There was enough changing of activity from paddling to peddling and gliding through rapids and enough speed in the river to keep us from working too hard and to keep my sidesplints from hurting till the last 4th of the trip. Since we were ahead of schedule we mostly drifted the last stretch where we could see the hwy 4 bridge from pretty far away. It was kind of shallow though so we just steered with our paddles. We had eaten most of our food already on peddling breaks where our hands were free. I saved my Snickers because I wasn’t very hungry, but since my side was hurting and I was tired I went ahead. It’s amazing how rejuvenating it was. The Arnold Palmer was also uplifting and helped Rachel a lot a bit earlier. But it has other caffeine side effects that I have to limit. It’s a good thing I got powered up, because I was not expecting the extent of rapids under the hwy 4 bridge. It was a little after 7 so the sun lit up the jutting up rocks, that weirdly and unusually had millions of dragonflies sitting on them. Maybe if they hadn’t distracted me as I was whizzing through what I thought was a clear path I would have foreseen the sudden left turn with the large rock looming on the other side. I was coming down sideways and was headed right for it to hit the middle of my boat. The water was too shallow for me to paddle deep enough to get enough momentum to get around it. I hit it solidly in the middle of my kayak on the right and tried to push off with my paddle but I was going too fast and hit it too hard. My kayak flipped over and dumped me out. The only thing I saw as my legs were out from under me was the Mirage Drives and one flip flop. The kayak was out of reach and moving fast downriver upside down. I grabbed the Mirage Drive, flip flop and was trying to stand up when Rachel zoomed around me and the rock going backwards and smiling as she said triumphantly, “I missed it!” This was payback for all of my “want to go under that tree?” jokes. She said she would go get my stuff. It was hard to wade through the sharp large slippery rocks to the bank as the current was really strong. I got knocked off balance once as I went, but caught myself by putting a hand down. It took a long time to get to the side as I concentrated on the rocks with my wet glasses, glancing at Rachel trying to right my kayak on Rochelle’s rocky ramp. She met me half way with my other flip flop! I thought it was a gonner. My purse had been submerged though and my keyless entry fob was wet. I didn’t know if it would work anymore. And my paddle was gone. My cellphone in the waterproof pouch stayed with the boat, thank goodness. We still didn’t have reception, so she said she’d go up the hill to where we saw Rochelle’s buildings and try to call Dad. Meanwhile I thought I should look for my paddle, but I was a little shaken up and not sure I wanted to get back in right there. I got in her boat and went downstream a ways and didn’t see anything. Feeling more secure again, I decided to go towards the rapids. Sure enough it was caught on a large rock about 10 feet from the opposite bank at the bottom of the rapids. Thank the Lord! I didn’t loose anything! And this morning my keyfob works!

The traffic jam was so bad that it took George two hours, instead of one, to get home. He got to us about 8:30 just in time to have enough light to drain my boat and get them both secured, and to see the amount of scraping etched in the plastic bottoms. He didn’t think we should take them on that trip anymore. That’s a reason to rent canoes from Rochelle’s right there. But without Mirage Drives, I don’t know if you could make it in one day. It was an epic trip and we both loved it! Worth every scratch, but I don’t want to put any more on those awesome boats either.

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