Last night there was at least one helicopter going up and down the Palouse river, very low and very slow, over and over again. I could hear the tail rotor wash, which is unusual.
It was out again this morning at first light. I spoke to a neighbor on the way out the door and didn’t know what they were doing, but he did notice that our local fat cop was down by the river. While I was driving in this morning my wife left me a phone message. She’d heard on the news that they were looking for a kayaker who’d failed to return home last night. Dang.
My son and I have floated that river in a canoe, and although it’s a very small river there are lots of rocks and things that can snag you or flip you over at the worst times when the current is strong. Then again it’s very shallow most of the way this time of year, such that you could usually stand up if you were dumped out. But this is November and it’s been COLD these last few nights, getting WAY down below freezing. There are also places where brush and trees overhang the water.
I’ve found no updates since around 8:30 AM Pacific. If they haven’t found her by now, someone needs to get down on that water, up close and personal.
Hopefully she’s holed up at a friends house, or warm and snug in a tent, and it’s just that her phone isn’t working. There are plenty of cellular dead zones around here.
Update 12:51 PST; I got a call from my daughter, and checked on line to verify. They found a body. I just don’t get it. It was really cold last night. You don’t get wet in that kind of cold and last for very long unless you’re wearing one of those insulated dry suits they use for diving in ice water, and you don’t go kayking for miles on a river if you plan to stay dry. Something’s not right with what we know so far. Official weather report says it was down to 14 F in Palouse, but down on the river in still air like that it’s going to be the coldest place for miles around. Tragic, and sad. I guess we could all tell stories of how we did some daring thing or other, just for fun, where it could have turned out very bad but somehow didn’t. I was hoping this would be one of those stories, but alas…