Archive for July, 2015

Weekend River KeyGate

Usually going to the river is a stress free event; full of relaxation and fun activities.  This past weekend? Not so much.  We had friends come into town from Texas and since they were driving from Texas to San Diego we invited them to take a break in Arizona at our river place.  Everything was hunky dory on Friday afternoon, we loaded up the boat and enjoyed a wonderful day out on the sand bar, after all the stress and chaos at work, this was a much needed break.  Saturday was a completely different scenario.

We dubbed Saturday “KeyGate” and as you guessed it, yes it involves keys.  So Saturday morning J launches the boat and I tool around with the boat in the marina until he parks the truck and trailer and returns to the launch ramp to get picked up.  Normally when I motor back to the ramp to pick up J he wades out a bit so that our boat doesn’t hit the cement or any rocks.  As he stops my forward momentum in the boat he usually gently tosses the truck keys to me.  I stress the word “Gently”.  This time however, that gentle toss was given a little too much oomph and the truck keys flew up, hit the Bimini top, slid across the Bimini top, dropped down on the side edge of the transom bed, bounced up and out of the boat and into ten feet of water.  The next thing I heard was the word FUCK being shouted at the top of J’s lungs just as he dove into the water to the approximate place where the keys fell into the water.  Thankfully this wasn’t a very busy weekend with other boats lining up to launch.  So J is diving back and forth trying to feel for keys that are somewhere in 10 feet of water with a gentle current.  You can see the panic in his face every time he surfaces for air.  One of our guests hitches a ride on a golf cart to the store and purchases a diving mask for J.  In the meantime I moored the boat on the sand bank and rushed to the house to get another diving mask.   J has been searching underwater with his mask for now 30 minutes and just as I get back to the boat ramp and put on my mask, I hear J surface and scream “YES!!!” with the truck keys in his hand!  Disaster averted; lesson learned –Put that key floaty on the Key Ring and install Hide-A-key on truck!


Jeff bobbing for the keys

So after the fiasco in the morning we finally get on the river and motor up to a quiet sandbar.  Along the way up we see some elusive big horn sheep on the mountain sides which is an awesome sight!  We knew from weather reports that the Mexican hurricane was making its way northwest and could create some unusual weather on the river.  Around 12:00 we started seeing evil black clouds making their way slowly towards us.  In a matter of an hour those clouds started producing lightning and thunder along with some gusts of wind so strong our chairs were blowing away.  So our afternoon on the river was cut short as the lightning moved closer.  But motoring home with winds blowing on a shallow river system is not an easy task.  Anyone who goes to the river knows that a shallow river plus winds can cause sandbar disasters.  Usually underwater shallow sandbars are easy to spot and avoid by the color different or by the disturbance they cause on the water surface.  However when you have winds blowing and heavy cloud cover those clues are gone.  You have to solely rely on your memory of the river sandbar system in these cases.  Unfortunately for two boaters their memory wasn’t so reliable.  But paying it forward we stopped and pushed both boats that were stuck up on very shallow sandbars back into deeper water.  We definitely got our workout for the day and some very sore muscles the following day.


Snatched from the internet to show what a boat stuck on a sandbar looks like.

Eventually we made it back to the boat ramp and back to the house.   At some point during the late afternoon our guests had wanted to get into their vehicle.  Unfortunately for them, the key to their vehicle was nowhere to be found.  NOWHERE!  We searched everywhere for those keys, we even emptied out the trash and recycle bin piece by piece.  Our guests searched every piece of their luggage and nothing.  They were in panic mode as they needed to be in Anaheim on Sunday evening.  We contacted the guard shack and asked if anyone has turned in keys- Nope.  Lost and found? Nope.  We decide to call the search off for the night and resume in the morning.  After a sleepless night of stressing, more morning searches revealed no keys.  We also learned that NO Chevrolet service centers are open on Sunday to get replacement electronic keys.  You can see the stress and panic in our guest’s faces.  Again we check with the store to see if anyone checked in lost keys found.  No luck, but they did give us the number of a guy that can reprogram digital keys for vehicles and he’s only 30 minutes away.  Perfect!  So our guests schedule the guy to come out and after an hour of taking apart the ignition system and a credit card charge for $250 the Tahoe was reprogramed with a new key.  There was a huge sigh of relief as the technician started the truck with the newly programmed key.  Another lesson learned – Install hide-a-key!

Overall it was awesome to spend some time with our out of state friends.  Granted the weekend could have gone a little smoother and with a little less stress, but overall we had a great time and can’t wait to get back out there “distressing”.


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