Monday, September 08, 2014

A Wash In Trouble

I’m thinking I should stay far from flowing water.  Today should have been an easy drive into work.  There were no signs indicating otherwise.  That’s the problem actually.  There were no signs.  There were none of the usual signs indicating a road closure. There was no blockade telling drivers to “Stop.”  So I kept driving. 

I had a hunch that the pelting rain on top of the pass would create some flooding on the plain.  So I wasn’t surprised to hit some wet sand and immediately a patch of water.  No problem navigating those.  My brain lit up in the same millisecond the headlights fixed on water coursing across the highway.  It was too late to do anything but continue driving straight---through water, mud, rocks and sticks all swept down the wash as water sought a place to rest.  I breathed a sigh of relief as I came out the other side.  The indicator light began to flash on and off-a tire was losing air pressure. 

The wife and I were visiting her brother-in-law for vacation.  Her brother is an avid outdoorsman, kayaker, rafter and water-guy who encouraged me to take a rafting trip on a section of easy water.  I’d spent some hours kayaking and canoeing in the past (in novice situations) and had never had any trouble.  In Boy Scouting we’d canoed down a portion of the Colorado River with no issues.  “Piece of cake,” I thought.  As anybody knows, rafting is completely different than kayaking.  It’s awkward, there’s no great place to rest your feet and little security to keep one in the vessel. 

The bro-in-law gave me a quick (all you’ll ever need to know about rafting in two minutes) course in rafting.  Three of us took the boat to the water and began paddling downstream.  Somewhere between the shouting of a direction and the practice of my stroke I moved my foot again—seeking comfort and foothold.  That second the raft went up and so did I.  I flew out of the raft and began floating over rock and wood while trying to get my head about me.  Finally I was pulled into the raft; flesh slightly damaged, ego suffering significantly.

The bruises my flesh sustained on that rafting trip are almost gone.  I’m certain I suffered an ingrown toenail as a result of the pounding; and the blood-blister under my fingernail is almost gone.  As for today’s adventure, the tire lost air due to a damaged rim.  The rim was easily repaired and the tire remained intact.  Still all these things are causing me to think about water anew.  I’m thinking about water in a new light-the light of photographing it from afar.  I’m running from running water and sticking to lakes and swimming pools—with lifeguards on duty.

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