Back in October our field crew went on a rafting mission to finish out the field season
By Lindsey Juen
In October, field season was nearly over but one project remained. We were on a garbage reconnaissance mission. With extra clothes packed in dry bags and thermoses full of hot tea, the SFEG field crew put our rafts into the Cascade River. With the help of Shane and Andrea (aka Mama River) of Chinook Expeditions we finally got to spend a day on the water instead of only beside it!
It was mostly a float trip but a few rough rapids got the best of us and tossed two crew members into the river. Joe grabbed Stephanie by her feet before she took the plunge while Jenn was thrown overboard into the rapids. Fast thinking and adrenaline kicked in as she grabbed the side ropes of the raft and held on for quite a ride. The on-board crew steadied the boat as Joe grabbed Jenn’s life jacket and pulled her out of the water. Our hero! Steph had a GoPro running the whole time and we couldn’t get back to the office and watch the replay over and over again.
We reached the point at which the trash was staged by the river and loaded the two rafts with tires and a completely water logged futon mattress. The rest of the trip was calm and beautiful with the sun shining through the fog onto the mountains surrounding us. With heavier loads, one of the two boats got stuck on rocks at a shallow point but was quickly freed by the crews synchronized paddling.
After reaching the endpoint of our river journey, we unloaded the boats and loaded the trash into the work truck. We ate lunch with our guides by the river as we watched fishermen try to catch their salmon dinners.
After a trip to the dump, we returned to the office eager to watch the videos of our exciting day. We skipped through the footage to the point where people were supposed to be flying out of the boat and the video stopped! We couldn’t believe it! With nearly the entire office troubleshooting with us, we could not find a way to recover the lost footage. It will always be in our memories, but no one else will ever see the excitement. Oh well!