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.”

To read the rest of John’s adventure tale, as well as work by 40 other writers, subscribe to Deep Wild Journal, the home for creative work inspired by journeys to places where there are no roads.

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