By Riverman

Copyright © 2002, Paul Skoczylas. No part of this page may be reproduced, linked, or copied without the express written permission of Paul Skoczylas

So Wade, Nadège, Rod and myself paddled the Cross River, not far from Radium. It was a great run, but it seemed somebody (!) was trying to tell us something...

First, we got a flat tire in my dad's truck (later discovered to be unrepairable). After changing the flat, we headed off to the put in, only to find a fallen tree blocking the road. We ended up moving it with Wade's truck, so fine and dandy: we're off to the races! (it was around 4 when we finally put in..)

The river was great, until, crash!!! A tree falls right between Rod and I while we're going down the river!
What are the odds?!?

But we survived that....we get through it to the take out, and Nadege and I go to pick up the trucks from the put-in (we were driven by Karl, though he didn't paddle with us that day).

We start the journey back to the take out, with Nadège leading the way in Wade's truck. I'm going a little slower, since I'm towing a trailer.... but when I get back to the take out, no Nadège!
Hmmm, she must have missed the turnoff, we think. So we wait a few minutes: but still no Nadege.... So we pack on up and head to the main road, where we wait a few more minutes. Nope, still no Nadège.
So Wade and I head out to take a gander while Rod waits on the roadside, lest she show up! We drive under a kilometer, and who do we come across hiking up the road.... but Nadège. She does NOT look happy.

A brief discussion with Wade ensues, going something like this:

Nad: "Wade, I have to talk to you" (Wade gets out of truck)
Wade: "it's OK, I don't care about the truck"
Nad: "But it's bad. You don't understand. It's really bad."
Wade: "I don't care about the truck. I'm so glad you're OK."
Nad: "No, you don't understand.... it's in a tree, Wade. It's in a tree. "

So everyone gets in the car, we get Rod, and head out to the fateful site. The truck was quite something to behold! Hanging in a tree....about 70 feet down a cliff. THIS WAS ONE LUCKY GIRL!!! Stuff scattered all over the hillside.... big mess.

Nadège was fine, no one is quite sure why - the truck was demolished, every side was smashed, all the windows broken except the little one on the driver's side. I think the beefed up roof rack that we welded up and bolted to the truck frame held the roof up. She started fishtailing on a very small mining road in 2nd gear, and just slipped off the edge! The road was made out of magnesite crystals from the mine, so it was pretty loose and slippery. She did the best two rolls of the trip and a very nice pirouette, but unfortunately she wasn't in her kayak!

The truck ended up about 75 to 100 feet below the road, on a slope described by the hillbilly towtruck operator as "the steepest damn slope I've ever winched anything up!". That was just before his winch gave out, and the truck went crashing back into the trees. The second tow truck had dual heavy-duty winches, and managed to drag it back up to the road. I ended up trading the truck for the cost of the tow...