This river trip turned out to be the most entertaining experience of the week. Dane was determined to float the river despite it running so high. Life preservers were a must and along with 7 inner tubes he lashed together, his sister Alexandra, brother Torrin, wife Katelyn, friends Brady Bruce, Dave and Rachel Forte went 12 miles upstream and launched in. The plan was Susie and I would pick them up at the bridge in Moab and return them to their truck upstream. At the appointed hour, we were at the bridge with Reid and Heidi Stewart but none of the intrepid floaters were.
Suspecting that some may want to disembark early, I drove slowly up the road paralleling the river watching for them. About four miles up we saw them. They made a strong effort to get to our side of the river and everyone but Dane and Brady quickly got out with lots of excited yelling to tell their story.
Seems that within the first mile or so of their float, they were trapped in a large whirlpool for over an hour. Even a commercial tourist boat was in it for 45 minutes and couldn't offer help. Within this whirlpool was a lot of flotsam and debris, including one large, dead bloated, headless beaver.
The best reconstruction of varied accounts: this is what we know. The boated headless beaver and katelyn had an extended closeup encounter with each other while in the whirlpool. Some accounts have Dane pushing his new bride into the beaver while other accounts say he was trying to push her out of the way of the beaver. Who knows the truth, but one thing for sure, the beaver, missing patches of fur along with it's head, whirled chest to chest with Katy. Despite her best efforts to get away the beaver followed and continually bumped up against her. There was screaming, crying, a touch of anger, disbelief, and a healthy dose of "ickiness" to the whole event and after all was said and done, this is what we know:
1- Katelyn does not like dancing with dead beavers.
2-Dane floated the last hour of the river without his wife.
3-Everyone witnessed the same event but has different accounts.
4-Dane and katelyn made up by that night. Ohhh, young love. My advice to them was one I learned from my father years ago. Nothing...I stayed completely out of it.
It can not be said at a time like this that a good time was had by all. It can be said however that by that night everyone was laughing in retelling the events of the day. Memories that will last a lifetime.