John Manuel and his son more than meet their match on a river in flood, in this excerpt from “Reborn on the Chattooga,” from the 2020 issue of Deep Wild Journal:
“Beyond Dick’s Creek, the gradient increased. Rapids came back to back, their steady roar drowning out our shouted commands. The river forked around a wooded island. Paddling just ahead of me, Charlie dropped into a hole between two waves and emerged with a boat full of water. I angled the canoe for a better look.
‘Dad, what are you doing?’
I hurried to bring us back in line. Too late. We hit the hole at an angle and started to roll. For an instant, everything hung in the balance. I thrust my upper body to one side, trying to counter the roll. This can’t happen again, I thought. I won’t let it happen! Over we went.
When I surfaced this time, we were moving at a dead run. A fallen tree lay halfway across the channel. I yelled at Jackson to get away. He started to swim, grazed the jagged end and spun free. Just as I slipped past, the canoe slammed into the trunk and pinned.
Another drop loomed ahead.”
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