It was 5:30 and we were feeling tired. It was such a relief that Ray was able to join us. Being familiar with the river, he would paddle ahead in his kayak and guide us the rest of the way to Lake Louise.

Apparently, in our weakened state, we mistook our friend for Moses expecting him to somehow part the churning waters of the river and silence the waves that thundered through the canyon ahead. Less than a minute after setting out, we struck a rock the size of a Volkswagon Beetle. We proceeded to flail down the river backward and then sideways for a time. We were like a couple of kids getting dragged kicking and screaming to school. Eventually, despite our best efforts to escape, we landed with a thud in the classroom. Our first lesson began with water filling up our canoe. Our boat did not move for this learning exercise. In fact, as it was forcefully pinned against two rocks, it did not move for the remainder of the day, and there was some concern that it may not move again for the rest of the semester.

Ray in kayak

As day turned to evening, Gary and I were kept late for a remedial gym class. The drill involved picking extremely heavy water logged bags out of a canoe and lugging them halfway across the river to shore. Ray was with us the whole time. Like a compassionate teaching assistant, he did just as much of the work as we did. And when Gary's backpack took off down the river in one of our errant physics experiments, Ray jumped in his boat and chased it more than a kilometer downstream until he found it stuck in a logjam.