Monday, June 17, 2013

Low Credit Score

Some adventures name themselves but this doozy has so many it's like they grow on trees. That line is a lot funnier than it reads so let me explain the joke.

My buddy Brad says,"If I don't use my kayak I need to bring it back to my cabin" so I reply, "Then let's go." He proposes the Credit River and that explains the location.

If you read Eating Crow you may understand the Low and Score in the title but wait for the trees. If you haven't read Eating Crow it explains why I still had a good time and why Brad, um, less so.

Now that we've had a ladle of history and I've given heavy clues to the title, we need to bushwhack our way into the story.

The Credit River flows north to the Minnesota river. You can see some of it from the post called, Giant Salamander. Brad and I meet up at 5pm and drop a car at the expected take out and then head south to the put in.

We jump in and the first few miles are great but then the trees start closing in like big green tollbooths and we start paying in time. Its like a river peepshow. Every 100 yards we have to pay to see the beauty of nature and the cost is adding up as the risks get greater and the shows even shorter. The last few miles we walk and swim with the boat to save getting in and out every 100 feet.

About now Brad is finding the river to be more 'pay and pain' [another possible title] then fun. Logs, rocks and who knows under the water are bashing our shins and ankles. Bugs are eating us from the top down and the downed trees threaten to rake us into a thousand cuts or drown us all together.

We pass tree after tree and drag over land on many short portages until we are almost without spirit, if it wasn't for the low sun and fog like darkness creeping in our pace would have slowed to a crawl.

I always carry dry clothes when cold or wet is possible and a head lamp if I have less then a full day. Snacks, multi-tool and emergency space blanket complete my normal kit. The blanket is for shock following an accident while the other summons help, should this ever happen.

Log jams lead to deep holes and swimming is dangerous but twice I find myself floating and holding my boat. My pfd only gives a tiny margin of safety because the current would easily over power the life vest if I allowed myself to get near a downed tree forcing water under... So too would I go. I do not witness but I believe Brad may have had to claw his way out of such holes.

I have many more miles of river experience then he so I was working the boat and my skills allowed me a small measure of safety but this is more then we expected and it put Brad into a bad place. No way to bail out, no way to paddle and no way for me to help but to stay with him. The best I could do was boat down and then eddy out and wait for him.

To 'eddy out' means to catch the swirl of water behind an obstacle in swift water and use that back current to pull you out and up stream behind said obstacle. Coming to rest in the calm water between it and shore. It's the only way to stop next to jumping out and pulling the boat to shore which is what happen many times.

Staying together was slow and we were almost out of daylight by this time.

Brad has capsized at least 5 times. Lost his boat twice and paddle more then that. I help drain his boat many times so the fun for him is done, I'm still doing fine from my experience on the Crow but I'm worried for his well being. The best I can do is be stern and tell him to keep moving.

 Alas we arrive at the take out! Bugs are chewing on us as we load the boats. Soaked to the bone we drive back to the put in to separate gear and head home.

The Credit is a pretty creek but scores low on my list for kayaking. That leaves us with all the names. Bad Credit. No Credit. Credit Report. Taking on Credit, was more then we expected but once you sign up you got to make good on your promise and make the payments. We make the final payment in blood via mosquito about 9:20PM. The next time I take on Credit it's going to be winter and on that note, good bye.

1 comment:

  1. You should hit up the Apple River in WI. It's at least a half day thing and there are some rapids at the end. No paddle needed!