Down The River

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September 1st 2013
Published: September 2nd 2013
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Snoqualmie Float

July 14th, 2013

This trip was a local one for us. We decided to float the Snoqualmie from the fish hatchery road boat launch to the Fall City bridge. It was just over eighty degrees, so the weather was right. Terry and I took both cars and left hers at the bridge. It was a standard put-in with our inflatable 4-chamber boat, 700 lb. limit. Should be about a 3 hour float because the river is slow most of the way.

It was after the small series of mini-rapids that I jumped onto my floating mattress to drift, thinking the river was calm for the remainder. What folly! One more shift in the river direction caught us off guard, and we got swept under a massive log. Before we knew it we were both in the river. The river's cold gave us a shock, and we grabbed at anything to keep afloat. Terry ended up against a huge stump, and I stood in chest deep water holding onto a rope, gasping for breath. The rope was a gift from above, I must say. It was wrapped around the snag that got us, left by a previous mishap.

Some other rafters came along and took Terry to safety. She was quite shook up. I could see her on the other side of the river shaking. I slowly pulled myself over to a log and caught my breath. I was hoping to save our boat, otherwise I would have floated down the river to the shallows.

I did manage to get upstream enough to kick the boat off of the snag. Luckily I had my shoes on, but still it took time and I ended up on the wrong side of the river. Two guys swung by and I grabbed onto the back of their raft. They pulled hard on the oars and got us to the other side.

I walked upstream to Terry and hugged her good and tight. She was cold as a wet dog. The other rafters offer her a beer, and amazingly she guzzled it. A 16-ouncer at that. By the time we all tied together for the rest of the trip, Terry was chilling out with another beer. It took us a good two hours to paddle down the rest of the way. The sun was getting low and things were cooling off. We were wet and in the shade when we finally got out, but made it to her car.

Terry almost hit a concrete barrier on the way to my car. I had never seen her under the influence while driving. I drove us back, and we made it home. Fortunately, we were not far from home.


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