Thanks for the photos of the Griz up on the Berland River; Surprisingly, I know this river. Or at least a couple hundred feet of it.
Remember that year when me, Dave, Stewie, K.B. Joe & Poli-Wog (the River Dog) canoed the Athabasca? Starting in Jasper (your favorite Place) and ending in Whitecourt; When I told you we were gonna float some 300 odd kilometers, you said, "gotta be careful, put your beer in that river and if you don't watch it close, it will freeze"; well, we never froze no beer but after I dipped hand in the river I knew that me and my new wetsuit, was gonna become the best of friends.
On our expedition maps (good ones) We could see where the Berland was going to come in large on the left side of the Athabasca. Two big girls meeting in the forest in the middle of nowhere, well, we will see what happens.
Maps also said "expect turbulent water"; When I first read this, the vision of me, farting in the bathtub, flashed through my brain, and in this frame of mind, down the river we went.
We was in for a little surprise.
We come round this corner (same old story) and we could see this River commin in on our left. Big, white-capped waves buckin like blue ponies and we wanted to hit the back paddle, but we knew it wouldn't do no good, the Athabasca had a-holt of us and was truckin along at a furious pace.
Three options coming your way, fast. Over there on our right, the rollers are big as Volkswagens crashing along in the corner, couldn't go there; to our left? try to head into the current of the Berland? naw, would swing us broadside and sideways in a canoe, going into a set of rapids is not the preferred method, or a recommended one, can't do that – so we tight gripped our paddles & bowed to the inevitable.
Over the sound of the converging waves, Dave yells out, "I see a way where it vees together" & we hope the dude on the master flush don't hold the lever down too long.
Sometimes in a predicament like this, time slows down, and you have a refined moment of clarity, as if you can view your current situation from within a prism, looking out at yourself. You leave the moment in time where you popped in, and time is slow in here, but not stopped, and you can view the different facets of where you gotta pop back out but not the consequence. But you gots to jump sucker, pick your way, for a moments all they give you, and sometimes not that long. I've never quite figgered out who (they) is yet, but I suspect it's the same ones who operate the master flush and I know they got a great sense of humor, cause I can hear em laughing from time to time.
Right down the middle, but even at that we figger we got us a long, cold swim coming; but that ain't news to us River Boys, we come here to ride this river, put in here – git out there- what's gonna be seen – lies in between, and besides that damn book and our experience told us we could do this rapid; So we lean out there on them paddles in a wide brace, and ride them waves – get up there high- down there low – ride the curl – watch out for that swirl – work them paddles from wave to wave – ain't this what them others crave-----and bluff---give it your best Yee-haw, make em think you know what the hell you're doing---find your way, as we do, this time.
And later, round the campfire, on many a night, always remember where the Berland hits the Athabasca hard in the left side.
P.S. After that rapid and others like it on the Athabasca, we spray decked our canoes for the next seasons River Safari