From the title of this post you might be thinking that this post is about sex; well, you’d be wrong. This post is about a giant rock that met with me at a speed and manner that I did not appreciate. Rocks are hard and that sentiment is very accurately expressed in the title. If you thought this was about sex or the wonderful and amazing sex organ known as the penis then you would be wrong. Pull your mind out of the gutter.
A long, long time ago, when I was but a wee lad of 14 my father led myself and bunch of other youngsters on an adventure. He gathered us up, along with a couple of other adults and carted us all to the headwaters of the mighty Colorado river. The plan for our adventure was simple spend three days and two night navigating the rapids of this swirling, frothy river until we emerged safe and victorious at a landing point miles downstream. We would be camping and roasting smores and hamburgers along the way; a wonderful trip for a group of youthful lads.
You would think that my father had some experience with white water rafting, having been the brains behind what was sure to be a flawless expedition, but alas, he did not. Fortunately, one of the other “adults” did and he brought along two rafts, one for a group of paddlers and one that could be controlled by one guy with giant oars. Everyone got into the paddle raft (including the guy who knew what he was doing) except for my cousin, myself and my Uncle, we got into the other raft. Our “oar” raft would be hauling all of the tents and ice-cream; the staples of any great adventurers. My Uncle sat in the middle seat and gripped the oars, determination in his steely gaze and fire-blood running through his veins. He seemed remarkably confident for a guy that had never gone rafting before. My cousin and I grabbed some paddles and sat in the front of the raft to help out anyway we could. The only rafter among us had done this stretch of water before and mumbled some words of wisdom and direction to us all before we pushed off into the strong, icy current of a Colorado river in the middle of spring run-off.
At first everything seemed very pleasant, we had gotten off to a late start but that didn’t matter as we didn’t have long to go the first day and the setting sun was painting a beautiful picture with the mountains to the West. The first twinge of panic that I felt moving through my spine was when I looked forward and watched the paddle raft disappear into the black crevice of a canyon. It was odd that the entrance to the canyon should be so dark, but then I looked behind me and noticed that the sun had set and the canyon walls were very high. This all seemed very alarming to me and I looked at my uncle. His eyes were shining with the light of a thousand European explorers and his strong hands had a righteous and vice-like grip on the solid oars. I shrugged, everything must be fine, otherwise my uncle would not appear to be the main character of a bodice-ripper novel. Anyway, I had read quite a few Hardy Boys books and I felt that I would be able to handle anything that might come my way.
As we entered the canyon everything became cold and dark. The water started to churn and boil as the river was constrained by the giant rock walls. The deeper we went the darker it became until we could only see about a hundred feet ahead. With every turn the walls closed in and the water started to fight back by doing its best impression of a washing machine; I was starting to loose my impeccable cool. In the distance we heard our expedition pals scream and then fall silent. My eyes bulged out of my head as I peered into the blackness, looking for whatever monstrosity had been their end, or at least the remaining pieces of their lifeless bodies.
Then I saw it. About seventy feet ahead the canyon walls suddenly jutted into the river, only leaving a small ten to twelve foot gap for the water to rage through and I’ll tell you, it was angry about it. Terror gripped my suddenly tiny heart and I looked back at my Uncle for fortitude, but his eyes no longer shined, they were pale and round and huge. He was using the oars to turn us sideways and straining with all his might; I looked forward and realized that we had been caught in some odd current that was hurtling us towards the North canyon wall that was pinching the river. The wall of rocks was gigantic and awe-inspiring; conjuring the same thoughts in my mind as are conjured in the mind of anyone who has ever seen my penis.
For the last time, get your mind out of the gutter; my penis isn’t important right now, all that matters is this huge, hard and imposing sex metaphor that we were heading towards. With all of his might my Uncle had been unable to budge us from the current and we slammed sideways into the rock wall. The river water was splashing all over us, pushing my cousins side of the raft into the water while my side starting climbing the canyon wall. I pushed at wall with my paddle with all the effect of an American trying to not to by an Iphone. I did all that I had left to do, I started screaming and throwing my arms and hands around in a panicked and very un-coordinated manner. My Uncle, mustering strength from some reserve I had never seen before, pulled one of the giant oars out of it’s supports and wedged it into a crack in the wall. He braced his feet against the forward raft wall and pushed with all his might. Slowly the raft began moving along the wall. I helped my cousin try to grab and hang onto the supplies that had started to fall out of the raft due the fact it was bending in half, however, rest assured, I did not stop screaming.
After what felt like an eternity the raft moved past the wall far enough to flatten out and it started to make the turn towards the mass of water surging through the constriction, however, we were not out yet. There was another huge, phallic rock sitting in the middle of the constriction; the obvious way through would have been to approach it from the other side of the river, but it was to late for that, we headed through. I prepared for the five foot drop on the other side but it didn’t come, the raft was stuck between the rock and that damn canyon wall. I looked back to my uncle again but he wasn’t behind me, he was above me. The strength of the water building up be hand the raft was raising the back-end up into the air, the phallic object ready to strike.
Suddenly, like a cork out of a bottle we popped out of the constriction and into the air. For a eternity the raft hung vertically in space, all of us holding on for dear life, before it plunged into the black water. When we floated back to the surface again we were miraculously right side up and I was still screaming. Thankfully the canyon walls started retreating and the river mellowed. By this time the stars were visible between the gap in the canyon walls a hundred feet above. We all fell silent and started breathing heavily; the only sound was the rushing water and the clanging of beer bottles being thrown into the canyon by drunk teenage assholes up on the canyon rim.
Half and hour later we pulled the oar raft on shore alongside the other raft and kissed the ground, happy to be alive. Suddenly I felt panic again and I started tearing through the supplies; oh thank goodness, we hadn’t lost the marshmallows!