Well right now this is still kinda hard to talk about, but I want it out there before rumors get started. Me and my dad were have a trip of a lifetime. We left Clayton Georgia Monday June 4th 2010 at 1:30pm. A father son adventure trip that very few people ever get to do with thier dads. We left Clayton and drove out 76 east up to 64 all the way through Tennessee into Memphis. We then got on 40 and drove through Arkansas, Oklahoma, and into Texas. We only stopped to fill up the truck in gas. We stopped in Amarilo and ate at the Big Texan. We then continued on I-40 into New Mexico. We drove up to the Rio Grande and kayaked a short section right below lower Taos Box on Saturday afternoon. We camped that night near Toas box got up next morning but got skunked on shuttle for Lower Box so we headed up state and county roads taking the scenic drive into Colorado. We drove by the Great Sand Dune National Park then headed up towards BV. We crossed the Arkanasas River then went towards the South Platte River area. We camped that night near the South Fork of the South Plate with my younger sister who was working at a ranch in colorado. The next morning my sister helped us set shuttle and just the two of us me and dad kayaked Baileys section of the North Fork South Platte river. It was running at 550 cfs and was a great run. We had no problems dad did portage the 3 bigger class 5's but ran the rest. I ran all but Supermax since it was just the two of us and it was our first time on the run or the river. We then drove up to the Big Thompson and stayed the night up there. Looked at it but decided too big for us so we went to the Cache La Poudre. We hooked up with some local guys and we ran Filter plant at somewhere over 3000 cfs, we then went up and ran the Upper Rustic Section of the Poudre still at somewhere over 3000cfs, it was an exciting day where we helped the colorado guys since they both swam get gear and boats together. We had great fellowship with them that night at dinner at the Mishiwaka, we then camped up there and the next day (wednesday june 9th) we were going to continue our journey farther west. We drove out hwy 14 towards steamboat springs just seeing the countryside. We got on hwy 40 and continued west, we then dropped down hwy 13 down to I 70 and headed to Utah. We camped that night along the Colorado river in one of the prettiest camping spots I have ever camped. Thursday we got up and drove to moab and went through Arches National Park. We drove through and went on some of the short hikes and took lots of pictures. Both of us took pictures under the Delicate Arch and just really saw the Beauty of God's creation. We then went into town and rented some mountian bikes for that afternoon and the next day. That afternoon since it was late we went and rode the Practice Loop at slickrock then went and set up camp nearby. We got up the next day and road Slickrock which was one of the things dad said he had always wanted to do before he died. We then turned in our bikes and headed south. We camped near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon Friday night and saturday we went into Grand Canyon National Park. We did some of the short hikes and got snowed on that afternoon. We also both felt the shock from a lightening bolt that must have hit ground not too far from us when we were looking out on Angels window during a thunderstorm. We then left the Grand Canyon in the snow and headed back north back into Utah. We entered Zion National Park Saturday afternoon and drove through. We road the shuttle up the canyon and saw the beauty of Zion. We were wanting to do some more kayaking since it had been a few days since we had our boats in the water so we looked at the Virgin River. It was running low like 180cfs but looked doable even though it would be boney in a lot of spots. But we figured what better way to see the canyon than sitting in our kayaks. We got a permit to kayak and drive up to Temple of Sinawava for the next day Sunday. We camped right outside of Zion Sat. night and the next morning we drove up to the Temple of Sinawava we then carried our kayaks up to the exit of the Zion narrows and put in. It was low and boney like we thought but it was unbelievable beautiful. Earlier on the trip when dad and I had talked about what we wanted to do on the trip he said he wanted to kayak a canyon. Of corse he was talking about something big volume like the Rio Grande, Colorado, or the Green, but as we kayaked through Zion he said that was not the type of river he had envisioned when he said he wanted to kayak a canyon, but the walls that rose up from the river was the type of canyon he was expecting. It was a beautiful experience seeing the park this way. And although when riding the shuttle bus up to the canyon it felt really crowded on the river we were by ourself and felt like we had the park to ourselves other than when we would go under one of the few hiking bridges where all the people would marvel at us getting to kayak through such a beautiful place. After kayaking through Zion we loaded up the boats and decided to keep trecking west. We drove through Nevada and into California. We camped on a forest service road about an hour and a half south of Kernville on Sunday Night. The next morning (monday june 14th 2010)we got up early and drove to Kernsville. We stopped at the forest service station and got camping and boating permits for the Sequiah national forest and got gas and breakfast and headed up the Kern River. We were using Leland guide book and looking forward to boating in the Sierras. Neither me nor dad had every kayaked in Utah, New Mexico, or California before this trip so we wanted to start with something class 4 to 4+ first. We headed up looking at the different sections of the Lower Kern on our drive up and then we stopped at Brush Creek. We checked the gage it was almost 3 but not quite. Although it looked low to us the book said between 2and 3 was a medium if i recall so we thought we would drive up have a look and see. The drive was not long so it was a great place for us to start our boating in California. The drive was short and since it was just the two of us with just one vehicle we both decided this would be good since I could run shuttle after we were done since it was just 2.5 miles up the road. We geared up and hiked down to creek. It was a beautiful day and both me and dad were so excited. We kept talking about how much we had already done on the trip and what a great time we were having. He was talking about how he had already mnt biked Moab, kayaked a canyon and was now going to get to kayak a steep creek in the sierras. Before putting on we scouted a ways down walking on the side of the creek. After seeing it and looking at the lines we put on. We went down and were having a blast. We got to where we had not scouted so we got out again and scouted another section of the creek. Again we put back on and continued down with no problems having a blast. We then did the same routine again scouted a section and this section looked great there was about a 12-15 foot drop that looked like whitewater heaven and we were just enjoying our time together and the great scenery and fun boating. We ran