Canoe trip story 1
You have already met Nancy and Larry so another story about them is coming up.
Like I said in the last tale, we were canoeing buddies and spent many summer weekends floating the beautiful free running rivers of the Missouri Ozarks. After we had enough experience that we felt confident that we could navigate most any river, Nancy and Larry invited us to float the Buffalo River of Arkansas. This river was only float-able in the low water doldrums of summer as it was a very steep drop and once you put in there was no place or way to get out until you got to the very few takeout points. On the floaters guide there also was portage points because of rapids or falls and a couple of dams. We all had a floaters guide especially because of the information concerning the dangers of the river. (It didn't mention anything about, If you hear banjo music---paddle like H*ll however)
When we were being talked into this trip by our friends they also shared some advice. One of the things mentioned was bring along a lot of industrial strength trash bags. I figured it was to put trash in. It turned out to be to help your sleeping bag and equipment to float after you tipped over. All the preparation that was being made to help you find your gear after you tipped over was beginning to impress me and scare the heck out of Linda. You put all your things out of your pockets into a water proof bags so you wouldn't lose them in the water after you tipped over. Also you needed a water proof tag on your person so they could identify you after you tipped over.
Finally we were at the put in spot and I looked with apprehension at the river. Didn't look all that bad. Nice easy running stream. Not to wide, looked like a guy could run across it. So the die was cast and into our canoe went all the bagged gear. This particular stretch could only be made in three days so we had tents and sleeping bags and a lot of food and even lawn chairs. The canoes were packed. All of it rigged so it would float after you tipped over.
Off we went and doing great, after all Linda and I had over 500 miles on rivers in our red canoe. Even did some Force 3 rivers, we were confident.
"Hey Linda what does the book say is next?" I called from the stern of the canoe. In one mile we hit a place called "Toilet Paper Rapids" she called back. "Humm that don't sound so dangerous, I wonder why they call it that. Must be a old out house on the bend or something." The river took a sharp bend at the 1 mile mark and it's lazy characteristics suddenly changed. Nancy and Larry were in the lead as they had floated this river before. When they disappeared round the bend the river began to pick up in volume, heck it was starting to roar. Around the bend we swept and OMG white water jumping into the air!! Over at one side we saw Nancy and Larry on the shore with movie cameras, those rats. Then it was paddle for your life. Right, left, right, back paddle, look out for that rock, try to bend the canoe around the next rock, LOOK OUT more rocks Right right right I screamed. Water was splashing up over us and my glasses were soaked I was unable to see out of them. Look over the top of the glasses and see the next wave on it's way to hit me.
Finally the river spread out and calmed down. We paddled over to the bank where Nancy and Larry's canoe was beached. My God was I glad we got through that except for one thing. I felt like
I needed...........toilet paper.
So that is why they named that #$!*^!@ rapids that.
Next story will continue down the Buffalo River ( it was a long river)