I tried to get Bryan to put in upstream in Mill Creek on a part that we already knew was pretty safe but he was out for a big adventure so we let him have his way. I've already been dumped in that water last year and was pretty banged up by it. I guess I'm a little phobic now. So, when I got dumped again, this time I overreacted. Next time I've got to get a new perspective on this and see it for the adventure that it is like everyone else. I was scared senseless. So, that happened but I have to say that was over very early on and the rest of it was a huge adventure. If we had started further upstream the rest of our story wouldn't have taken place. So, now on to that.
A couple of dogs decided to join us for the whole trip. They set out with us on the start and at the end of it, ended up getting a lift back home to safety. The people who own these two dogs have no idea of the adventure they went on 2-28-2016.
We noticed them following us on the bank immediately after launching. We tried to shoo them back home but nothing worked. So, we finally gave up.
I'll try my best to explain what went down but it's hard if you don't know the area. I'll put a map at the end to try and help you figure it out.
Imagine that we started way up stream on Mill Creek which would be off the map below and to the right and upper corner of what you see there.
The dogs went back and forth across the creek as we went. We tried several times to get the dogs to cross back to the side they needed to be on before the water got really wide but they wouldn't go. Once, they actually got trapped between the creek and the bank because there is a little flooding within the banks right now. They wouldn't get into the kayaks so we had to guide them by riding beside them to get them back out onto the bank. After getting them back on the bank they were still on the wrong side. If they stayed on the side they were on they'd end up caught between the Cumberland River and the Mill Creek. We needed them to at least get to the side where they'd only have a short swim off the bank on Dry Fork to the boat ramp. At that we weren't sure they'd swim it but it was the best shot we had.
Once we got to the bridge at Weaver Bottom, Bryan got out of his kayak and walked them across the bridge to the other side of the creek. So, we finally had them where they need to go. At some point the black dog got up enough courage to get in the boat with Bryan but the white dog wasn't having any part of the kayaks.
We left Trista and Casey behind trying to coax the white dog along the bank to follow them to the ramp up Dry Fork. So, Bryan finally gets the black dog back to the ramp in his boat, Trista and Casey come in with the white dog following them but it is across the creek from the ramp. We still either have to coax it to swim across the creek to us or get in a kayak with someone. This dog is not going to swim that creek. It's over it all. So far this adventure has been 6 miles long for them and they swam a lot of it. They are worn to a frazzle. The white dog just keeps running up and down the bank trying to figure out how it's going to get to us. There's a dude on his boat waiting for his brother at the ramp and he finally realizes we need his help. He rides his boat up to a low point on the creek's bank and Trista gets the dog to follow her kayak to that point. They are out of sight for a bit but sure enough here comes the boat back with the white dog sittin up front like a boss.
We get the kayaks back to the house while the rest of the gang waits with the dogs and then we drive them home. I was so excited to tell their story to the owners but when we got them back no one was home. We set them out and started to drive off and Bryan had to out run the white dog again but it finally circled back to the house. I think after what we all went through on this day we kind of all feel a little ownership/kinship with one another now. That white dog just didn't want to give us up.
I cannot begin to tell you how satisfying this all was to me. We got to share this experience with these creatures just like we would if they'd been human and we planned it. We were just fellow travelers on the road/water, who meet up and share the beauty of the marvelous space we live in. I think we all loved it equally. I think if white dog and black dog could tell the tale they'd get just excited by the thought of it as I do. Thanks Dogs. You were awesome.