I’ve got ALL of you beat, and so do my friends Pat (PJC) and Rena.
I told this story here shortly after it happened, but some surely didn’t see it (and it does work better as a story than as a statement of what we forgot). The three of us were on the Jump River in northern Wisconsin. On this fateful day, we were putting in right below Big Falls, which I think might be about a Class IV drop (go to Youtube and search “big falls jump river” and you’ll find a bunch of video clips of the place). There is a short stretch at the bottom of Big Falls that Pat and I intended to run, but Rena wanted no part of it, so we planned that she would put in at the very bottom of the drop and Pat and I would put in up where we wanted to. Getting ready to put in at two different locations was an added bit of complexity, and carrying out this major deviation from what’s normally an automatic routine is where the trouble started (okay guys and gals, start guessing).
After taking care of all the extra rigamarole necessary to launch three boats from two different places, Pat and I ran the lower part of Big Falls and enjoyed it for what it was, and then we met up with Rena and she launched to meet us. From there, we headed down river. After we’d gone maybe a mile, I was just reveling in the perfect “north woods” atmosphere of this river and how it was basically just wonderful to be there, and I wasn’t thinking of much else.
That’s when Pat said, “Hey Eric!”
“Do you know what we forgot?”
I had no clue.
“We forgot to run the shuttle.”
Goodness knows how long it would have taken me to figure that out. Maybe not until we got to the take-out. As for Pat, I think he remembered when he had some internal dialog along the lines of doing something “… when we get the car…” and then realized, “Oh, the car!”
Well, paddling back upstream wasn’t a good option because we’d already gone through some rapids and even the current in-between the rapids was hardly slow. It was time to start walking. Pat and I left Rena with the boats and headed back to shuttle the cars. It actually wasn’t too bad a day for a walk in the north woods.
Getting back to the cause of this whole thing, we actually had every intention of running a shuttle, but it was to be after Pat and I got our boats to the bottom of Big Falls. But once there and when Rena joined us, we were on the water and it was the beginning of the trip, and what else does one normally do at that moment but take off down river?
Old timers here know that one formerly active P-netter once left home without his boat, but I think forgetting to run the shuttle is right up there in the same league.