no one feels worse than me over what happened sat. just so you know what happend i will tell you. when i got to quarter mile, i stopped at the river left eddy to show Ted (who was puma 1 and has few trips on the nolichucky), Allen and Melissa (who are novice rafters with their own raft but chose to go with me because that level was too difficult for their skill level) the different lines that are there at that level. the flow was about 2,000. Nigel and others were in front of me. they saw me eddy out and they went down the right side. they did not leave me, and i would have done exactly what they did in reverse circumstances. as i made the move back upriver and to the center, at the first drop. I fell out. for no reason, i was exactly where i planned as i had done a hundred times and as i would again. i fell out. period. as i was swirling around in a moving eddy i saw the raft with 3 people in it going down the middle that means that one other person was already in the water. the raft hit the frances rock in hungry jack and flipped. i did not see that because i was worried about what i was going to do. i could not reach a rock and i could not swim to calm water. i tried. an unknown kayaker came by and tried to pull me to calm water. he could not, but a fantastic effort. Ted came to my rescue. he picked me up and we went down that right side where we found Melissa, Doug, and Curtis. they were beaten, but fine. i walked the right bank and i saw several people below murphy's ledge.with the raft. i thought i saw Allen standing but it was not. i thought he was ok, but he was not. i walked back up and i told the 4 others to paddle down there. i walked down. that's when i saw Allen. he was exhausted and laying down. no obvious injuries. i sat with him and asked him questions. he gave me answers. i looked at his eyes and they looked good. we rested there for about 45 min. he got back in the raft and we floated out.
in 22 yrs of rafting with hundreds and hundreds of trips that trip is in the bottom 5. i am about to cry over the events of that day. no one is responsible for that but me. for those of you that have a passion for rafting as i do i know you can understand this. the highs are very high. the camaraderie, the solitude, the plants, the animals, the season and the just being are incredible. i can't even express how i feel out there. Ray, i don't think you understand. the lows are also very low. Penny's injury on the russle fork for one for me. it makes me rethink if i should do this anymore. maybe it's my time to quit. how do i make right the beating that Allen took? did i destroy how he feels about rafting now? what about his wife Melissa? rafting was going to give them something to do together that they both enjoy. is that over now too? i would like that saturday to have never happened, but i can't. no one's hurt, right, ya think? the Mr Danger upgrade is funny, i know, but i'm not laughing right now.
I totally understand and apologize for making light of the situation before things had time to settle. rtoodit New