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you guessed it, more pics Posted by Hello

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still more rafting pics Posted by Hello

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More rafting pics Posted by Hello

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These are from our rafting trip to WV Posted by Hello

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between vacations

I’m kind of in limbo.

On the one hand I don’t have a lot to do between the end of our rafting trip and the beginning of my “real vacation.” But at the same time it would be inappropriate for me to just not show up to work.

I am dog tired.

In the last two days we drove from Romeo to the middle of no where West Virginia (is there a somewhere in WV?) and back. Sandwiched between there was a day of rafting, good eating and a great, great sunset. The rafting itself was pretty good. It was relaxation mixed with trepedation. My boatmates were very fearful but we all made it through ok. The kids paniced and the moms mothered. A good time was had by all. I completely enjoyed the wipe out of Lisa R. and Patti K. I think that made the whole trip for me. Not that I enjoyed seeing them suffer, but I did enjoy them getting into the action. I had a big fear that they would kind of just be disconnected from the whole thing… but that really dragged them into the experience.

It was obvious that I didn’t take my normal crew of adults. It only emphasized how much my team likes to be together and how much difference a team makes.

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rafting accident

——————————————————————————–

June 30, 2004

Va. teen dies as raft flips on New River

By Dave Gustafson

Staff writer

A Virginia teen died Tuesday after her raft flipped during a commercial rafting outing on a New River rapid nicknamed “The Meat Grinder,” after rescuers tried a perilous technique to pull her from the river.

Morgan Funk, 15, of Staunton, Va., drowned in the accident, WSAZ-TV reported. She had been on her first whitewater trip with her father when the accident occurred, the station reported.

The young woman was in a raft with at least six other people in the section known as Keeney’s Rapids on the lower New River near Winona when it overturned about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, spilling everyone out, said Lizzie Watts, a park ranger for the New River Gorge National River.

With the teen trapped downstream between rocks, rescue workers attempted to lift her out of the water by her lifejacket with a rope tied to both sides of the river, Watts said.

“It’s a very difficult technique, and it didn’t work in this case,” Watts said. “She didn’t seem to hear when the emergency workers were giving their commands.’’

The first raft on the trip, which was organized by Lansing-based outfitter The Rivermen, went through the rapids without incident, but another raft overturned while entering the second set of rapids, known as the Middle Keeney’s, Watts said.

Keeney’s Rapids are Class Five, the second most powerful on the river, she said. Raft guides generally refer to the Middle Keeney’s as “The Meat Grinder,” a guide with another rafting firm said.

Some of those in the water were pulled into boats. The victim was trapped against a rock downriver from the accident, Watts said. The other guide said the rocks above the Lower Keeney’s Rapids, where the teen was trapped, are one of the most difficult places on the river where a rescue could be set up.

Rivermen staff, other commercial boaters, as well as private boaters and video boaters, who document trips and provide safety support, began the rescue effort immediately following the spill. The Park Service was notified and got assistance from four fire departments, the state Division of Natural Resources, along with Fayette County deputies and emergency rescue workers, Watts said.

The girl’s body was recovered a couple of hours later and taken to the Fayette County coroner, Watts said.

The victim was wearing a lifejacket and helmet, and had attended a river safety course before the trip, Watts said. A guide with more than 70 trips’ experience was in charge of the boat in the accident.

The New River was at a good level for general rafting Tuesday, Watts said. Officials from DNR and the Park Service are still investigating the matter.

A phone number for The Rivermen did not accept messages Tuesday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

To contact staff writer Dave Gustafson, use e-mail or call 348-5113.

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snow balls, fist fights and rocky iv

As a kid growing up I had the pleasure of walking to school. This isn’t one of those “I walked 15 miles uphill both ways” type of stories, but truthfully it was about a mile for me to walk to school. For the most part, I have happy and uneventful memories of walking to school. A lot of games, mischief, throwing things into the St. Joseph River and avoiding the supposed bullies. I doubt anyone was ever bullied seriously, but we all feared it and kept our heads on swivels looking for them.

One day, I went to school when I probably shouldn’t have. My mom was a real stickler for going to school no matter what. In all reality, being a single mother and having a sick kid often meant that she would have to take a day off. That kind of thing was not appreciated by her employer, so we were basically forced to go to school unless we were deathly ill. All day long I had made it through school, head pounding and snotty nose, all with the hopes that I’d be able to uneventfully go home and sleep.

Well, during the day we collected quite a bit of snow. For northern Indiana that isn’t all that unusual for the time of year. When this happens and they need to clear the streets quickly, the street department would often stack the snow up to huge piles on side streets and sometime later they’d come back and load the snow into dump trucks to be taken somewhere else. As a kid, you loved to see these “mountains” of snow… Especially on the way home from school.

