How To Save A Life

I had an extremely memorable weekend. Let me sum it up in 6 words:
Microbrewery, margarita, Estes, swift water rescue.
Now let me sum it up in a lot more than 6 words.

I left work Friday afternoon and headed up to Northern Colorado to spend the weekend with my roommate's (from school) parents. After my 3 hour drive through Denver traffic I was greeted with hugs and a homecooked meal, and then we headed off to a local microbrewery - High Hops. Located in a nursery, they sold plants and beer, and even grew their own hops. I had a double IPA which was perfectly hoppy and a sweet potato ale that actually tasted like sweet potatoes. Overall, a pretty cool place.

We got up the next morning and drove to Estes, which is tucked in the midst of mountain peaks. We did a nice 4 mile hike and after stopped for food and wandered around the tourist area, where I picked up a nice ten dollar long sleeve tee shirt and had a cone of Jack Daniel's chocolate chip ice cream. We headed home and cleaned up for dinner at the Rio, a local Mexican restaurant.

Apparently it was on their list of places to take me because it has "the best margaritas" (at this point I was convinced either they were alcoholics or that they thought I was an alcoholic) and let me tell you I was definitely not disappointed.

Sunday, the plan was to go tubing down the Poudre River and then hit up the Brewers Festival in Fort Collins but this did NOT go as planned.
You know that when your weekend activities make the news something either really cool happened or something dreadful.
Mine happened to be the latter.

Initially, we noticed the water was moving quickly but didn't think much of it. That was until we realized that the water was moving a lot faster than desired for an afternoon of tubing down a lazy river. Only about 5 minutes had passed until my friends dad and I realized we had lost his wife and 18 year old son somewhere along the way. We stopped and he turns to me, worried, and says " I think I hear my son screaming!"
It is at this point I find out that my friends dad can't swim, so he asks me to try and swim to them. I jump out of the tube,and try and swim upstream only to make no headway - so instead I go downstream, swim to shore and run up the river; sure enough my friends mom and her son are out of their tubes clinging onto branches for, well, their life.
I was able to get their son out quickly while we had a witness call for emergency backup. At this point his mom is literally trapped in between the rapidly moving water and a tree that had fallen into the water. The son traverses the fallen tree to to get to his mother and I follow behind him. As we reach her it was hard to tell if she was still conscious. He gets one of her arms and pulls her head out of the water. I get in to try and pull her further up but I only managed to get him her other arm before I'm swept into the current, underneath the tree, and spit out on the other side. Immediately I swim to shore where I have to climb up the cliff-like bank using the tree roots that were protruding out. As soon as I'm up, I see that the witness had helped  the son get his mother up on the tree, but we still don't know if she's injured or taken in water or anything. I realize that in the rush I had left the father (who can't swim) somewhere up river, but luckily as I head downriver he's running up - turns out he rode the river down until he came across a shallow part where he made his way out.
Then I hear sirens. I climb through a barb wire fence that leads me into an open horse pasture, where a horse started running at me, so I quickly found a way out and went through some more barbed wire fences and made it to the road. (For visualization sake I was in my 7" inseam shark fin swim trunks, barefoot, running around this entire time.) I lead the emergency vehicles in, and they ask me "are we following you?" and I wish I had said something sarcastic like "no I'm just running around in small swim trunks barefoot through barbed wire fences for fun" but obviously I said yes.
At this point we just needed them to do whatever it takes to get her out of the river area, and it took 5 people, a rescue boat, pulley system, like TEN different emergency vehicles and approximately an hour but they got her out.

So we ended up not going to the Brewing Festival....

How was your guys' weekend?

lina said...

oh my gosh! that is CRAZY, dillon! wow. so glad everything turned out alright.

Natalie said...

I like that you still were contemplating sass even in this dire situation. But seriously, this sounded incredibly super intense and thank goodness nothing tragic happened. I bet you guys will stick to dry land and alcohol centric adventures after this....

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