Well, today I got my tush handed to me on a silver platter in the rapid Carter’s Landing. We had torrential rain yesterday and it is still raining, so the River is coming up fast. A rising river has a bad attitude that you don’t want to get on the wrong side of. It’s pushy too, from all that water bearing down on top of you from upstream, that gets all crowded up with nowhere to spread out in the rapids. So we were careening down through the gorge keeping the boats straight and paddling hard. In the middle of Carters above the last crashing wave train that ends with two hydraulics named Nuts and Bolts, I got pushed slightly too far right. Normally there is just a rock there, but today it was a raft munching pour-over. There was not enough time to avoid it, so I hit it straight with power, but it wasn’t enough…
We slammed into that hydraulic, and the front of the raft came to sudden halt. The back of the raft kept moving, folding the raft in half for a split second (tacoed). I launched face first up-side-down into the front compartment, the raft spun sideways and started surfing as we all desperately tried to crawl up to the high side of the raft. I could see and feel the raft surfing on its side, just on the verge of flipping when the four people on the low side fell out and were swept quickly downstream. With that weight gone, the raft popped out of the hydraulic and landed right side up with all of us left in the raft in a heap on the floor, and floating sideways right toward Nuts and Bolts. One swimmer was actually holding onto the the rope around the boat and was quickly pulled in while we scrambled to get back to our seats and paddle after the others and away from the next two hydraulics. One swimmer was picked up by another boat, and the last two made their way toward shore where we were able to finally catch them.
Nobody was seriously hurt, just some minor bruises and scrapes, and they all thought it was the best super adventure they had ever had, all smiles and adrenaline rush. Of course, it scared the crap out of me because I know just how lucky we all actually were. This whole event happened in a matter of seconds, but we will all remember it for the rest of our lives!
Never take the River for granted because She is always the boss all the time!