Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 22 - Brandon Wessels

Today was a bright, sunny day for the people of ECOEE...not! Despite the fact that it was cold and rainy, people managed to keep chipper spirits about them for the most part. It started out this morning, we were to be awake and out of our tents by 5:30. When the sun decided to peak over the horizon the skies were pink, which was our first sign that we had an “exciting” day ahead of us. Brittany, Monica, and Molly gave their lessons early in the morning and then once they finished we took off on the river with the goal of covering 20 miles in mind.

When the clock hit 12:30 the predictions made by the pink skies this morning proved to be true because right after our fearless leader Katy steered us to shore strong winds picked up and if we had been on the lake there is a good chance at least one of our seven canoes would have capsized and the others would have had very little control of where their canoe went. But we made it to shore and didn't have to worry about that. After the wind calmed down for a bit and we had a little food in our bellies we set off again with our eyes on the clouds because the weather ahead of us didn't look too promising. A ways down the river we came to a couple rapids, the first was a piece of cake in comparison to ones we've previously seen. The second one, however, had a four foot ledge and therefore we were forced to line our canoes through. About five minutes into the process of lining our canoes it started raining on us, go figure right? Instead of being upset or angry though you could see the smile on each person's face get bigger and bigger as the rain fell harder and faster – well, we were all at least waist deep in the rapids so getting wet happened to be the least of our worries. Once we got all the canoes through we took off almost immediately, but then it happened: the main excitement of our day – lightning. As soon as our wise omnipotent leader Jeff saw it he yelled for us to paddle like we've never paddled before and get to the bridge standing in front of us for safety. But when we crossed a few bends in the river it was not a bridge standing in front of us but instead another set of rapids! Jen and I, being in the leading canoe, tried to decide whether to run the rapids or pull off to shore, so as we turned to Jeff for his input an acorn fell out of the sky into the water in front of us...oh wait! That wasn't an acorn, it was hail! Without thinking twice Jeff yelled for everyone to get to the river right shore. Once we got there everybody jumped out of the canoes and ran to a safe spot on land while using their PFDs as protection from the large hail clusters, someone grabbed the group tarp and everybody gathered underneath it to seek safety. While waiting for the hail to stop, Katy took a head count to make sure everybody in our group had made it in safely. When the hail finally stopped, Jeff declared we were camping there for the night so we got our tents out of our canoes and set them up immediately, and then changed clothes and wrapped ourselves up in our tents until the rain decided it had enough fun with us for the day...which didn't end up happening until the next day. So we stayed in our tents the rest of the night, some of us sleeping and the others (such as myself) did homework until they were ready fro sleep. I guess it's going to be an early night tonight.

We miss you dear ECOEE followers. Goodnight!

Brandon Wessels

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Glad none of you got hurt from either the lightning or hail. Sounds like some fun times, if a bit trying. I'm sure you would use the term "adventurous" instead, lol.