|Arctic canoeing with Dave in my canoe - complete with homemade full cover.|
|Gifts of chocolate in a Waynesboro, Va diner.|
Had dinner with high school friends. Learned that Ted's surgery back in October was the same one I've just had. Fun to compare notes and see his strong recovery. It inspires me to believe that I can reach a full recovery!
|The long time paddling crew of Joe, Kathy and Deb in front of the marshes|
Unfortunately the following canoes were too close to us to stop and pull ashore, as the force of the water swept them towards us. Kathy and Joe came by first and the water forced their canoe up against our canoe and then capsized them into the cold rapids. Next came Ralph in his solo canoe, and he managed to remain upright after ramming into our canoe, and then carried on downstream and helped Joe and Kathy get their canoe and packs up onto shore. The three of them then walked back up to where Dave and I were still pinned in the rapid. I was getting cold being under water up to my waist in the stern, so we took turns switching places between the high and dry bow and the wet and cold stern. The three on shore threw rescue ropes over to us, but no amount of force could budge the canoe. We set up a line between the canoe and the shore. They hauled ashore all of our packs, and then each of us. We camped by the rapids and spent the remaining hours of daylight drying out any gear that had gotten wet. The funniest sight was watching Dave stir-frying his slightly damp granola to dry it out for the rest of the trip. We had five weeks of the trip left to go. We talked about setting off our emergency rescue beacons. But we had all of our gear and food and two canoes for five people. Even if we couldn't get my pinned canoe released, we could safely continue the trip.
The next morning after breakfast we sat around the sand on the beach and drew vector diagrams of the forces holding the canoe pinned in the rapid. (That's what happens when your canoe party consists mainly of scientists and engineers!) We realized that we would need apply force to the pinned canoe from the other side of the river. From somewhere on that cliff face. We used Kathy and Joe's larger canoe for three of us to ferry across the bottom of the rapid and tied it securely on the other side. Then we carefully climbed along the face of the cliff to reach the pinned canoe. Joe and I were setting up a "Z-Drag" pulley system with ropes and carabiners so we could apply enough force to get the canoe out of the rapid. Meanwhile Dave reached over to make sure the bow line was firmly attached to the canoe. Can you imagine our surprise when the canoe just popped up from that small tug? We were definitely very happy campers as the lined the canoe through the rapid and ferried over to our camp to check it's damage. Again we were surprised to find my Royalex Swift canoe was unscathed!
There were many other rapids in the next five weeks of our voyage. We were our usual extremely cautious selves for every remaining rapid and had no more "incidents". In fact, we have had so few misadventures in our years of wilderness canoeing together, that we all now refer to the Snake River pinning simple as "The Incident".
|At the Arctic Circle, Kathy giving Deb her "official certificate" for crossing the Arctic Circle|
|I too wanted to lie down and soak up the sun!|