leswon Posted July 15, 2008 Share Posted July 15, 2008 July 14th 2008 11:00 AM My sister and I load up our bikes and drive to Liberty Center OH. We go to one of my friends houses there and she joins my geocaching team along with her Mom and little sister. We all get on our bikes and bike about 15 miles to Grand Rapids OH, finding two geocaches along the way. The third geocache we planned to find was on a island near a dam in the Maumee river, which for those of you who are not familiar with it, is a wide, muddy, and usually shallow (by the dam anyways) river. The cache page said you needed guts to get this cache but it was possible to get it by foot, the water was usually about knee deep, it also said (in bold letters) not to attempt it if the river was high. We arrived at the top of the dam and my friend said the river was high. I thought to myself, "Well the river is kinda high, but I've seen it higher, little bit of water doesn't scare me, I've got guts" So I peeled of my socks and shoes, rolled up my jeans and announced, "Lets get going" My friend replied, "I'm not going" my sister said, "Not me." "Well!" I said, "I guess I'll go alone" My friends mom said, "You going in barefoot? This river's bottom is covered in fishhooks!" I convinced my sister to let me borrow her sandals. She also reassured my that she would come rescue me if I got into trouble. "Thanks" I said, "I'm goin' now" So I started back on the trail to get downstream of the dam a ways and to use these stone "steps" I had seen. I got to the "steps" and started down. "Step One" "My sisters shoes are too big, I don't have very good grip" "Step Two" "Aaah these aren't steps, itsa ramp" "Step Three" I'm sliding down the stones on my backside scraping my arms along the way. I arrived at the edge of the river, stood up, brushed the loose skin of my arms and stepped into the river. As the swift current tried to sweep my feet out from under me, I decided I could really use a walking stick. I also decided to get it at the first island which wasn't very far. The water was not knee deep, it was waist deep. "Oh well, I knew I was gonna get wet" I muttered to myself as I reached the first island and procured my walking stick. I looked across the water to the island the cache was on, it was quite far especially considering the condition of the river. "Can't back out now" I thought to myself and started across. As the water got deeper I began to think that really, this was not a good idea. But then the water leveled off between waist deep and chest deep so I continued, as I fought the current I quit using my stick to check the depth of the water in front of me. Bad idea, Whoosh! the bottom of the river disappeared from beneath my feet, luckily geocachers instinct kicked in causing me to raise my GPS high above my head. Several thoughts crossed my mind in those brief seconds that felt like eternity, the first of those thoughts being that this was the beginning of the end of my geocaching career and my 17-year-old life. Soon my feet found the bottom, the water was now chin deep. "Why am I in this river? What possesed me to do this? and Why am I so stupid?" were now the thoughts in my mind. Now I was scared, it was nearly impossible to stay on my feet with the strong current. Fortunantely for me, the deep spot was quite small and I soon got back into the waist deep water. With great relief I climbed onto the bank of the island, I ran over to where I could see my team and yelled and waved to let them know I had made it. The fact that they looked very small made me realize how much river I had crossed and would have to cross again. I set out into the woods to find the elusive cache. The weeds were every bit as high as the water had been and the mosquitos were almost as thick as the water. I could tell it had been a while since they'd had a good meal. Using my stick as a machete I looked for the cache, the trees did not help matters by blocking good satellite reception. When all is said and done I didn't find the cache, I'd looked for almost an hour and I knew I needed to get back before my team called 911 or worse, went to get ice cream without me. I felt like screaming "All that....for nothing!!!" I went to the other side of the island to see if perhaps it would be easier to get back to the mainland that way. It was every bit as far, with no island to take a break on so I decided to go back the way I came. Above all other terrors, I feared falling into that hole again so I went well downstream of where it was. I started into the river, the current was just as determined to knock me over as I was determined to stay on my feet. I won the dispute by a narrow margin. I soon got into deep water again and turned back as the water crept up towards my shoulders. I went back to where it had been shallow and went downstream more untill I found a shallower spot. With great gladness I approached the other island, I was about 5 feet from it when Wham! I smacked into a stone ledge that was hidden by the water and promptly fell down. Once again geocahers instinct saved my GPS from a near drowning incident. I stood up and carefully stepped up onto the ledge and then onto the island. Almost there, I breathed a sigh of relief. The crossing from that island to the mainland was uneventful, for which I was truly grateful. I clambered up the bank of the mainland to the trail, soaked and dripping wet from my chin to my toes in my polo shirt and jeans. A young couple was on the trail, I said a polite Hi! and got the "What kind of weirdo are you?" look. I then saw my friends Mom coming up the trail with my bike, sure enough my team had deserted me in the river and had gone to the ice cream shop. She and I went and joined them, and I got a few more weird looks in town. Then we got on our bikes and biked 15 miles back, against a strong wind. I still quite wet. It was very nice to get back to my friends house and to give you an idea of how long that all took it was 6:00 PM when we arrived. Leswon Quote Link to comment
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