May. 14th, 2009

celtic_thistle: (Titanic)
Today, my bff Natalie ("Moo") and I went for a walk in the mountains, just west of Golden, along Clear Creek (which is closer to a straight-up river at this time of year.) The trail turned into a very treacherous foot bridge over a dry creek, that stretched for a couple miles, with rotting planks that were meant to be walked across. I was just wearing my Crocs, so it's a wonder I didn't fall off the bridge. We made it a few miles across the bridge, with me sometimes walking in the dirt and nearly stepping on a dead bird. Eventually, we realized we'd have to cross back over Clear Creek to get to the other side, back onto the road, and back to the car. So Moo slid down the embankment and swam across at a slow point. There was no way in hell I could climb down at that part, so we found another part where I could climb down and cross. The current was kinda fast, but I figured that since I swam competitively for seven years, I'd be okay.

God, was I fucking wrong.

I put the back straps of my Crocs around my ankles, stuffed my keys in the pocket of my cottony shorts, and waded in. It was unimaginably cold, seeing as it's snow-melt from further up in the mountains. I began to swim across. It was only about twenty feet to the other side. Immediately, I was swept away. I let out one panicked scream before my head submerged and the current pulled me under. Poor Moo ran along the bank, begging the three men who were fly fishing to help me instead of just standing there. I popped back up, continued screaming, flailing, feeling my left Croc be tugged off and go sailing downstream. One thought presented itself very clearly to me. "I might die today."

I bounced off rocks, but I couldn't feel it, couldn't hold on, kept slipping under. I finally slammed against a large boulder, which I clung to, sobbing and screaming for help. I watched as Moo (who's maybe 5'5", and 120 lb soaking wet, and who doesn't really have much muscle, whereas I'm almost 5'9" and have about 40 pounds on her) tried to wade out and get me, only to be tugged under the rock I was holding onto. She managed to get back to shore, but was absolutely panicked, screaming for me to hold on. I was sobbing hysterically, convinced the rushing water would pull me under once more. The fisher dude returned about five minutes later, and he wrapped a tether around himself and had his two friends hold it. He waded out to me and seemed surprised at how strong the current was. See, you could stand up on that side of the river, but not on the side I entered on. I pulled myself over the rock to the other side and held onto the guy as he slowly pulled us both to shore. I stumbled up the rocks, Moo pulling me behind her, "you're okay, you're okay." We were both bawling, and I noticed cuts and scrapes and bumps and bruises all over my legs.

We staggered back up the embankment to the trail, thanking the fishermen who helped. Moo was begging my forgiveness and saying she never meant for any of this to happen. I told her I didn't blame her. I was breathing raggedly and trembling badly. We made it back to my car, and found that my keys and the automatic entry-thing for my car had survived the journey in my pocket.

So here I am. This all happened less than 3 hours ago. I am absolutely exhausted and drained, and Aaron has been fussing over me since I got home. I showered, washed all the silt and filth off my legs, and came to document what happened. I am so very lucky that I caught that rock, that those men were fishing nearby, that I didn't hit my head and knock myself out and therefore drown...and I'm so glad I could come home and hold Aaron and pet my kitties.

Don't ever, ever take life for granted. It could be gone in an instant.

This is my right leg, after the incident. )

This is a view of Clear Creek Canyon. The water was much higher today than in this pic, and there were steep embankments on both sides. )
celtic_thistle: (Default)

  • 18:42 holy shit...I almost drowned in Clear Creek (RIVER.) today...tried to swim across when trapped on embankment...current pulled me under. #
  • 18:43 bff on other side screamed for help as I was carried downstream...a fisherman tethered himself and went in after me as i clung to a rock. #
  • 18:55 Thanks @hardcorelamb @kvltpunk @At3f3h @Schonste, I'm okay now, my legs are SCRAPED though. Lots of bumps and bruises too. :/ Exhausted too. #
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