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Old 11-09-2012   #51
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
Success is built on any failures...

Success is built on many failures, in all things. So in a recounting of the river failures one has had, where to start? And what is the "worst"? Was it the time we ate ourselves out of food on a long science trip in Grand Canyon and had to beg for food from every passing trip...

or the time a few of us had backcountry permits to backpack many miles away from the river with the permit holder's approval. As we set up our high spike camp for the night, the permit holder stumbled into our backpackers camp and refused to head back to the boats. It rained that night and 4 of us stent the night in a tube tent. The next morning at first light he headed back to camp, finding it devoid of people on his arrival. They were all out searching for him...

or the time i had just finished my cold cereal to turn and see a fellow boater fish a dead mouse out of the box milk container I had just used in my cereal...

then there was the throw bag toss in which i threw the whole bag, including the rope end i was supposed to be holding on to. It was a good throw, and the guy in the water caught the bag....

or the time i put my expensive digital camera in a hatch of the GEM with someone else driving. He flipped us in a lateral moments later and the camera was ruined as the hatch leaked...

then there is the time the permit holder rowed right past the camp we all had arranged to take with all the other trips around us, resulting in another cook-in-the-dark night after an additional 10 mile row...

or the time I set my bedroll down and went to sleep, only to have the rising river wake me up as it rose in the night and washed me out of my camp...

or the mouse (they have very cold feet) that joined us in our tent about midnight one cold winter trip...

or the tick that embedded into the middle of my back one night (removed with a little application of Sherry to get it very drunk very quickly)...

or offering to let a Ranger at Phantom Ranch row the GEM to Pipe Creek. He had never rowed before and we went sideways over the rocks along the shore on river left below the Silver Bridge. The loud rock impacts caused the most amazing fracture patterns in the epoxy on the inside of the boats floor...

or the time we took Grand Canyon National Park to court over their poorly crafted river management plan and our "friends" in other boating organizations joined the litigation against us. Our loss in court resulted in the very same issues still unresolved...

or the time i was laughing so hard I walked right off the boat into deep water. Sure was glad to be wearing my life jacket, and when i spluttered to the surface, everyone was laughing!

Have fun, whatever you do!

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Old 11-09-2012   #52
Plunk your magic twanger!
Gremlin's Avatar
New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,105
...or the time I got to camp, changed into camp clothes that I planned to sleep in, and went back down to Supercat to have cocktails on the boat. When I made the move to step from the cooler to the front crossbar, I missed and fell through the empty front bay, landing with my ribs on the crossbar and my lower half in the river. I had to were my wife's pajamas the rest of the night.

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Old 11-09-2012   #53
Colorado Springs Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 254
A good buddy of mine (who will go unnamed) showed up a put-in with his daughter and 15' raft only to realized that they didn't have a pump. Most would have gone home. Not my bud. While said daughter laughed hysterically the indomitable dad blew the raft up - BY MOUTH! Im sure the tubes were a little squishy but they did the run none the less.
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Old 11-10-2012   #54
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Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2011
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I'm reminded of my first multiday trip on Deso/Grays. Not really an epic fail, but more a lesson on recovery and what can happen real fast if you don't keep it tight. On our second night our TL declaired we were camping on an open sand bar and so we all pull up and start to unload. People started to set up tents and get camp situated. All of a sudden we hear a slight roar getting louder and louder. Eventuall we see some flying sand and trees swaying violently. Then it was upon us before we knew it, a huge blast of air from down canyon in the late afternoon. Peoples shit started flying everywhere. Tents, footprints, hats and everything else that was loose and light wieght. We had also just set up and EZ-UP tent that had been anchored weakly in the sand. It took off like a rocket about 50 feet in the air and then came crashing down, smashing it to pieces. Almost all the boats were weakly secured to shore without a sand stake and started to blow off into the current. And then it was gone, not even a slight breeze left. All in all there wan't much damage except for the EZUP, one tent and a few other misc. things that completely blew away. The boats didn't get far before they were caught and people were able to collect their things that blew 100 yards down the sandbar. It was definately a lesson learned. Deso winds can catch you when your not ready for them.
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Old 02-23-2013   #55
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
Or, the time I awoke and realized my boat was gone--the river came up and I had forgotten to tie up. Or, the time I watched my boat cruise by while I was sipping on a margarita at camp on the GC. My passenger had unclipped it to better access some water jugs. I learned to never clip a bowline on with a carabiner. So many failures, but some memorable times.
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Old 02-24-2013   #56
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
Hi Wild, on the other end of that, we "found" a boat with a carabiner for a bow line below Lava, right side up and full of brew, with sat phone, poly-pro, major first aid, you name it. When its owner came along, we traded the boat for a pint of cooking oil. Everyone was very very happy!
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Old 02-24-2013   #57
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
Hi Wild, on the other end of that, we "found" a boat with a carabiner for a bow line below Lava, right side up and full of brew, with sat phone, poly-pro, major first aid, you name it. When its owner came along, we traded the boat for a pint of cooking oil. Everyone was very very happy!
Great story that bookends mine nicely! In both phantom boat incidents, I was able to recover them within a short distance of camp. We found a boat once below Separation, tied it off and left a note, never heard back from the owner(s).
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Old 02-24-2013   #58
Boy Howdy!
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Colotucky, USA
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,054
I apparently peed in my significacnt others closet, thinking it was the bathroom.
ooops... I guess its better than pooping in a shoe
Who's your monkey?
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Old 02-25-2013   #59
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
On a trip we knew we were getting rain, but I just did NOT want to put up a tent. I convinced myself and my wife that it a) Wasn't going to rain for long b) That it wasn't going to rain hard and c) We didn't need no stinking tent.

Around 2 AM it did start to rain. Hard. For the rest of the night.

Pulled the ground cloth over us, and after about an hour my wife pulled something with something and a lake of water poured down between us. It was actually wetter inside the ground cloth than outside. Miserable.

In the morning I was momentarily pleased to find that I had a dry shirt and (mostly) dry shorts. With a "dare you" look she snatched both out of my wrinkled frozen fingers and put them on.

When another couple found out we had a tent packed in our bag and didn't use it or offer it they were mildly pissed, suggesting that maybe they didn't need to share their gallon of Tequila for the rest of the trip.

It was a miserable day on an otherwise sunny trip.

The moral of the story is; momma wants a tent, momma gets a tent.
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Old 02-25-2013   #60
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 535
i bumped a rock once. the guy up front had to steady himself by putting a hand on a tube. it was on the selway at .9 ft on the gauge. before and ever since, i've been my awesome rowing machine self though.

that's all it took. just a moment of inattention and...bump.

anyway, great stories guys. makes me feel better about bumping a rock once. i'll never forget that day.... it still haunts me.

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