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wall eyell be

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Actually, I enjoyed the ramp stories. In the interest of keeping it fun...

A little over a year ago, I was recovering from minor surgery and decided to skip Sunday morning church and go look for some catfish in the Minnesota river. I have a 1 hp motor for my canoe so I effortlessly headed down stream to my favorite spot. It was a very peaceful morning and it wasn't long before I began to doze off. I awoke to find myself tipping out of the canoe into about 10 feet of water. I was wearing a life vest but it wasn't zipped. It took me several moments to locate my floating seat cushion, regain my composure, and get my life vest on properly. The nearest shoreline was a thick mass of mud and I knew even if I could swim to it I would not be able to walk through it. Fortunately, there was a log sticking out of the water and, with considerable effort, I managed to swim to it and hang my cooler from it and place important items in the cooler such as my now water logged cell phone. After catching my breath, I decided that my best course of action would be to try to swim back to my canoe which was still anchored upside down some 15 yards away. As I got about half way to the canoe, the anchor rope became untied and the canoe started to drift with the current. At this point, I was growing very tired and it occurred to me that I was in serious trouble. Eventually I caught up to the canoe and managed to get it flipped over...although still filled with water. Much to my relief, my paddle and expensive fishing rod were still inside the canoe (no fish though). I was too weak to get inside the canoe but did finally manage to swim it over to a somewhat firm piece of ground. I tried to get the motor started, but the only thing to come out of the exhaust was muddy water. So I began to paddle back up the river, first to get my cooler and cell phone and, after an hour of hard paddling, back to the public access. Naturally I was very upset about all this since I was still feeling pain from the surgery and now had the added worry of what Minnesota River water would do to my stitches. Normally, I pride myself on being able to pick up my canoe, carry it up to the van, and spend almost no time on the boat launch. On this day, however, as I walked up the ramp soaking wet, several pounds of mud hanging on my shoes, bleeding from a scrape on my arm, and dizzy from exhaustion, I decided to drive my van down to the water to load the canoe. I used my last ounce of strength to get the canoe onto the van. As I was tying the ropes, a guy yelled at me from the top of the hill requesting that I please hurry up so he could launch his boat. I couldn't help but see the humor in that...the perfect end to that particular fishing trip.

P.S. After extensive cleaning, the cell phone and I are both fine.

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If that's the way it goes, I'd think twice before skippin' church again.

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