Friday, October 2, 2015

my river adventure

Well, this will be an interesting update. Classes are going well. My problem student has stopped coming so I am hoping she is going to drop. We have had rain for days and a lot more to come at least till Tuesday. My interesting story involves the New River. I went down to the 114 bridge on Wednesday after taking a bike ride along the river near the campus. The river was at 8 feet and it is usually at around 2.5. I was trying to take a picture to send to my kayaking friend but I couldn’t figure out the zoom on my new phone. Then I saw a kayaker upstream clinging to his upside down kayak. He was more than halfway across the river but my first instinct was to jump in and try to help, as I have done a number of times when I have been kayaking and someone gets in trouble. I took my shirt off, but now I had no kayak or life jacket, he was far off, and the currents were intense. I decided not to jump in and instead ran to my truck, got my rope and started to head down river to see if I could throw the rope out or jump in if necessary if he got close. First, however, I wisely called 911, quickly told them what was going on, and then started down river. With the river up there was no path, just a lot of vegetation which was tough to get through and which caused me to fall a couple of times. In fifty yards I had to give up and I worked back to the clearing and talked to the first policeman who arrived. I offered to try to head across the cornfield in my 4 wheel drive pickup but there was no clear path and more police and emergency vehicles were arriving. I told my story a few times and then left, very upset and worried about the kayaker. I starting crying as I drove and I knew that if he drown, I would feel incredibly guilty since I didn’t jump in. I called the police and they didn’t know his fate. Then I called again about a half hour later and they told me he had survived. Of course, I started crying again but for such a different reason. I went to sleep still questioning whether I should have jumped in, but after a decent night’s sleep I awoke knowing I had made the right choice. He was too far out and the currents were much too strong. However as I got out of bed, I realized that I had severely injured my left knee (my really bad one) and could hardly walk. I had to put on my knee brace and walk with my hiking stick, and I am still using it on Friday. I hope to be fine in a week or less.

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