One thing some of you may not know about me was that I lived in a school bus for just over five years. For the most part it was as if it was an extension of the house I
had it parked at, but the best time I had in the bus was when I had it parked on the Elk River one fall for a few months. Those were actually some of the best months of my life, cooking by candle light, eating breakfast by the river and taking my mountain bike across the highway into the Provincial Park for a ride everyday.
When I had made my transition from town to the new location I only had one important item left to move, my canoe. I biked back into town and met my good friend Davis at the house where the bus had been parked for a few years. We put my bike in the canoe and portaged from 4th Street to the edge of the Elk. I forget exactly how the conversation went but I remember Davis and I pointed out that neither of us had ever flipped a canoe…
At the river we tossed our shoes into the boat, tied my bike to the support in the middle just as a precaution and pushed off the shore into the rapids. It was a beautiful day, the sun was sparkling on the water and every once in a while a refreshing splash would come over the edge of the canoe, cooling us down as we paddled.
About half way to our destination we caught up to some girls floating the river, we stopped paying attention and struck up a conversation. Not a moment after we started talking we hit a shallow spot and tipped. Luckily we were able to half save ourselves and neither Davis, myself or my bike fell in but the canoe had taken on a lot of water. The girls laughed out loud and floated away, we could only imagine what they were thinking.
Davis and I were now stranded in the middle of the river and had no choice but to get back into the extremely tippy canoe that had water up to the edges. We almost didn’t make it to shore, but we did. We emptied our boat and laughed at ourselves and at the conversation we had earlier. We now had both officially flipped a canoe.
We cautiously got back onto the water, this time we payed more attention and went slower, hoping that we would not to catch up to the girls.
The rivers and all water for that matter, demand respect. So please be careful this summer.