Aug. 26, 2016
I woke up early and expected something to happen. I knew it was still a couple of hours away from when we could leave. There was no wind and there were no noises. The sun started to rise and I got up and got ready to leave. I kind of wondered what excuse my buddy was going to give me to delay our departure.
“Are you ready?” he asked.
I jumped and turned around and he was there at the door of my tent.
“I need to know how you do that?”
“Appear out of nowhere.”
“I don’t understand what you mean.”
“Forget it. I am ready to go,” I said.
We got the tube and walked to the water without talking. I knew I wasn’t going to see the campsite again. We were either going to be home or in a much worse place in a very short period of time.
When we arrived at the water, everything was just how we left it the night before. I don’t know why I kept expecting the worst. This was a good plan and it was going to work.
I checked the pulleys on the tree to make sure they were secure. We had clips to hook ourselves to the tube. We were going where the tube went no matter what.
“Ready?” I said.
We put the tube in the water and climbed on one at a time. I went first and steadied it as my buddy got on as well. We were very careful not to touch the water.
“Remember as soon as we touch the water take your foot out and start to pull. Do not leave any part of you in the water because that will slow down the tube.” I said.
“On the count of three we touch the water. One, Two, Three”
The water started to rush immediately and we started to pull. It was working. We were actually moving at a fairly good pace. The pulley was working. I wasn’t sure how far we were going to have to go but I had no plans on stopping until I got to that tree!
Suddenly the water came rushing at us and almost tipped the tube. It was coming so fast and hard now that we were not moving at all.
“Pull,” I shouted.
“I am trying.”
My hands were starting to bleed. I felt like I was pulling on wire and not rope. The rope was so taut that I was afraid it was going to break.
“We can’t give up. Pull as hard as you can!”
That was when the next rush of water came and flipped the tube. I lost hold of the rope from the pulley and went under the water. Luckily the clips held and I came back to the surface and the tube was still there. My buddy was just coming to the surface as well.
“Get on the tube!” he shouted. “Get out of the water!”
I did manage to get on the tube and told him to get on. I offered my hand to help him. He just looked at me and said, “Hang on and do not look back.”
“What are you talking about? What do you mean don’t look back?
Then, I saw what he was planning to do. He had taken the rope from the pulley and tied it on to his clip. He was now taking the clip off the tube. He was going to let go and use his weight to pull the tube forward.
“No!” I shouted.
But it was too late. He had decided what he was going to do and had done it. He let go of the tube and the tube moved forward as he moved downstream.
I felt a hand on my leg and looked back to see a form holding on to me. I say a form because I couldn’t make out what it was but it was something. Suddenly, I saw a face and then it disappeared and it was over!