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With no way to move forward we jammed our paddles into the reeds and hunkered down to wait things out.
It was somewhere in the mid to late-1970s and we were canoeing down the Colorado River, a normally placid portion of the river. The map said it was the same stretch, but this looked nothing like the river we had paddled down two years earlier, a trip that had been made under sunny skies and fair breeze, where we could just go with the flow. There was nothing sunny about this current trip, grey skies overflowed the canyon tops and threatened to cascade down to the river. The river was already turbulent enough, its wind-whipped surface a topping of whitecaps over black depths. Worst of all, though, the wind was not behind us. It hit us in the face, pushing us backward against the current. We were paddling forward, but moving the opposite direction. We needed to try something different, so we moved in closer to the shore, in tight against the reeds. Still, we continued to lose ground. I …

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