My First Trip Down River

My First Trip Down River
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.07

     challenging words:    confidence, Greeeaaat, kayakers, kayaking, keyhole, opening, portage, put-in, resistant, tipping, upright, material, swallowed, actually, local, launched
     content words:    First Annual Orange River Paddle, Race Class II, III Rapids Meet, Orange River Technical College Campus Saturday

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My First Trip Down River
By Beth Beutler

1     The full page ad in our local newspaper read,

First Annual Orange River Paddle Fest and Race
Class II and III Rapids
Meet at Orange River Technical College Campus
Saturday, June 15
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Kayaks, Canoes, Rafts welcome
$20 per entry

2     "Let's do it!" Tom said.
3     "Let's do what?" I answered.
4     "Do the Paddle Fest."
5     "Are you crazy? What do you know about paddling?"
6     "I know plenty. Just ask my parents," Tom said with a grin. "Just kidding. I never got paddled. But I have been kayaking lately."
7     "I didn't know that."
8     "My dad and I just started. It's pretty fun. We have an extra kayak. Why don't you join us?"
9     I agreed reluctantly. I'd been in canoes before, but once when I was about 12, we tipped over, and I fell into the water. Water went up my nose, and I also swallowed some. It was scary for me, so I never got in a small boat again.
10     However, I did not want to admit my fear to Tom. So I agreed to go.
11     On Saturday, I woke up early. Not because I was excited, but because I was nervous. What had I gotten myself into!?
12     Tom and his dad picked me up at 8:00 a.m. and we headed to the put-in. (I learned that a "put-in" was the place on the river where people "put in" their boats.) When we got there, Tom's dad outfitted me with a life jacket and helmet. Then he said,

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