this section and still no problem. We went down just a bit farther then had to get out and scout again. We scouted this section carefully not seeing any hazards that we did not think we could avoid. Oh and how we were running this was I would go first run the drop catch an eddy at the bottom i was helmet camming so i was go then watch dad go off the drops then after seein he was fine i would turn and continue on down and repeat. We put in after scouting this section and I continued to do as we had been doing the whole trip and many other kayaking days in our past. I went down and caught an eddy and watched dad come down. I did this right where it happpened. I went down caught a very small eddy. I watched and dad came off the drop, he seemed fine. The last thing I saw dad was upright at the bottom of the drop I turned and went down the next drop. I was waiting, dad did not come, I was thinking ok he caught that eddy I was in so i waited and put my paddle up to signal him down. Still he did not come then his paddle floated by me, well I figured I guess he somehow swam somewhere so I grabbed his paddle and went off the final drop because i could not get out of my boat from where I was at. I went down still not thinking that anything was wrong just that he had swam. I was in a hurry to get to shore I pulled my boat up and grabbed my throw rope just in case he needed help getting his boat. I then tried to go up the river right side of creek but i fell into creek as it was steep, so i jumped across creek and started up the river left side. I then saw his boat float down the final drop so now I am a little worried but still thinking he swam but he is fine, its low flow, there was no beat you to death hydrolics he is an experienced kayaker and good swimmer he is fine. I am on the cliff hiking up and I can see him. He is in the eddy and it appears that his head is above water and he is swimming but just going round and round in the recirculating eddy. I hurry and run toward him thinking he is still fine it is just too steep and slick to get out. I run and throw him my rope but I immediately see he is unconcious. I jump into the recirculating eddy with him and grab him. His lips are blue so I hurry to get him out of water to do cpr. The water is not deep in the eddy but it is slick. I am holding him and we are just circling. I able with not too much problem keep both his head and mine above water but I cant get him on shore. I then realize if I am going to do anything I am going to have to get out and then pull him out. I get out of the eddy by just catching the current and letting it take me out, it was not a struggle for me to get out of this eddy or keep my head above water. I am on the side and he is recirculating but I cant grab him, so I jump back in the eddy and try throwing him to shore its not working so I grab him and do just what I did to get out of the eddy I hold him and I swim into current as hard as I can and we wash out and down the next little slide. I pull him out of creek on the bank, take his helmet off cut his drytop so blood will be able to flow easier to his head and start cpr. I am not going into any more detail than this on the cpr, I am trained in Cpr just never thought I would have to use it especially on my own dad. I had all of this on my helmet cam. From the time I last saw him untill I got to him it was almost 9 minutes. It took me another 2 to 3 minutes to get him on the bank and start CPR, thats 12 minutes from the time I saw that he was completely fine to the time I started CPR. Looking at the time on the Helmet came I continued cpr for 14 minutes that was on my helmet cam then my memory chip was full. I don't know exactly how long I continued to do cpr after the memory chip ran out but it was a while longer. I did cpr till my arms were completely exhausted probably around 45 minutes. After knowing that nothing I was going to do would bring dad back I thought that my only possible hope would be to get to a phone very very fast and a helicopter be close and get him to hospital to see if they could bring him back even though I know now that would be impossible. Dad never had a pulse the whole time that I was with him after I turned when he was ok. I then crossed the creek and ran up the mountain as fast as I could to my truck and speed down the road till I got to the dam where I was able to find help and call. In the end my Dad Bo James died on Brush Creek June 14th 2010. I do not know what happened or what went "wrong" from when I saw him ok last until I saw him again 10 minutes later when he was already dead. All I know for 100% certainty was Bo James loved Jesus Christ and was a follower and believer. I know that Monday June 14th 2010 my dad was face to face with the Creator of the Universe Jesus Christ whom he loved. I will miss my favorite paddling partner, my dad, my hero, but I know he taught me well and I will see him again when I leave this earth.
For all of you who had the pleasure of meeting my dad Bo James or paddling with him I think you will all agree he was a good man who loved God Jesus Christ and he is with him right now so we dont need to worry about him. Thanks to all my paddling friends who have called, text, and messaged me in the past few days. Its meant a lot in these tough times. Thanks so much Newton, Ligon, Alex, Tim B, and Tim G, Dave, Doug, Scott M, Scott P, Austin and all the other who came by the funeral home and to the Funeral service. It really meant a lot that ya'll supported me and my family. Ya'll are great friends. Also thanks to any of you who have sent me messages on facebook that I might not have checked yet or responded to. Thanks to all who kept me and my family in their prayers.
For anyone who thinks I handled this situation wrong, or want to comment negatively about anything I have said in this post, please show mercy on me. It has been hard enough already. I am just posting this on here because I don't want some story that is not the truth being talked about and bashing the life of my father. He started paddling a kayak in the late 70's, I guess you could say he has been "kayaking" since he was a teenagers bc I have all kinds of stories from his brothers about him dragging them down Stekoa Creek in Clayton when they were just kids on those old styrofoam surf boards when the creek was up. For those wondering if this creek was too much I dont think it was. He had been boating for over 30 years. He had ran Chattooga sect 3 at 6 feet, he ran Tallulah Gorge a bunch, ran section 4 countless times, Cheoah, Overflow, The Green Narrows, and many other rivers in the class 4+ and some low class 5. He has swam out of much worse than where he was. I have no doubt in my mind now that it was just his time and it would not have mattered if we were kayaking in California or laying on the couch in Clayton Ga, it was just his time for God to bring him home. As I am asking if you have something negative to write please show me and my family mercy and not post it. If you think I handeled it wrong message me privately, just please show me mercy and not make it worse on a public forum like this.
Also for those of you who cared this is a page that will show you what kind of man my dad was.