Adventures in Love #3 – Camping With Friends and a Harrowing Experience with the Arkansas River

Day One: Tuesday, September 20th, we set off for our third adventure in camping. This time, we were heading to meet up with our friends at the SweetWater River Ranch Campground in Cotopaxi, CO. Not a very long drive, nestled along the Arkansas River, between Canon City and Salida, CO, was this very peaceful, relaxing campground. It wasn’t very crowded either. Our friends stayed in one of the luxury cabins and of course, we took our trailer and the Great Danes came with us.

The only prepping for the trip that we did this time was make the reservation, plan a menu and go grocery shopping. We learned our lesson from our camping adventure #2 – when we didn’t go grocery shopping and the Suburban broke down at the campground. BUT – that’s another blog for another time.

We checked in around 7 pm even though check in time was at 3 pm. We got a late start since Dave had to go into work for a couple of hours that afternoon. Our friends arrived the day before and were able to scope out the place. We got the trailer set up and went and sat by the campfire at our friends cabin. We tried to walk, Hope, the female Great Dane, across the suspension bridge… but about 1/4 of the way across there were wooden slats instead of plywood to walk across and she put the brakes on and started backing up. Cosmo, the male Great Dane, he made it ok just fine. On the other side of the river was a big, grassy meadow where the dogs could play.

Day Two: We slept very well in the trailer. Every time we take the trailer out, it gets more and more cozy. We met up with our friends and we all went together to Salida, CO. We ate breakfast at the Patio Pancake House – it was pretty good, plus, they offered gluten and dairy free options for my friend who is allergic to them. After that, we went to Walmart for bug spray! I didn’t want to get eaten up by gnats and mosquitos in the evening again. Then we went and checked out the prices for tubing on the Arkansas River. Not bad. It actually is a very reasonable cost. I think it was $20 for 3 hours.

After that we headed back to the campground. It was beginning to rain anyways, and all the dogs, Hope, Cosmo and little Lily, the Chihuahua, needed to go potty. It didn’t rain very long. We cooked dinner in our trailer for the first time. A skillet full of hamburger and baked beans and fried tortillas. So very yummy. Then we took the Danes and headed back over to our friends cabin. I had a S’more with a gluten free graham cracker and peanut butter cup. Never again will I eat a S’more, with just plain chocolate


Day Three: We started off the day eating breakfast at the same restaurant as the day before. When you find a good restaurant with gluten and dairy free options, you don’t give it up! Then we had to go back to Walmart so I could get a shirt and shorts that fit me. My swimsuit was way too small. All those Covid pounds I gained back, didn’t help. I found a sleeveless mens tee and a pair of knit shorts and a pretty pink sports bra. (David and I had bought water shoes the other day from the same Walmart). Then we headed off to rent our tubes and try our hand at tubing down the Arkansas River at the Whitewater Park in Salida, CO.

I was nervous. I didn’t want to leave the shore! I think, I would’ve been happy just taking a nap in the tube, sitting on dry ground. It did look very fun and one of the videos on You Tube said that it was supposed to be a relaxing, gentle ride down the Arkansas River…. They LIE!!!

I did it though!!! I tubed down the Arkansas River! One waterfall, two waterfalls, and I could not paddle my way out of the current and the biggest waterfall was coming up… closer and closer I got!!! Paddle, paddle, paddle. I am not going anywhere. Suddenly, I was sailing over it! I landed, and I spilled out of my inner tube. My life flashed before my eyes. I could not get my footing because the ground was extremely slippery. I lost my water shoe. The current was keeping me in its grip, it would not let go. I kept yelling help! HELP!!! Finally, somebody reached down and grabbed me and pulled me to the rocky shore, where there was a retired nurse who helped me calm down. I was having the worst panic attack of my life. The EMT’s were called and I got a nebulizer treatment – on the banks of the Arkansas River. I don’t know who my two angels were that rescued me, but I will never forget them!

I survived!!! I can cross tubing off my bucket list. I did save my glasses and my tube! How that happened I do not know…Meanwhile, at the same time, David lost his glasses and skinned up his knee and ankle. My friend, got a bunch of scrapes and bruises from the rocks. Her husband had the most fun out of the four of us. He’s a strong swimmer though.

NOTE: HARROWING EXPERIENCE OVER – I think this harrowing experience has renewed my motivation to lose weight and get fit again. I really want to go back to the gym. Who knows? If I can lose the weight and get fit again? I just might try this again. Maybe…. big maybe. #RespecttheRiver

We made it back to the campground. I don’t think we got our full three hours in – but that’s okay. David made polish sausage sandwiches and I fell asleep. My body was so sore. I felt like I had just had a full body workout. I had a hard time falling asleep, but after taking a couple of Ibuprofen, I was out.

Day 4 – Time to break camp and go home. I do have to say it was quite fun – harrowing experience and all. I really enjoyed our campfire times in the evening… it was just so relaxing!

I really recommend SweetWater River Ranch if you get a chance to go camping.

Enjoy the video of our trip

Thanks for watching

I survived and I am still,

Positively, Debbie

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