But today, this was not a welcome sight. Between the joy of everyone else and the cold that was clamping me down, I just wanted to get home as quickly as possible. When we reached the big mountain of snow on the corner of Madison and Michigan, all of my friends quickly scurried to the top to play king of the hill and throw chunks of snow at each other. My main interest was to get home, so I started to bypass the malay and cross the street. Just as the crossing guard allowed us all to cross the road I felt a huge chunk of slushy snow land on top of my head. I looked back and heard my old buddy Steve giggling away and high fiving Corey, another walking mate. I yelled at him, “I don’t feel good, leave me alone!” And started pouting across the street and walking even faster. The truth is, I was embarrassed that I had gotten thumped so good when I wasn’t paying attention. That embarrassment welled up with the frustration of the day and a seed of anger overcame me. Combine that with not feeling well and I did what any 4th grade boy would do… I started to cry.

I got about a half a block before Steve and Corey caught up to me. Corey said, “Hey, what’s the matter?” And I shrugged him off and kept walking. Steve said “Come on, I was only messing around!” As soon as he touched me I turned toward him and let him have it. Wham! I blasted him right to the eye and he fell down. It wasn’t much of a fight since he didn’t know one was coming. On top of that, since I hit him so suddenly and knocked him over, I was on top of him before he could really do anything about it. I’m sure that there were blows thrown on both sides but in my mind I only remember the horror of hitting my friend in the face with my thick winter gloves still in place.

Aboiut this time, Corey starts jumping around like a hyena and shouting, “Adam! Adam, it’s Steve’s dad! Adam!” That was the end of the fight. As soon as Steve’s dad was on the scene, we all kind of scattered out of shame. Steve and Corey got to ride home in Steve’s car, and I got to walk the rest of the way home all by myself. All night long I was at home dreading what would happen when my mom found out. I figured I was going to get in big trouble and it was only a matter of time before Steve’s parents called and talked to my mom… who would certainly smite me for life! So, each time the phone rang that night I wondered if that would be the call I had dreaded. It never happened. They never called.

The next day, it seemed like everyone knew what had happened. By the time I got to school a bunch of people had told me that I was going to get in trouble and that Steve’s dad would beat me up. I never got in trouble, nor did Steve’s dad beat me up as promised. But I was scared.

Towards the end of the day as I was at my locker, Steve walked up to me. It was one of those moments you see on a TV show. As he walked up to me the whole hallway got quiet. No one knew if there was going to be another fight or if something else was going to happen. My heart was about to leap right out from my shirt! He looked at me and said, “Umm… Adam, my dad wants to know if you’d like to go see Rocky IV with us this weekend?” I just looked at him, not really understanding what he had said. I said “Um, OK.” Then Steve told me that his dad would call my mom later that day to arrange everything.

This was one of the strangest things that ever happened to me. I don’t think that Steve’s family had ever really been nice to me before. Sure they had invited me insie like all the rest of the neighborhood kids, but this was something completely unexpected. I didn’t understand why they wanted their son to be around the kid who had given him a tremendous shiner. But I do remember this as being a huge lesson in forgiveness and grace. I deserved to be treated like a villain by that family, but instead they reached out to me and invited me in.

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Snow balls, fist fights, and Rocky IV

As a kid growing up I had the pleasure of walking to school. This isn’t one of those "I walked 15 miles uphill both ways" type of stories, but truthfully it was about a mile for me to walk to school. For the most part, I have happy and uneventful memories of walking to school. A lot of games, mischief, throwing things into the St. Joseph River and avoiding the supposed bullies. I doubt anyone was ever bullied seriously, but we all feared it and kept our heads on swivels looking for them.

One day, I went to school when I probably shouldn’t have. My mom was a real stickler for going to school no matter what. In all reality, being a single mother and having a sick kid often meant that she would have to take a day off. That kind of thing was not appreciated by her employer, so we were basically forced to go to school unless we were deathly ill. All day long I had made it through school, head pounding and snotty nose, all with the hopes that I’d be able to uneventfully go home and sleep.

Well, during the day we collected quite a bit of snow. For northern Indiana that isn’t all that unusual for the time of year. When this happens and they need to clear the streets quickly, the street department would often stack the snow up to huge piles on side streets and sometime later they’d come back and load the snow into dump trucks to be taken somewhere else. As a kid, you loved to see these "mountains" of snow… Especially on the way home from school.

