Saturday, May 22, 2010

Let's speed this account of a single hour on the Dolores River up...

So we got the second boat out of its predicament on the rapids by utilizing tow lines, which is ropes used to haul the boat downstream while it is in the river. T was instrumental in this, as were others; I helped out a little by being a stout leg T could grab onto for support while he perched on a rock and extended a rope out to J, H and C who were laboring in their stuck boat in the river. (Left: Tow lines.)

J had had to slash holes in the bottom of his raft while the river was pouring in to let water out when he first got stuck in the rapids so his boat didn't capsize like ours did with potentially deadly effect. Once J's boat got free and navigated the rest of the vicious No-Name Rapids, T and I, with G acting as captain, brought the third boat through this nasty little rapids on a wet and harrowing ride. (Right: T, Jy, B, Ju and A.)

G justified his 100% safety record by bringing the small paddle boat through flawlessly. T's score sheet also read 100%, but at this moment he wisely deferred to the leadership of the vastly more experienced G. Me, I was just crew. (Left: Happy to be alive on the river, thank you.)

Meanwhile down river A chased a floating oar from G's overturned boat a mile and a half downstream and then dived in, swam to midstream and brought it back. This became very important later when J's boat lost an oar in a subsequent rapids, his boat having already lost its spare, and our boat was able to lend its spare oar to J.

The river below the rapids had a current of around seven miles an hour and A ran the floating oar down at her standard marathon speed of about eight minutes an hour. Yay for runners. A and her husband T are heroes of mine.

Now we had to recover our capsized boat. Incredibly, it was hung up a quarter mile below the rapids on the only free-standing rock in the Dolores River between the pernicious rapids we had just passed through and California.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

It sounds like the universe was looking out for you that day!