Tuesday, April 21, 2009

UHHC Progress Report - A Night in Hell

Tuesday night:  Just got back from Hell. Just as I was walking up to the Damsite Inn Charlie and Toby came up out of the creek. What timing!
They are staying tonight in a chapel....that's right, a chapel in Hell.
Jon Holmes went thru a couple hours ahead of them but did not stop. Missed a good time. He got a break on Portage Creek because someone has been cutting out the snags. Check out this slide show of his passage through Hell: http://tinyurl.com/ccpq8g
A lot of paddlers and family joined the Intrepid 4 for good times and good stories and good beer and pizza. I popped as promised. We toasted Verlen and Hugh. Neil Miller was there to show how he and Brian Prodin crossed the portage and swamp last Friday. Bob Coller and Ron Sell and Patty Pape and Chuck Amboy and I don't remember who all. Apologies to those I didn't name. The old man is kinda worn out tonight. The press was represented by the owner/reporter from the Stockbridge Town Crier.
Larry Hoff - Coach - went back on the river beyond the Portland dam. He'll be back for the Hugh Heward 50 miler Saturday. I wasn't able to get out of him how much he paddled and how much he bicycled. He may not know since he was using a highway map for guidance. Karen heard from Coach this morning - he was near Ionia at about 9 a.m. today and headed for Grand Rapids. A former student who lives in the Holland area is driving him back to mid-Michigan for the Saturday 50 miler.
I tried to send this out last night but Yahoo/AT&T said I had exceed the maximum daily allowance of messages. I'm trying to figure out how to stick this in their corporate ear but Karen had warned me this might happen.
Some of you have heard me tell the story about when Verlen was bushwhacking up Hell Creek in June of 1990 that Grandson Adam, then 8, was throwing stones in the creek when Verlen exited from under the bridge and one of his stones landed in the canoe right between his legs. I told Adam, now a hot-shot engineer in Manhattan, that I had shared that story with some yesterday. His reaction: "Really? Pretty much the only thing I remember from that trip was when I asked you 'What's a bastard?' after you greeted Verlen." We  WW II vets were a pretty profane bunch.

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