But today, this was not a welcome sight. Between the joy of everyone else and the cold that was clamping me down, I just wanted to get home as quickly as possible. When we reached the big mountain of snow on the corner of Madison and Michigan, all of my friends quickly scurried to the top to play king of the hill and throw chunks of snow at each other. My main interest was to get home, so I started to bypass the malay and cross the street. Just as the crossing guard allowed us all to cross the road I felt a huge chunk of slushy snow land on top of my head. I looked back and heard my old buddy Steve giggling away and high fiving Corey, another walking mate. I yelled at him, "I don’t feel good, leave me alone!" And started pouting across the street and walking even faster. The truth is, I was embarrassed that I had gotten thumped so good when I wasn’t paying attention. That embarrassment welled up with the frustration of the day and a seed of anger overcame me. Combine that with not feeling well and I did what any 4th grade boy would do… I started to cry.

I got about a half a block before Steve and Corey caught up to me. Corey said, "Hey, what’s the matter?" And I shrugged him off and kept walking. Steve said "Come on, I was only messing around!" As soon as he touched me I turned toward him and let him have it. Wham! I blasted him right to the eye and he fell down. It wasn’t much of a fight since he didn’t know one was coming. On top of that, since I hit him so suddenly and knocked him over, I was on top of him before he could really do anything about it. I’m sure that there were blows thrown on both sides but in my mind I only remember the horror of hitting my friend in the face with my thick winter gloves still in place.

Aboiut this time, Corey starts jumping around like a hyena and shouting, "Adam! Adam, it’s Steve’s dad! Adam!" That was the end of the fight. As soon as Steve’s dad was on the scene, we all kind of scattered out of shame. Steve and Corey got to ride home in Steve’s car, and I got to walk the rest of the way home all by myself. All night long I was at home dreading what would happen when my mom found out. I figured I was going to get in big trouble and it was only a matter of time before Steve’s parents called and talked to my mom… who would certainly smite me for life! So, each time the phone rang that night I wondered if that would be the call I had dreaded. It never happened. They never called.

The next day, it seemed like everyone knew what had happened. By the time I got to school a bunch of people had told me that I was going to get in trouble and that Steve’s dad would beat me up. I never got in trouble, nor did Steve’s dad beat me up as promised. But I was scared.

Towards the end of the day as I was at my locker, Steve walked up to me. It was one of those moments you see on a TV show. As he walked up to me the whole hallway got quiet. No one knew if there was going to be another fight or if something else was going to happen. My heart was about to leap right out from my shirt! He looked at me and said, "Umm… Adam, my dad wants to know if you’d like to go see Rocky IV with us this weekend?" I just looked at him, not really understanding what he had said. I said "Um, OK." Then Steve told me that his dad would call my mom later that day to arrange everything.

This was one of the strangest things that ever happened to me. I don’t think that Steve’s family had ever really been nice to me before. Sure they had invited me insie like all the rest of the neighborhood kids, but this was something completely unexpected. I didn’t understand why they wanted their son to be around the kid who had given him a tremendous shiner. But I do remember this as being a huge lesson in forgiveness and grace. I deserved to be treated like a villain by that family, but instead they reached out to me and invited me in.

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onward and upward

Now that I am feeling better, my schedule is again coming back to full swing. Today is busy with preparations for the weekend services and a final premarital session with a couple that is getting married next week.

Friday morning, I will be helping out at the Romeo Junior Open. This is a junior golf event that should attract most of the best 11-18 year old golfers in Macomb county. That will be a lot of fun. Of course, next week we take off for West Virginia and our first LF rafting trip. When I get back on Wednesday night, it is a mad dash until Saturday. Thursday is actually pretty normal, but Friday there is the rehearsal for the wedding and Saturday of course is the ceremony. As soon as I can clear out of here Saturday I am on vacation! Yippee! We cannot wait to get past 7/3 and on the road to the cottage and Traverse City. We need a vacation now more than ever. All of us do.

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onward and upward

Now that I am feeling better, my schedule is again coming back to full swing. Today is busy with preparations for the weekend services and a final premarital session with a couple that is getting married next week.

Friday morning, I will be helping out at the Romeo Junior Open. This is a junior golf event that should attract most of the best 11-18 year old golfers in Macomb county. That will be a lot of fun. Of course, next week we take off for West Virginia and our first LF rafting trip. When I get back on Wednesday night, it is a mad dash until Saturday. Thursday is actually pretty normal, but Friday there is the rehearsal for the wedding and Saturday of course is the ceremony. As soon as I can clear out of here Saturday I am on vacation! Yippee! We cannot wait to get past 7/3 and on the road to the cottage and Traverse City. We need a vacation now more than ever. All of us do.