Highlights from Aspen

Instead of giving you the day-by day-reports of Melly
in Aspen, here are a few of the highlights.

Swiller decided that we all should get a little high from
mother earth, and we did — a super cold, wet, and intense high, care of Blazing Adventures.

After the 45-minute bus ride, in which we made friends with the
other adventure seekers, we were dropped off next to a port-a-potty on the side
of the road next to the Roaring Fork river.

Brad K — our life line guy if anyone falls
overboard, and a cutie pie in an adventuresome kind of way — was very specific about the instructions: "Pee now if you have to because it’s two hours in the
raft, and I don’t want anyone taking a leak in my wetsuits or on my rafts!"

You really get to know people when you are all taking off your
clothes, putting on stinky wetsuits (which the Blazing Adventure crew told us were washed the night before, yet still smelled like sour feet), and
lining up to use the port-a-potty that had one roll of toilet paper for all 30
of us.

Being the outdoorsy gal that I am… "Screw the
instructions; I need some bathroom privacy and a moment to question whether or not I should be
participating in a whitewater raft when the river is at the highest it’s been in 20 years."

Well, I sat my crack next to the crack part on the raft (Brad’s
advice and words, not mine) and took my spot right behind Aimée Sedley (Cleveland Mike’s
wife) with Bobby Swiller at the helm and Missy and my husband on the right. Brad, the sassy adventure guide, was in charge of steering.

Every five seconds it was Swiller telling us to row (even though
Brad said not to) with Aimée snapping at Swiller because she actually knew what she was
doing and Missy smiling politely while Cleveland Mike was getting soaked and my husband was
off on Planet Howard.

After making our way through Barking Dog —
almost getting decapitated, thanks to the high waves and large tree in the middle of the river — through
Toothache rapid (the name given by all of the people that have lost half their teeth,
and I am sure a few Veeners since they’re Aspen people after all), and finally ending up at our destination, all I
could think of was getting me off the raft. I had three bottles of water that were about to
explode out of my wet suit if I didn’t get to a bathroom quick.

As I was squeezing myself to hold it, however, Swiller
thought it would be funny to have Melly help get the raft and equipment up the hill and over to the

Yes, I made it; and could be wrong about this, but there
were a lot of people jumping in the river right after we were done… I’m just
sayin’, I think I know where the bad smell of the wetsuits comes from.

Taking off the Sleestacks-looking garb in the hot sun felt
so good that I didn’t even care that my 40-year-old butt was hanging out of my swimsuit
for all my new adventure friends to see. I did, however, feel bad about the two huge bins full of snacks —particularly the granola bars — being passed over by those who caught a glimpse of my mushy backside.

"Well, at least I won’t be seeing any
of these other people again,"
I thought to myself.

Yeah, well, on the bus ride back I learned that one of my new
adventure friends used to live in Minneapolis and was responsible for negotiating one of the
biggest business deals my father has had in his career. Terrific. It was time for Melly to
cover up quickly and try to act and look halfway respectable.

To check out what happened to the group that went out after
us go to "Fast water leads to river rescue," Aspen Daily News, Saturday, June
21, 2008.