Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Adventurous Weekend

Saturday morning, my friend Amber and I headed down south of Salem for a day on the lake. We stopped to visit her 90-year-old grandparents at their farm, then her dad picked us up in his suburban and we headed toward Green Peter Lake with a boat in tow. It was the perfect day: 90 degrees and blue skies. I haven't been on the lake since last summer in Texas, so I was pretty excited to get back on the water and hopefully learn to ski. But about halfway to the lake, the car made a funny noise, started sputtering, and slowly died. We pulled off to the side of the road where her dad took a look under the truck. We couldn't figure out what was wrong and after several failed attempts to start the engine, we started to give up hope. Luckily, a tow truck just happened to be driving by and the man offered to help us out. He towed us back to the farm (my 1st tow ride ever!) and we turned to plan B.

We loaded up a raft in Amber's car and drove down to a creek that is apparently a great rafting spot. Amber and I jumped in the 2-person raft, pushed off with our oars, and started down the creek. A young man on the banks yelled a last piece of advice: "Watch out for the rocks you can't see!" and her dad reminded us to beware of logs that could pull us under.

We coasted along for a while and then ran into a few small rapids. We picked up speed and had a hard time staying straight, but it wasn't anything we couldn't handle. Then the water got a little more shallow and he hit a few more small rapids - and our bottoms hit a few rocks along the way! (Let's just say sitting isn't the most comfortable position today and I could be nicknamed "Blue Bottom"!) That was a rough spot, but we kept on going. We coasted along a little farther and then looked ahead to see a large log in the middle of the creek with water rapidly flowing over it. We tried to steer around it, but the strong current forced us over the log and our raft was stuck! Amber tried to get out to push the raft and got sucked under water and pushed down stream. For a second I thought I had lost my friend, but I saw her float down the creek and quickly climb up on the side rocks. Now I was stuck in a raft that had quickly filled with water. I tried to dislodge it for about 3 minutes, panicked for 30 seconds and thought about "aborting ship". Then I realized that if I jumped off of raft, I would a) get sucked under or b) end up on the rocks with Amber with no raft to get out of this whole situation. So I began scooping water out of the raft and then scootched the raft down the branch of the log and finally started downstream, oars and all! I pulled off to where Amber was and we dumped the water out and continued down the creek. Miraculously, Amber held on to the plastic bag which contained our food and her cell phone, so we called her dad who picked us up early. Amber was pretty scratched and bruised up and has a swollen ankle, but we both survived - and bonded since we shared a near-death experience. It was quite an adventure and we have a few pictures to remember it by.

Running Update

With my big Hood to Coast relay only 6 weeks away, I've been in a little bit of a running rut. But today, my roommate Kathy and I ran 8.25 miles all around Portland... and it felt great! That good run inspires me to keep up the training even though it's difficult.


  1. One more adventure I'm glad I heard about "after the fact". Be careful out there!
    Glad you had a good run today.

  2. What a day! Sounds fun, though!