It has been a long couple of weeks, scrambling to put my raft back together after her unfortunate theft or ghost ride and ultimate scuttling. The whole team came together to have the old girl put back together by opening day of dry fly mania on THE Eagle river, amid an incredible amount of speculation as to what actually went down in the wee hours of June 10th. Being slammed with late June clients luckily made for days too busy to launch a full scale search for the dick head responsible for such an act.
With my boat (recovered the rubber) finally on the trailer being used to feed the family again I resigned myself to the fact that it was going to be hard for the local po po to find the perps so I tried to put the whole thing behind me.
But after finishing up a float late last week I received a little gift from the gods which ultimately led me to some answers. There on the dash of my new truck payment was an old school pager flashing a number at me with the code 411. The computer generated message would lead me to a midnight meeting with "Winston Orvis Simms" and the answers I had been seeking.
"Mr Simms" explained he was a high ranking official from the American Shuttle Drivers Association and they knew just about everything going on in the world of fly fishing by having access to vehicles for so long. He told me that my boat had an elaborate tracking system secretly installed several years back by PETA after I purchased a huge amount of Beaver dubbing from a fella suspected of selling patented fly patterns under new names on the black market. Anyways, they had recovered the Float Recorder Data from the black box deep within the rowers seat and this incredibly brave dude was risking his sweet shuttle gig by giving me the goods. I traded him 14 dozen "Lu Lu Beatis" and the left over "2 Bit Prostitutes" and we called it even.
The data revealed that somewhere in the middle of the night the raft was uncovered by something with a very strong stench of ass. Something or someone very large then effortlessly moved the raft with one very large and hairy hand. The black box recorded the DB sliding the left oar into the right oar lock which can over ride ones ability to successfully maneuver my boat. This move set off an on board alarm that automatically identifies the rowers certifications with the Bureau of River Log Legitimacy. The black box showed she ran a diagnostics check based on the size of the rower and it came back with 2 possibilities, Paul Zimmerman or Yeti. It would appear she thought it was the big Zim taking her for a gorgeous late night cruise through Tressel Rapid at first. She seemed happy to be on an adventure but not yet sensing the worst was about to happen. When the systems double checked the size of the rowers calves and realized they were to small and hairy to be Zim's she started to panic. I spent over 10,000 miles in that old raft without having to hit the panic button. I am truly sorry I wasn't with her when it finally happened. It seems she became an impossible bitch to handle with those oars on the wrong side and she purposely veered into 2 rail road bridges in an attempt get Yeti out of her. She kept her path wide of the take out at Climbing Rock when she spied Bigfoot and a leprechaun waiting next to an empty trailer she figured was for her. The last bit of the recording show the old girl staying right at the entrance of the I-70 rapid and ultimately taking the hairy beast out on that low hanging dead tree but at her own expense. The data goes dark after she went upside down.
So mystery solved. Yeti is a non rowing, boat stealing dick bag and my boat took him out.
It would be easy for me to intensify my hate for nasty people after this mess but the outpouring of love and help has been overwhelming.
Big thanks to my Colorado Angling Company Family, My Rock Kitty, my Mom, Brian Culp, Kevin Duncan, Shawn House, Traci Greenwood, Chrissy Mitchell, Jean and Alan Blumenstock, Toni Leasure, David Truscott, and the 100+ people who shared my situation on Facebook and the numerous awesome people who offered boats, money and support.
Huge thanks to Vail Mountain Rescue who spent the day risking their lives in high water. Thank god nobody was hurt during that super fun event.
Enormous thanks to John Packer of Fly Fishing Outfitters for giving me a frame to replace the one that is now part of the river. This was beyond generous and proof that Ol Packman is a Vail Valley treasure. Thanks.
And finally thank you most of all Big Zim. Without your help and friendship this would not have been put back together as quickly as it was. Forever buds big fella,
Can't keep a good boat down.