This weekend I went on a camping trip. It has been an annual event for me for the last 15 years. I’ve covered it in the past, so I’ll briefly recap it.
This event is a three day camping stay (Friday-Sunday) with a 10 mile regatta on a small river on Saturday that’s organized by the local fire department. This is their biggest fundraiser. It’s normally a group of 3 other guys I grew up with that go. But this year two guys couldn’t make it. So myself and the other guy decided to soldier on. This regatta is open to any floating craft you want. We canoe in pairs
This year I was partnered up with a friend I’d never canoed with before. That matters. Navigating trees and drunk boaters takes skill. I’ve never once dumped my canoe. Lots of luck and a heap of skill has kept me dry for 15 years.
This year it was 50 degrees and drizzling rain. My worst fears came true in the first turn, ten minutes after dropping in, I met two overturned canoes that had got stuck on a tree along the bank. I couldn’t evade the collision and we overturned. I got pulled down by the undertow into the tree. I got my head just above water and tried to yell to my partner I needed help. Nothing but a mute sound came out. It was like a bad dream. I tried to yell I Need Help a second time and it was barley a whisper. Then I felt an arm around my shoulder and saw a yellow rain coat. It was emergency water crew pulling me from out of a tree in 10 feet of water. I had what seemed like eternity but was maybe 30 seconds tops to contemplate my existence. After staying on the muddy creek side for 30 minutes, we boated on. We drank our share. But there was a somber note. I regret nothing.