Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Climbing into the engine on a 7 foot vertical ladder, 34 inches from the ground.
Today I had booked us in the cab of the Royal Gorge Railroad. Chad was the engineer and I think we had the best seats on the train. The railroad track follows along the Arkansas River, which has many rafting companies operating white water rafting. Right before we reached the Royal Gorge Bridge I saw several boats pulled over to the side, but didn't think too much about it until all of a sudden a guy runs up the bank and pops onto the railroad track waving an oar. Chad stopped the train. From my vantage point I could see what was going on. There was a gentleman laying on his back in the boat gasping and holding his chest. He was being held by a girl. The boats appeared to be loaded with all young people, so don't know if he was a teacher or something. Chad and the train's conductor helped the float leaders to help get him up the steep bank and into the train. Chad then dialed 911 and made arrangements for an ambulance to meet us up at a quarry that had access to the train. Chad said he had fallen out of the boat and taken on a lot of water and came very close to drawning. The gentleman's condition wasn't the best and they had problems getting him stabilized. I hope he will be okay. While waiting for him to be loaded onto the train, other float trips came by and were stopped. Here is some people in a raft.
We had reservations for our own rafting trip right after the train ride. Before this happened we needed to get right in the car and drive 45 minutes to the Arkansas River Tours, which was going to be a close call. I called them as soon as we reached the car and explained what had taken place. They asked if we were traumatized by the event or if we still wanted to go and I said we still wanted to go. They said they would wait for us and told us to drive safely.
I had been nervous before the morning incident and I think it just made me a little more scared. I think I clenched my teeth most of the way and now have jaw pain. I knew we were in good hands though, because our guide's name was Mia--and I knew she had to be a fantastic person. These pictures were taken by Arkansas River Tours. It was a really a good float and I would highly recommend Arkansas River Tours to anyone coming to Colorado and want to try it.
That is my oar near the back of the boat.
Roger is sitting right across from me. I was knocked into the boat in this photo.
Mia our float guide.
The whole crew.