Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sudden Death

Well, actually, none of us died (in the creek, at least)... But the canoe sure did! Hmmmm, I guess I should tell you what happened, perhaps?

But first: more birdses!

There were 8 galahs hanging out in the feeder two days ago, and I got some pretty darned good shots of em.

Here ya go:

"Say George, I think you've run out of tree."

"Ooooooo, that's gotta hurt!"

"Do these new wings make my butt look fat?"

"I want that piece of brick! It's mine, all MINE!"

In other news:  The Adelaide Heat Wave is OVER!!!

It is now 83 F in the shade, and 100 F in the sun. Some part of me feels like putting on a jacket, and then the rest of me feels like taking that first part and beating the crap out of it. SOMETIMES IT'S NICE TO BE COLD!!!!! Mind you, I'm still in shorts and bare feet :)

Now, the part two that you've all been waiting for: what happened to the clan and the canoe.

Note: check out my previous post for part one.

T'was a dark and stormy night. No, actually it was a bright sunny day. I do remember it being a saturday, in fact.

The big ole lake canoe was securely tied (or so we thought) to the rack on top of the brand spankin' new Jeep Commando. Well, at the time it was brand new as it was a 1972 model. Oh come on now, dontcha all remember them nice green jeeps with the detachable roof? 3 speed stick shift about 3 feet long? Manual everything? Non-automatic locking hubs (the kind you have to get out of the vehicle to turn when you are stuck in the muck slowly sinking (but that's another story))? That jeep would've eaten any of these modern SUVs for brekkie and then wonder where the main course was.

The Old Fart's 1967 Camaro was parked down where CC hit's CL (Campbell Lake). I seem to vaguely recollect the Old Fart and my mom shuffling the two cars around so this would work, but I was too young to remember the particulars.

Meanwhile, back at the story of the clan, the canoe, and the creek...

We arrived safely up past Lake Otis to put the canoe in, and, amazingly enough, it was still attached. If there's one thing the Old Fart knows, it's knots! This was back in the days before nylon straps with self-tightening buckles.

So we put in. That's fancy boat talk for the following: Getting the canoe off the roof rack of the jeep (which involved lots of cool words from the Old Fart that I'd never heard before), loading the canoe up with all our stuff, getting that long sucker in the creek (I learned even more new words), and all of us getting in the creek while only getting soaking wet and freezing cold up to our necks (and learning even MORE new words).

Little dave learned lots of new words starting with F, S, D, and M. Most only had one syllable (see! I now know that word!) but the ones starting with M had multiple syllables and went something like this:

M&*#@%&-F*@$&%#-Piece-of S*&#

I'm sure y'all can picture that...

We had a nice leisurely paddle/ride/float on down the the Arctic RoadRunner. It's a restaurant on the creek that a lot of people would stop at and refuel. Refueling meant having the biggest, greasyist (sp?) cheeseburgers in the world along with the biggest load of onion rings you've ever seen! Keep in mind, this was back in the days BEFORE cholesterol so we didn't have to worry as cholesterol hadn't been invented yet!

On a side note, I now make the BEST onion rings so make sure you check out my cooking blog soon for the recipe.

We'd normally "haul out" at that point. Haul out is another one of those fancy boating terms involving lots and lots of new words for an impressionable seven year old to learn! I tell ya, after this trip I was so edjukated with new words that I was sure I'd never have to go to school again. Sigh... if only...

But this time we were going all the way down the creek. (insert eerie music here)

The creek turned from a creek to a crick. If any of you have read Patrick McManus, then YOU know what I'm talking about. Suddenly the cute beavers turned into haunting shadows under the bracken on the banks. The nice chirping birds had gone deathly silent, as if they knew what awaited...

Are y'all on the edge of your seats yet?

The crick became twisty and convoluted (see, I learned even more new words), the turns were tighter and narrower. As the crick narrowed, it got deeper...

Sweepers were on the inside and outside of every turn, avoiding them soon became impossible. Even the Old Fart (also the strongest bloke I've known) couldn't keep the long lake canoe away from the sweepers and the logjams.

We settled into a routine of taking the inside of each turn (while ducking under and getting scraped by sweepers) in order to be shot out to the opposite bank to be ready for the next turn.

We had to take them tight like that cus of the logjams on the outside of each turn. Definitely did not want to mess with those, no sirree!

As we were going under one of the sweepers which was particularly low, disaster STRUCK! And boy howdy did it strike! Doug (my older brother by a bit over a year) was able to get under and stay in the canoe, but mom (who was quite a bit taller than my 8 year old brother) was not... She ended up hanging on to the sweeper tree while the canoe was going under her. I was right behind her so naturally I ended up in the tree clinging to both mom and whatever branches I could find. The Old Fart (my dad) grabbed onto the sweeper with one hand and held onto the canoe with the other. He'd obviously let go of his paddle at this point, at least I think he did cus he didn't have three hands.

Even though the Old Fart was a strong bloke, there was no way in hell (nor in Alaska) that he'd be able to hold onto a canoe that was starting to swamp (that's a fancy boating term meaning "Oh shit! We're sinking!!!") and the tree while the current that was rather fast. He let the canoe go... with Doug still in the front... half under water...

So, there's me, mom and the Old Fart hanging onto the sweeper (water up to our shoulders and a fierce current and our feet not touching bottom) and Doug (8 yrs old) in the front of a half swamped lake canoe heading right towards a logjam on the outer part of the turn with no way to steer.

Stay tuned folks! The conclusion is coming soon to a blog near you!

1 comment:

Mel Keegan said...

Awwwww, you always stop the story at the worst moment ... you're like those three words, the most dreaded in all of moviedom, seen to the dismay of gentle moviegoers around the globe, on such epics as Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Pirates of the Caribbean. TO BE CONTINUED. I mean, Jack Sparrow gets attacked be Shelob and -- no, that's wrong. I mean, Aragorn leaps into the reeking maw of the kraken -- no, that can't be right either. Ah, I have it: Bootstrap Bill is being attacked by squiddies, and ... I give up. AND YOU'RE WORSE THAT THIS! So, uh, what, uh, like, uh, happened next???