It always happens when you least suspect it, and that is why you need to live by the Boy Scout motto – be prepared. Yesterday I wasn’t.
I was joining a group to paddle the White River from Hancock to Stockbridge in VT – (all canoes - 2 tandem, 3 poling and 3 solo). It’s a beautiful, 11-mile quickwater trip through the hills and cow fields of central VT. It’s also a three-hour drive for me, and I was running late. I was the last to arrive at the put-in, and I could tell by the looks when I drove in that the rest of the group was ready to go.
As far as I knew the forecast for the day was sunny and warm, but I hadn’t checked in a few days. I didn’t want to hold the group up any longer so I grabbed my boundary boots, left my hat, drysuit and spare cloths in the car, and headed out. It would be fine. Its just quickwater, and the river was at a nice level.
About a mile downstream I was navigating through a boney section of quickwater and it happened. I hit a rock and over I went. The recovery was quick, but the damage was done. I was sopping wet. I got my boat to shore, put on my splash top (the only spare cloths that I had) and hoped for the best. I’d be fine when sun came out.
Unfortunately, the sun didn’t come out. Instead, it started to rain. The clouds increased and we had a torrential downpour. Everyone pulled out their raingear, but I just got colder and wetter. I was able to borrow a hat from Bob, and that helped for a while. When my teeth started to chatter I knew I needed to get some dry cloths. I borrowed a fleece from Jonathan, and replaced the wet shirt under my splash top. That felt much better, and I started to warm up.
Fortunately, the rain eventually stopped, and the sun did come out. By the time I reached the take out it was sunny and warm, but it is still a lesson learned (or an important reminder) – BE PREPARED. Fortunately for me this time, my paddling friends were.
Few pictures of an otherwise fun trip here: