This is much different from kayaking back home where the water is mostly smooth, marshes present the largest impediments and waves can upset your boat.
Here it's rocks! And rapids! And a completely new type of kayak. The Rio Grande is still quite chilly, even in late autumn, because it's filled with snow melt from those large mountains that feed it. And there are the biggest rocks sitting right in the middle you have to maneuver around - which isn't always possible. I took this picture from the top of the gorge looking down just to give you an idea of the rocks - which I became personally acquainted with!
I hit them, I got stuck on top of them, I bumped around them, I didn't like them! And where there are rocks, there are rapids. I can't imagine what this river was like in May when Mountainman Tours owner and our guide for the day, Ryan Daughtery said it reached record depths and was running at a Class 4 in some areas. Yikes! It was scary enough at the end of summer when you're in an inflatable kayak that you think you will puncture when you hit the rocks! (I was informed that they rarely puncture and I found them even more stable then the hard-sided ones I was used to. Love they idea that they fold up to the size of a backpack - wouldn't need a roof carrier for the car.)
Ryan gave Cindy and I a private run down 'his' river and we provided him with much laugher for his time. As you can see, we all were thrilled when our time on the river came to a successful conclusion.