Consequently, that’s how we found out it was four feet deep at the deepest part. The story I’ve gathered is that they were waiting for us and decided to drift like everyone else. However one guy was rooting in the gear, and the other guy laid back to look at the sky. Then they drifted into a downed tree.
Luckily everyone was safe, gear was retrieved, and we set off. The rest of the canoe portion was slow and relaxing, except when we hit nearly dry portions of river and had to drag the canoes.
We broke for lunch on a sandbar, and after about 7 miles found a huge sandbar to camp on, with trees on the south side of an open sand plain that turned into forest. There was an inlet leading to a small pond that we dragged most of the canoes into, and set up our tents and started a fire. Mike brought a blowtorch. It didn’t ignite the wood and we ended up making the fire the old-fashioned way.
We ended up playing some drinking games and got ready to cook hot dogs when the skies got dark. It was only 6pm in the Summer.
“The weather last night said clear skies all day,” Graham said, looking up at the ominously approaching darkness. It was like a wall from the west blotting out the bright blue sky, and it was moving fast.
“Start getting everything into tents,” I say, “and drag those canoes on shore.”
No one really listens, they’re too busy watching the sky.
A man on a jet ski shoots up river doing tricks.
“It’s not going to rain, it just looks bad,” one of the guys says.
Me and the other former Scouts look at each other and start moving. The others go back to playing games.
“Hey, those are Arcus clouds!” Adam exclaims. His last name is Arcus, and he goes on to explain that they’re clouds that precede a severe storm.
Everyone stops as a huge group of great herons overfly the camp, fleeing the western wall of dark gray that is just about upon them.
“Those birds don’t flock like that,” I said. Again, met with resistance.
The guy on the jet ski comes hauling ass back down the river, no longer doing tricks.
I look to the pond and see ripples. “Shit, it’s starting to rain.” One of my friends says “No, that’s just bugs.”
We had chosen this spot because there was shelter from the wind coming from the Southwest. The wind suddenly shifted to directly West, and gusted to about 40 miles per hour. One of the backpacking tents lifted off like a kite instantly. Three of us ran over and grabbed it, with one of the guys pulling it down and lying in it while the other struggled to get the rain fly on and secure it.
One of the strongest dome tents we had all of a sudden was being pelted by glowing rocks. I realized the wind was whipping embers from the fire at all the tents. Myself and one of the other guys, Dan, put out the fire as quickly as possible by dumping sand on it.