Life in a Canoe

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

The thought that nearly eight hours later we would be dragging a canoe through a swamp in the dark never crossed anyone’s mind as we began to film. Clad in American Revolution-era attire, my friends and I made a short crossing of the Town River in my yellow canoe as a scene for our video history project. Upon reaching the far side where my brother was filming, I told my friends Dan and Bobby that I thought we should go for a short ride downstream and then paddle back. At first, they questioned whether or not we were properly equipped for a trip, having snow shovels for paddles and no fully charged cell phones in case of an emergency, but we threw caution to the wind and decided that a short trip couldn’t hurt. After all, one must always be ready for an adventure.

We drifted lazily down the river at first, talking about sports, girls, and school. We stopped several times to survey the land around us. The river was between high embankments and we could not see where we were without leaving the canoe and climbing the steep, muddy banks. Several times we found ourselves having to lift the canoe up and over fallen trees and other debris in the river to pass. Surmounting one such obstacle, we found an oar floating among the branches....

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