Fast Water part 2

Yesterday, I shared the first part of my weekend hike along the Cowichan River near Skutz Falls. Today’s photo journal entry focuses on building and using stretchers in the wilderness. I hope you enjoy this creative adventure that is also an applied survival skill.

First, let’s take a look up river. While I am taking this photo one of the coaches is explaining that next term if the students choose they will jump in up river (with life jackets and helmets of course) and be rescued just below the bridge we are standing on at the moment. They don’t have to go in but it is a prerequisite for learning to whitewater kayak.

The senior students met us at the bridge and lead us back down the river on the north side to where they had made stretchers by cutting poles and stringing them with coats, backpacks and one with a tarp. There was also stretcher made with webbed rope made and a foam sheet used in kayaking – this showed what could be used when sea kayaking and poles may not be readily available.

Everyone formed teams and the senior students lead the groups through a series of off trail maneuvers as directed by the coaches.

Down the trail they come…

Stopping to check on how the patient is doing (a very vulnerable ride)

It’s getting dark and I have to use my flash as they go through the brush…

And on the home stretch(er)

Creativity is related to much more than the arts. Creativity is the product of our ability to imagine. Our imagination allows us to find connections and ways of doing things that we have never seen or experienced before. I can tell by the smiles of these students, as they take on what is actually a difficult task to carry someone through the brush on a homemade stretcher, they are creative beings and loving it – lucky them and lucky us. I feel very privileged to have been able to share their company for this one afternoon on the Cowichan River.

Sprout Question: Have you ever had to use your creativity to save your life or save someone else?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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