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Another Fine Mess You Got Us Into
by Tim Manzer 
01/23/06
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“It is pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.” - C. S. Lewis

Once, while leading a raft trip in Northern Canada a very amazing series of events took place. I was leading the trip with a fellow named Jeff. We had this competition and ego issue with each other. We both tried to out climb, out hike and out paddle each other. So the most stupid events of the summer always involved each other.

We had come to the last day of a rafting trip. It was a week long float on the Sand River. At the very end of the river, before it joins Lake Superior it has a 25 foot waterfall. All the rafts and gear needed to be portaged around the falls. I was in the lead on that day. My job was to stop the rafts and direct them to the portage. So I was in front of everyone playing around in my bright yellow kayak. I had developed a plan to avoid having to walk the portage. I had tied a long piece of webbing to the kayak. After all the rafts and campers were safely on the long walk around the waterfall, I merely floated my kayak out in the river and let it drop over the falls. It hit the standing waves at the bottom and surfaced without a problem. My spray shirt kept the kayak from sinking. Then I climbed down the rock face of the waterfall. At the bottom of the falls I pulled the kayak into the bank of the river. Then I climbed back into my kayak, successfully avoiding the long hike of the portage. I aimed my kayak at the standing waves under the falls and playfully rode them down the river.

The only person that I had not waited for was Jeff. His job was to canoe at the back of the raft line and give aid to any raft in distress. He canoed in an aluminum camp canoe with a camper and all the important supplies, such as the first aide kit. A very boring river trip day for old Jeffery. He came up to the falls and saw me kayaking out from under the waterfall. We had been talking about running the falls all summer. Jeff thought that I had decided to go for the falls first. He thought that if Tim could do it, he could do it. So he kicked the camper out of the trusty old Winonah canoe and aimed it at the falls.

I could only watch in disbelief as the canoe dropped over the falls. It was amazing. Jeff lived! He even stayed in the canoe. It was filled with water and everything was floating out. The problem happened in the standing waves after the falls. The heavy water-filled aluminum canoe hit a huge rock sideways in the river. It began to bend around the rock. Jeff jumped ship and the canoe bent by the power of the river was crushed around the huge stone in the rushing river. I paddled to the mess on the rock and it sounded like bullets shooting down the river. The rivets were being blown out of the canoe by the huge power of the water.

Since we were at the end of the trip and Jeff was alive. I laughed and laughed at him. I could not wait for him to report to the camp director. We drove back to Michigan and helped the campers go home. Then we checked in with the boss at Lake Ann. I loved every moment of Jeff’s awkward explanation of events.

“God pickles the proud and preserves the foolish.” - Anon

Proverbs 16:18 NIV "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."


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