Lost Oar Rig San Miguel - Page 12 - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-05-2016   #111
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 37
Part 6

Part 6

The caretakers reemerged. I sensed there had been some serious discussion going on. It also seemed to me that they had been into the whiskey a bit themselves. ---Hard to say regarding Caretaker A, because he had hardly said a word. He was very reserved and seemed uncomfortable. On the other hand, Caretaker B was quite vociferous. He said, let me explain the situation to you, “The Owner of this resort has had very bad experiences with river runners. They have trespassed, trashed the place, disrespected our clients and been, by and large, belligerent. As he owns both sides of the river, by Colorado State Law, he owns the rock upon which your raft is stuck. You are on his property.”


“We cannot do anything for you without his permission and approval. He lives out of state and we are not able to reach him right now. We expect to be able to reach him first thing in the morning. In the meantime, since you have your wallet, truck keys, phone, etc., we propose that you spend the night in a motel in Norwood. We hope that’s OK with you.”

There was a long pause as I fumbled for words and a footing to propose some justifiable alternative.

The First Mate punctured the silence, “Listen, you have been very attentive and generous to help with our rescue, to welcome us into your resort, warm us, dry our clothes ---everything. If it is your preference that we spend the night elsewhere, that is fine. We are much obliged. We’ll dress and we can leave.” She was right. There was no other appropriate response.

I mumbled something about the boat wrapped on the rock, and the gear, and the need to…

“Forget about the boat. You are lucky to be alive. That is all that really matters right now. You are safe and alive.”

My guts hurt.

In the truck, Caretaker A drove. Caretaker B talked. “So, if your were stranded on a desert island and you could take one book with you ---What would it be?”

“Well,” I said, “Considering the events of today: Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote.”

Not waiting for The First Mate’s answer, he said, “For me, the answer is easy. The Bible.”

The First Mate and I flashed a quick glance with one another in the back seat. Uh oh.

I responded, cheerfully, “Well, that’s a good choice. The Bible is great literature.”

‘Have you read The Bible?” he fired back.

“Much of it. Yes, I have. Not all of it, though.”

“What’s your favorite book in The Bible?”

“Again, considering recent events, I’d have to say right now: The Book of Job”.

“Have you read The Book of Job?”

“I have. In fact, there is a copy of it, a more recent translation that I had intended to read on this trip. It is on the raft wrapped on your rock.”

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Old 10-05-2016   #112
Ft Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 15
Do I hear banjo music
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Old 10-05-2016   #113
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 95
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 102
Oh my!
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Old 10-05-2016   #114
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,993

There was once a man in the land of Ut whose name was Wayward. The man was floating and stuck upright on a rock, he feared the worst and turned away from his boat to shore. There was one first mate and many books with him.
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Old 10-05-2016   #115
Ridgway, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 48
Cascabel fishing club is the only civilization on this stretch of river and, in my experience, they've been pretty hospitable to boaters. Rafting season and fishing season, on this this river, do not coincide. We've stopped at the "beach" in front the club to regroup and lunch-on-the-boats (It's really the ONLY place to stop). Being offseason for them, a caretaker came down, he politely let us know that we were on private property (which we knew), we promised to leave no trace and to pass along the message that this was not a lunch spot. He allowed us to stay and finish our lunch. Pretty reasonable in my opinion.
To get their help in rescuing your asses and putting you in a hot-tub... man you need to give some props and get your sorry, soggy ass to a motel!
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Old 10-05-2016   #116
over the horizon
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Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 268
This is great storytelling. I just wish I found this thread after it is done - I can't stand suspense.
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Old 10-06-2016   #117
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,069
Originally Posted by Wayward Boatman View Post
Part 6
‘Have you read The Bible?” he fired back.
“Much of it. Yes, I have. Not all of it, though.”
“What’s your favorite book in The Bible?”
“Again, considering recent events, I’d have to say right now: The Book of Job”.
“Have you read The Book of Job?”
“I have. In fact, there is a copy of it, a more recent translation that I had intended to read on this trip. It is on the raft wrapped on your rock.”
Is Caretaker A from Noah's Ark?
You know how much fun they make of us when we wrap rocks!
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Old 10-07-2016   #118
Cortez, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 151
Hmmm....kinda sounds like the raft may not have worked itself off the rock during the night, but that maybe it had help getting off that rock....by parties yet un-named....
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Old 10-07-2016   #119
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 37
Part 7

Part 7

By now we had learned a few things. The caretakers are devout Jehovah’s Witnesses. They perceived our crisis as a kind of “come to Jesus” moment. As a result, they seemed to consider us ripe for conversion. We had learned Caretaker B was new on the job ---having been there only two months. Caretaker A had been there at least a couple years.

“What about you? Where do you stand with religion and The Bible?” Caretaker B asked The First Mate, having apparently given up on me.

“That’s problematic. I’m Armenian. ---Essentially a culture in diaspora. ---A culture forever embedded within some other culture struggling to keep its identity. We are Apostolic Orthodox Christians. ----Its part and parcel of our identity. Regardless of our level of faith, or belief, it is an essential component of who we are. And we hold to it fiercely.”

How do you treat Jehovah’s Witnesses when they knock on your door?

“With respect. I tell them what I just told you.”

After I gave Caretaker A my phone number, and I secured his (with some reluctance on his part), and his assurance that he would contact me first thing in the morning after talking with the owner, we were dropped off late at night in the morbid light of a motel in Norwood, wearing the clothes we swam in. I was in a pair of tattered cotton shorts and a hammered white dress shirt. We had my ammo can. We had our life jackets. We pushed the buzzer to call the manager. She arrived after about 20 minutes.

While checking in, I felt a pang of hunger. “You must be famished!” I said to The First Mate who has the metabolism of a humming bird.

“I’m about to drop.”

The manager had overheard from the other room, and when the paper work was done she said to The First Mate, “Come with me”. There was a suite where her son sometimes stayed. From the pantry she pulled snacks and sweets and canned fruit. It’s quite remarkable how kind and considerate people fundamentally are, by nature. We collapsed into fitful sleep. I kept having a terrible reoccurring dream ---every time to wake up and realize, that no, this had all really happened. It was not just a bad dream.

In the morning, I called the shuttle driver. He picked me up and took me to the truck in Naturita. The First Mate and I had a good hot meal at the Happy Belly Deli. At 9:30 I received the following text from Caretaker A:

“We took a look at midnight and the raft was gone, we were able to retrieve one blue bag, you are welcome to come and get it anytime…”
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Old 10-08-2016   #120
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Fruita, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 13
I would have come back with "Do unto others..." and "Forgive us our trespasses..." when they asked about the bible bs.
This better be fun damn it!
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