Today was absolute bliss.
I drove the VW Passat that belongs to the Director of Overland about one hour to Charlemont. And by “drove,” I mean I slowly followed the twisty two-lane road through the Berkshire Mountains with my mouth gaping. Just gorgeous. Driving into walls of green, hawks flying overhead into the sun (I added the lens flare in my mind), and black asphalt disappearing down and around a bend of rock outcropping. The closest thing I’ve ever experienced was Switzerland. Thank goodness those mountains were bigger, or else I’d be stopping every half mile to snap a photo of the landscape.
Arriving at Zoar Outdoor, I met up with the group of 6th graders also known as New England Adventure. Today was their first sunny day all week and they were eagerly running around in their bathing suits and profusely applying sunscreen. They were going white water rafting. And I…was supposed to ride with them?
As it turns out, no. There wasn’t any room for me in the raft, and even though there was only one Class 3 rapid, my camera stood a good chance of getting wet. I wasn’t having any of that. (Also, I was wearing my new Overland flip-flops, which are NOT the permitted footwear for rafting. Go figure.)
Thankfully there was a road that followed the river, and the guide suggested that I drive along and hop out at opportune spots to snap photos. And that is exactly what I did. I could see the river the whole time, so I made sure I was well ahead of the bobbing blue inflatable rafts before I found a smallish off-road clearing to park the VW. Sometimes, such a spot was hard to find and I ended up very far ahead of the group. At one point, I was sitting in the shade on the riverbank with my feet in the cool water, eating M&Ms. I had no cell service, and there was not a car nor boat in sight. Just me, my camera, the rushing river, the green mountains, and that hawk that kept flying into a lens flare.
But don’t worry; it was hard work too. Most of the time I had to pick my way through heavy foliage down STEEP embankments. When I rushed to grab a shot of the kids going over the Class 3 rapids, the angle from the road was SO sharp that I literally had to crab walk down the large boulders that covered the hill, trying not to set one loose and send it (and myself) flying towards the river. And I had my camera with me, let’s not forget that. While climbing, I chided myself for wearing flip-flops. But once I reached a safe spot where I could stand up straight, I glowed, proudly saying to myself, Yep, I just scaled that in FLIP-FLOPS SEE YAA.
And here’s another pic that probably won’t end up on the Overland site. Read: the kids fell out of the raft! In the rapids!! (They were okay, of course.)