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Senior thrill-seeker ready for more adventure

By Tyler Orton, 24 Hours Vancouver

Surrey's Hazel Amos isn't satisfied being the second youngest person to brave the Thompson River rapids (the oldest is 93) and vows to come until she breaks the record at 95. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Surrey's Hazel Amos isn't satisfied being the second youngest person to brave the Thompson River rapids (the oldest is 93) and vows to come until she breaks the record at 95. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Tearing down the rapids on the Thompson River - gripping a raft with all her strength - 90-year-old Hazel Amos wasn't satisfied to discover she was the second-oldest person to brave those rough waters.

After surviving a run down Devil's Gorge, the Surrey grandmother emerged from the Aug. 4 family trip intent on returning every summer for the next five years until she becomes the oldest person to conquer the river.

Upon hearing a 93-year-old woman holds the record for the oldest person to raft the Thompson, Amos declared she will keep riding the river until she smashes the world mark - and beyond.

"If I'm still around at 95, we'll have a real humdinger celebration," she told 24 hours.

"A lot of people when they retire, they just sit and watch TV and do nothing, but you have to keep active."

Amos, an avid gardener who walks one hour each day, couldn't resist her granddaughters' pleas to join a family river adventure in the B.C. Interior, just outside of Lytton.

So she got the OK from her doctor and went easy on the gardening in the days leading up to the trip to keep her back from getting sore.

Despite riding the Thompson's waves for years in the 1960s, Amos admitted to being a little leery about the latest trip at first.

But as soon as she stepped onto the raft and her son clutched her lifejacket, her past experiences on the river came rushing back in a flood of memories and she felt as confident as ever.

"I enjoyed this much more. I appreciated that I was 90 and was able to go down on the raft again."

Not even a rough rapid that sent her sliding to the other end of the boat caused Amos any regret, adding the entire trip was "wonderful."

In fact, any worries about her sore back were all for naught. She said the bumpy ride made her back feel better - just one of the reasons she wants to return to the rapids again next year.


Email: tyler.orton@sunmedia.ca