it was, i will readily admit, my idea to go out to sand island. i wanted some sunshine. i wanted it all over the place.

so, the SIGN says that in low water conditions, it’s a walk. apparently, these conditions were not those. after slogging through what i can only describe as a freshwater swamp (after deciding ahead of time there were DEFINITELY NO FISHES IN THERE) the river channel was indeed a little daunting. but, what the fuck, i was already wet up to my chin and somehow, didn’t want to give up.

thus commenced a quarter mile swim across the channel. the Columbia, for the record, is a pretty cold place. and i am an idiot, who had it in my head that a) the current wouldn’t be that strong and b) it was heading the other direction. i am not the world’s strongest swimmer (insert bouyancy jokes here) and so i was definitely feeling a little nervous about 2/3rds of the way across when i noticed how incredibly cold i was, that i had drifted much further west than i planned, i was quickly running out of what steam i had, and land seemed much further away than i thought i was likely to make.

channel of doom

channel of doom

panic, she did set in. i guess i’m not as afraid of drowning as i am of being killed in a car crash, but i’m afraid enough. and panic, i have discovered, is NOT good for much of anything. it does not help you think more clearly, or swim with more determination, it just makes you hyperventilate and sometimes cry. in this case, i didn’t actually get to either point because i decided, at this point, to try and put my feet down. miracle of miracles, there was some sand under there. praise the holy baby jesus. i did not die in service to my recreation.

this is not to say i did not pay for my hubris. i have a medley of scratches from the fishless swampy place, a sunburn all over the place, and sand in places sand does not belong. all the people on the island with boats were STUNNED i would attempt such a retarded thing, and this did, i am happy to say, score me a ride back across the channel from a kind samaritan type who was not interested in watching me drown or get run over by an outboard motor; for this i am grateful.

now to salve my pride and sunburn with aloe and liquor.