River rafting book relives wild whitewater memories

River rafting book relives wild whitewater memories

Outdoors

River rafting book relives wild whitewater memories

Life on the river can be exhilarating and exhausting, and definitely crazy at times. “Halfway to Halfway and Back, More River Stories,” the sequel to the first book by Dick Linford and Bob Volpert, takes you behind the scenes from a river guide’s perspective and it can be as wild a ride as a Class V rapid.

If you ever thought about becoming a river guide, this book gives you a taste of what it’s like. It also prompts memories to surface from your own whitewater river trips. Ours was running Tunnel Chute, a Class IV adrenaline rush on the Middle Fork of the American River in California.

One of our favorite stories from the book is Grey’s Grindstone Swim Team, which easily could serve as a lesson in public relations classes in how to turn a potential PR disaster into a highly successful promotion.

San Francisco’s “Dan, Dan the Anchorman” from KGO-TV took a media trip on the Tuolumne River with Sue Cawdrey and wound up getting tossed out of the raft. He was forced to swim down a long, rocky, and treacherous rapid called Grey’s Grindstone.

Cawdrey and KGO-TV’s producer Eric also were tossed into the river but from another boat. All survived, but the question from a publicist standpoint was how would Dan report it? Negatively?

The mishap prompted Cawdrey to go to an embroidery store in San Francisco and have them stitch the words “Grey’s Grindstone Swim Team” onto a pair of baseball caps. She presented them to Dan and Eric before they aired the rafting segment on the six o’clock news.

“Lo and behold, the hat not only made it into the segment, but Dan proudly and ceremoniously placed it upon his head after the incredibly beautiful footage of the Mighty T, accompanied by the Chariots of Fire theme song,” Cawdrey wrote. “He was almost CHALLENGING the audience to go on the trip so they could earn a hat and a place on the team!”

Classic.

By the way, we must add that the cover photo of the book showing professional river guide Covey Baack pulling off one of his crazy stunts aptly describes some of the life-on-the-river craziness in one image.

Photo: Professional river guide Covey Baack rowing a stack of six SOTAR rafts, navigates a Class IV rapid on the Rogue River near Gold Hill, Oregon. Image by Sky Lakes Media used with permission.

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