Ron stayed in the raft, but now had no way to maneuver it with only one oar left, and was drifting right in to the meat of the rapid. There were other parties on the side of the river scouting the rapid, and they all ran to their throw ropes as soon as they saw what had happened. Every rope thrown fell short of the raft. That is the moment I have immortalized in this drawing. The total look of helplessness and despair. Then Jim (the guy with the beard) grabbed the only remaining throw rope, jumped into the nearest tied up raft and threw it to Ron. The rope hit Ron in the chest. He grabbed it and jumped into the bottom of the raft, while Jim did the same thing. The raft pendulumed to the side, overhanging the first drop of Widowmaker Rapid by a few feet. RON WAS SAVED!!!! As he got out of the raft, he wobbly walked off, down the trail, and sat by himself and recovered. Very exciting...
Thursday, November 26, 2009
This is an image from one of my many river trips. This was a long time ago, on the Owyhee River in eastern oregon. We were scouting a notorious rapid appropriately called "Widowmaker". Ron was bringing his raft closer to the rapid so it would be easier to portage. He hit a small ledge class 2 rapid sideways, and dumped his passenger, all loose gear, and one of his oars out as his boat was tipped on its side.