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Hell's Half Mile

I will try to give the best accounting of events as possible. It all happened pretty fast. We stopped at the top of the rapids. We all beached or boats to scouting the rapid. I decided to go to the far side and take a side chanelle that was super safe. had to slide my SUP over a small rock. Not paying attention to the other boats. I got myself though safely. Looking up. The second and third boat went by. The first boat though was upside down and wedged in the rocks. I thought I was the only one that liked to flip my boat. I assessed the seen. They were stuck. I saw the rest of the group could not get to them. As they were swept downstream by the current. I pulled out my Butterknife paddle and made my way to them. Hard paddle up stream. Paddling from eddie to eddie. I made it to the boat. Checking to see everyone was uninjured. We set about flipping the raft. This was difficult. I'm 40 and in good shape. The boat captain was 65 and in just as good of shape as me. But the crew he had was 72! These guys are bad asses. We set the oldest of the group on look out. Spotting for other boats and hazards that might come our way. Me and the captain started pushing, pulling, lifting, stretching, and getting the riding lines in order. First attempt at flipping the boat felt good , but unsuccessful. Gathering our strength. We tried again. Unsuccessful. Pulling some of the weight out of the boat. We went again. Fail. Every attempt takes a lot of energy. We were starting to run out. We just didn't have the weight to flip it over. Thankfully before we tried for what would probably be our last attempt. Our spotter signaled to stop. Thank god. A reprieve. One of the other boat captains had managed to find a way back to us. Taking a break and reenergizing. The three of us were successful. After getting everything put back to siminormal, and everyone aboard. They notest a few thing had fallen out. Being there was a small tributary off the mainstream. I figured i could fit down it on my smaller board. Sending them on their way. I started down the small section. All excited about the ordeal. I was not watching the water as I should have been. Drove my boat into a rock. Falling off, rolling the boat around, and tripping over everything. I finally got my shit back together. You think I would have learned for the previous experience. About paying attention. And all I find is a water bottle. Don't even think it was one of theirs. All back together. We make for the closest campsite available. Everyone arriving safely. We help get their gear drying and warm drinks and food in us all. No one injured and nothing irreplaceable lost. A successful rescue. Even though later that evening. Inspecting my rig after my debacle. I find my phone has gotten a little wet. Nothing I can't fix with a bag of rice. But... Dam... I'm missing a paddle... Hoping it will show up down stream. It was worth the rescue.

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