Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I'm finally going to conclude the death of a canoe story! I promise! Really! I'm not kidding this time...

But first, let's put in an obligatory birdie pic, eh?

This is a shot of The Cat (otherwise known as Prince Bagheera, or His Royal Highness) watching his telly:

Must be hard to be a cat here when the birds are as big as you, eh?

Meanwhile, back at the creek...

Here's the last paragraph from the previous episode (I swear I'm not making this up!!!!!)

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.

...and now the conclusion...

Just to clarify (like butter!) something here, I was closest to the bank, then mom, then Superman (the Old Fart, my dad). Also, none of our feet were touching bottom, so when I say we were up to our shoulders that's only cus we had the big ole sweeper tree there to hang onto.

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

Anyways, Superman (the Old Fart) yells to Doug (my brother, who never listens to advice) to get to the back of the canoe before it hits the logjam on the outside of the next corner. Now in fairness to my bro, Doug didn't hear him and remained at the front and proceeded to PADDLE as hard as he could! Hey, what's an 8 year old gonna do?

So the canoe (with Doug in the front) hits the logs. Just a reminder: These eddys are formed on the outer part of a sharp bend in a creek and they make a whirlpool (just like the washing machines) effect. Anything that can float (like logs) kinda swirls around on top, while anything that can't float (say, perhaps a half flooded canoe with a little kid in the front) gets shot quickly to the bottom of the creek which is around ten feet deep at the bottom of the eddys.

As the long lake canoe (half sunk and with Doug in the front) hits the logs, it naturally sinks her bow (that's a fancy boating term for The Front of a Boat) and starts to slide under one of the logs. By doing so, Doug (that's my 8 year old brother in the bow) is pinned between a floating log and a canoe which is rapidly being pushed forward and down... towards the cold, dark deathly bottom of the creek!

Naturally Doug is rather frantic at this point, just like the rest of us clinging to the sweeper while up to our necks in some really really really cold water. We also had a perfect view of Doug and the canoe since they were only around 50 feet away in direct view.

Here's where you'll find out why this post is titled Superman (no, it's not just to get more visitors).

But first, I thought I'd tell you that it's bloody-well cold here! 83F in the shade, and 96 F in the sun! Brrrrrrr!!!!!! I almost thought about maybe thinking of putting long sleeves on to ride this morning... Blech!

At this point the Old Fart (my dad, superman) must've decided that enough was enough. He somehow got through the tangle of branches, mom, and myself to get to the bank and scramble up. By then I had managed to get closer to the bank while still in the sweeper that superman had just got through. My dad (superman, the Old Fart) reached out and pulled me up onto the bank. He then did the same for mom. Now, I know that doesn't sound like much, but for those of you who've been tangled up in a sweeper near the shore of a very fast moving, deep, and COLD creek then you'll know what an effort that was for him.

and here's the really amazing part...

Superman then sprinted downriver on a trail that followed the creek. He had remembered there was a bridge downriver a ways. Mom and I watched Doug and the canoe helplessly as the canoe was being pulled down and Doug was sandwiched neatly between a log and the canoe...

Suddenly Superman comes charging through the bushes, willows, and devils club right next to where Doug is. Superman then shimmies out onto the logs, reaches my bro, pries the canoe away from him (against the current), pulls him up and tosses him to shore. Superman then manages (somehow) to get a hold of the canoe and drag it over to the muddy bank and get himself out of the logjam.

It's TRUE! My dad really did that! Wow! Mom and I then went on down the trail, crossed the bridge and found our way back to where they were. By this time the Old Fart had safely hidden his superman cap so he had shrunk back to a normal person. Doug was fine, I was fine, mom was fine, dad was fine.

The canoe, however, had definitely seen better days. No paddles were ever found and she was badly bent and dented about a third of the way from the bow (remember, that's a fancy boaters' term for the front of a boat) very close to where Doug was.

After this the adrenaline musta wore off cus I have absolutely NO memory of getting home!

Perhaps Superman flew us home?


tundratantrum said...

You know...I just got tagged for a meme. I had to tag 5 other people but I forgot to tag you. I'm relatively new to your blog so I didn't think about you.'s late I'm ired and you'll probably thank me for saving you from all those html links but I think you should do it anyway.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

LOL No worries, I think most folks are new to this blog! I need to go check yours and see what the meme is.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you linked the parts and pieces of the story- it brings your dad into crystal clear focus.

There's no question, he was Superman. You and I both know that boating accidents just never, ever turn out with that good of an outcome in Alaska without the intervention of, well, Superman.

Thinking of you and your family, Dave.