when it happened, SMASH!!!! In a drunkin daze this guy face planeted himself into the rock and was blleding more dramatically than he would have been if he wasn’t drinking. Blood was all over and we still had some distance to cover.

We all got back in the rafts and ended up blasting through this class4 rapid and continued on to our take out point.  We still had everyone with us but the cheap alcohol started leaving headaches while lingering the residual effects of a dizziness followed up by a cold body made this more interesting. We passed up another raft that we empty but figured it was just people in the woods making out or something.  We come up to another set of rapids that cut through a canyon which was really interesting to see! This time some of the other rafts took a tumble and sent some people down the river with all of their items. It was a mess as we could see them floating down the river with all of their shit moving in union with the current.

After 6 hours on the water the rain kept coming down, the temp dropped and the cold shivering bodies continued to progressively get worse.  We were within an hour or so from the take out but the river widened and it slowed our progression.  We continued down to pass one last rapid which was more like a 15-20 ft waterfall that we had to plunge over to reach the end.  We all held on tight and stayed low as we went over the edge crying out a Vikings call as we hit the bottom of the fall and continued to the take out.  YYEAA!! We finally made it to the take out and there was nice fire going that we ran to so we could warm up at.   You could see the steam leaving our bodies and the realization of one hell of a trip down the Wolf River.

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