Thursday, August 25, 2016

A day with 16 friends on the Whitewater River

A couple weeks ago when we were still in Indiana, we spent a Saturday with the Ferguesons, the Poorbaughs, and the Strongs.  We had so much adventure in one little day.  

These pictures all show how we originally set out on our 11-mile trip, but there was a lot of moving around and rearranging.  Most of the day, the four adult girls were in one of the rafts, pulling another raft with the four kid girls.  That was one tough work-out.

We rescued a paddle that got away from a couple terrible canou-ers. We saved a man who we thought was drowning and struggling against his rescuer but had actually been fighting (drunkenly) with him instead.  And we witnessed a real miracle when Josh was able to find Jack's sports goggles at the bottom of the cliff-jump.

The biggest adventure was saved for the very last when the guys were waiting on us girls and were sitting in some shallow rapids after they had turned the vessels in.

Ethan lost his sandal and when Josh told him to go get it, he went under with a strong current and a came up to grab a tree that was jutting out into the water.  The girls arrived then in time to hear his intense screams that I will never forget.  The men all sprung into action, but the current and the depth where all challenging them.  Mark ran a life-jacket down to Josh and he was able to get to Ethan who managed to get it on, and they climbed out and went around another way.  Brian, who is a strong swimmer, was surprised by the strength of the current when he swam in to help, and Don felt humbled by it too.  

It was a harrowing experience, and we are all so thankful for the outcome.  
Our bus ride back to the cars could have been much, much different.  

Below is an email that Amy sent everyone a couple days later:

Hi everybody,

I just got off the phone with Josh after he got of the phone with the White Water Canoe Rental.  Josh called them just to tell them what happened with Ethan, just to let them know that that particular place could be dangerous.

The guy said he knew right where Josh was talking about and that it is a very dangerous spot. Technically that is not their property and they don't have the ability to move the log that Ethan got stopped at.  He said that because of the log there and b/c it is a sandy bottom river, the current cuts below the log deeper and deeper.  He said that it is about 12 feet right there and that b/c of the swirl of the current even if Ethan had been wearing a life jacket, it wouldn't have mattered if he had actually gotten stuck in the downward current or under the log.  The current would have been too strong!  YIKES!!!

So, I want to again say THANK YOU!  to Josh, Brian, Don and Mark for helping Ethan get out safely.  I am SO thankful that all of you were where you were at that exact time.  And to Christina, Codi and Jill for taking care of the raft stuff and the girls so I could see what was happening!

Clearly none of us were ready to go Home that day and for that I am happy!

Talk to you all soon!