Well here we are on the final leg of our trip down the Buffalo River in Arkansas. The other two stories told of our misadventures so far, and this is the final chapter. This is the last obstacle before we take out. The Grayrock area.
The next morning we got up and with a little help from Linda I managed to stand upright. I don't know how many rocks my legs and knees ran into in the water but counting the black and blue spots put it over a dozen. The hard boulders that is.
By now our canoe was riding higher in the water as we had used up food and gear. Today was the last day of the trip and Nancy and Larry both assured us that there was easy floating ahead except for Grayrock. Every time they mentioned the Grayrock area they would look at each other and smile and chuckle. Why do I get the feeling we were going to star in another disaster movie?
We had only five miles to go on this last leg of the trip, so we all voted for pushing on and have a late lunch at the take out point.
Everything was going along fine and then I noticed Nancy and Larry speeding up and pulling away from us. A phenomena that seemed to repeat itself every time we crashed and burned. Now I ain't no dummy so I yelled at Linda up in the prow. "Speed up! Don't let them get away from us!" We paddled like mad men (mad woman too), our little red canoe just a blur with a wake behind it. Then sweeping around a blind curve the roar of white water came to us.
"Keep paddling! I scream! "This has to be the Grayrock area!" And all of a sudden part of the mountain jumped in front of us.
"OMG LINDA LOOKOUT FOR THAT BIG GRAY ROCK!"
Yeah, you guessed it.
We ran right into Grayrock.
And no wonder. This was no ordinary rock. Through the years the water had eaten through the base of it and now actually ran under the huge rock that must have landslide down from the mountainside.
So to successfully negotiate this obstacle you had to get out of the main current ASAP when you got around the bend.
We did not.
Which is why we were sitting with the nose of our canoe going CLANG CLANG CLANG as the current continued to try to run us through the rock. If we had not been floating higher in the water we would, by now, be under the rock.
On the other hand we were still floating and not tipped over. Which was probably ruining Nancy and Larry's movie.
"OK" I called. "Back paddle Linda, don't let us get turned sideways." And what did she do? She reached over with her paddle and shoved against the rock and tipped us over.
"Hi fish are you the same one that was up at the dam? You must be you are laughing your fish-head off."
"I think I will just sink to the bottom this time and then walk out." Blub blub blub.
But you know what was going to happen. Sure enough two hands grabbed me and pulled me up and out of the water. As the water began to run out of my ears, eyes and lungs I could hear Linda say, "Sarge get your hands off my boobs!"