View Full Version : Defying The Odds

08-30-2009, 04:01 PM
Defying The Odds

Sometimes you stumble upon an event that simply defies the odds and stretching the imagination so far that it simply reeks of fate. My fishing partner Monte and I have been witness to several such occurrences from running into each other at the bar of Harry Cary’s in Chicago when I lived in Atlanta and he lived in Seattle, to pushing a canoe through the grass banks of an Arkansas small mouth stream and having a 15 inch smallmouth literally jump into the canoe. But nothing prepared us for this story.

In July of 2008 Monte and I backpacked and fished a stunningly beautiful stream in the Creede Colorado area. We had a marvelous trip but it was slightly marred when I dropped my new waterproof camera in a white water rapid run and we weren’t able to find it as it tumbled down the stream even though we looked for several hours. Here is what I wrote about it at the time.

“About that time disaster struck, I had his camera and my own in my hand trying to snap a couple pictures and in my usual state of grace and coordination stumbled. The cameras juggled and fell but I deftly managed to grab Monte’s only to watch mine plummet into the foaming white water. I felt my stomach drop, as I crossed the few feet to hand Monte’s back to him and dashed back to plunge my arm into the icy depths where I had last seen mine. As you may have already guessed the fast white water current dominated the next 100 yards of stream and the camera was swept to a hiding place under a rock somewhere in that boiling mass of water never to be found by me. Strangely enough my first crushing feelings of loss weren’t for the expensive waterproof digital camera, which had only been purchased a few weeks prior …… but for the hundreds of pictures that I had already spent hours trying to craft to capture the various sights and memories already created in this adventure……. All gone and lost at the bottom of the stream. It made me want to cry, not the camera but the missing pictures … I use those pictures to capture the trip and to sustain me in the year ahead so I can look at my screensaver and my computer in the rush and blur of a busy day and feel just a momentary sense of the calm and beauty of this wonderful valley … yet those pictures were gone…… or where they…. I finally realized that the camera was gone but the memory of those sights and sounds was still in my heart and mind…… and fortunately for both of us I had only been stupid enough to drop one of the cameras not both so I still had Monte’s pictures to help trigger my memories and to fill the pages of this story……. Yet somehow it isn’t quite the same…… but almost…… thanks Monte for going back and recreating some of those pictures with me.”

And that I thought was the end of the story ……… but…………. Monte had the privilege of going back to the same stream for a quick backpacking adventure in late July of this year, over a year since our original trip. He indicated it looked like no one else had camped in our site since the last time we were there as the wood we had stacked for the fire was untouched. He had a great trip and obviously managed a lot of time on the stream. Well amazingly as he was wading the stream through a backwater eddy area his foot kicked a flash of metal out from behind a rock and he bent down reached into the water only to find my camera still underwater and with the strap hung to a stick that had tethered the camera behind the rock eddy pool. Well being the prankster that he is, he simply dried the camera off and mailed it back to me as a surprise when he got home with a note telling me how he had found it. Well you can imagine my surprise when I tore open the package and saw my camera laying there. The metal was unbelievably worn and scratched from a year bouncing along under the water of a cold alpine trout stream at almost 10,000 feet. I was amazed that it was even still in one piece. Well on a whim I opened the camera up and was even more amazed to see that other than a small deposit of river sand the inside looked to be in marvelous shape and the memory card actually looked like it might be okay. I pulled it out and plugged it into my computer and after a lengthy boot………. It came up perfectly and all of the pictures were as clear and perfect as the day I had taken them. All of my lost memories were back in full color and splendor and I was beyond amazed………… but as they say on cheap tv commercials “but wait there’s more” when I charged the battery and plugged it back into the camera ….. it booted up and all functions still worked. The picture quality was reduced from the scratching and dirt but amazingly enough after 13 months of bouncing along the bottom the camera still worked and still took pictures. If that isn’t an amazing testament for the toughness of this camera I don’t know what would be. The camera is a Pentax Optio W20 ………. Need I say more about the toughness of this little camera.

Well since I had taken the pictures originally to share with you guys ….. I decided to share them with you now almost thirteen moths later. Since I told the story the first time I will keep my long winded descriptions to a minimum this time. A minimum for me is still pretty long winded however.

This stream is absolutely gorgeous and getting to relive my trip there thirteen months later was a wonderful way to feel like I got to visit again………and I severely needed that revisit….. even if it was virtual.

Here is the broad view of the valley, quite a site to start a days fishing.




But as pretty as the valley overview is the fishing is even more amazing. These three fish all three came from the same stretch of water.




And this is the hole they came out of ………. As pretty as the fish


08-30-2009, 04:04 PM
And that was one of the first holes of the trip which really set the stage of a day of beauty mixed with a day of fish.









08-30-2009, 04:07 PM

But none of that beauty in my opinion compared to the head of the valley and that “high country snow” that cooled and calmed my soul.



And finally the last picture my camera took as I stumbled and dropped it and it hit the white water below…………. Leading to a 13 month forced underwater hibernation…..


A product testimonial worth telling ………. Thanks Monte for finding my camera and returning my memories back to me. …..



By the way for those of you who might have missed the original story here is a link to it from last year.


08-30-2009, 06:08 PM
That is an amazing story and amazing pictures. I wish I could take a trip like that some day.

08-31-2009, 10:55 PM
Several people asked to see pictures of the Camera………… so here you go ………as well as some quick pictures I took with the camera in its current condition. The camera is clean all the dis-coloring is deep scratches, worn spots and gouges in the metal.







Picture from this weekend with the camera as it exists today it was overcast and rainy

And straight off the computer screen

Gotta love that camera………… toughness that would make Walt Garrison proud……….for those of you who are old enough to remember