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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Buffalo River 8/3/13                                       Miles Traveled 10, Total 149.6
Scotty, Julie, Beatrix and Paddle Adventures Unlimited led by Leslie (12 total)
10:30-2:30, Wet! Wet! Wet!  78% and the water felt warm

We drove the 2 hours down thinking that the skies would clear.  It wasn't bad when we got in, but then the heavens opened up and we paddled continuously in the rain.  Many of my blog entries seem the same, but today was definitely out of the ordinary - a trip to remember!  We were all soaking wet within the first hour and stayed wet for the rest of the trip.  At one point, it stopped raining, only to start again. When we took out, the rain did stop and when we got to our vehicles, we all couldn't wait to put on dry clothes (except for Scotty - who had forgot his!)
Scotty, I should mention had been up the entire night before at a youth lock-in.  He did try to sleep in the back seat, but only managed a little sleep.  Leslie does an excellent introduction to the paddle and assigned point (Scotty) and sweep (another woman, I forget her name!)  She also talks about signals and some basic river safety.  That was the first time I had heard it done for a paddle.  It was once again a group of wonderfully, friendly people.
I had a first today.  After owning my kayak and paddling since last November, I tipped!  The funny thing is I saw it coming.  I paddled dead straight into a log and it was like slow motion as my kayak went over.  Scotty and Beatrix saw it happen.  The sad thing was that my camera was in my lifevest.  It's currently drying and I hope it survives (although I secretly hate that little camera).  I managed with help from the two to empty my kayak of water, save my water bottle and lunch bucket (really important) and get back in.  I felt great :)
The number of inexperienced canners on the river was unbelievable.  About a mile into the trip, we stopped at a waterfall.  It was here that Scotty heard this exchange between a husband and wife.  Husband - "Do you want to stop and see the waterfall?"  Wife - "No, we'll see it on the next go around."  We laughed so hard when he told us that.  Did she think they were on a lazy river.  It was here also that a boat capsized and we heard a young child scream.  3 of our male kayakers paddled quickly over.  Paul from our group grabbed the little boy and placed him in the kayak and calmly talked him across the river.  The two women scrambled to get their beers and canned margaritas and one helped the other hobble across the river.  It's always amazing to me that these obviously inexperienced people will go out on a river and with alcohol!
There is a cave along this route, but we passed it by as we were in a torrential downpour and we really thought we might need to paddle hard to avoid any possible lightning.  We did see lightning at one point and used that time to go ashore and have a lunch break.
You would think it would be a miserable trip being wet and paddling for 10 miles.  But, I really think it was one of my best trips yet!

No pictures :( because the camera fell in the river!!

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