Facing Fear on the Chatooga

first_imgI steady Tobin, my toddler, between my knees and stand up in the 18’ foot aluminum canoe to search for a chute down the rocky jumble, but still I only see the Chattooga River disappearing over the horizon line. I paddle toward my marker rock, taking one last stroke to launch us off the ramp.“Wheee!” Tobin yells as we slide down the granite.At the bottom of the rapid I swell with success. Tobin looks up at me wide-eyed and says, “Mama, another rabid!”I’m brimming from the perfection of the moment, the sunlight reflecting off the water so that thousands of flecks of light dance from wave to wave. I let the canoe float in the flat pool and hug Tobin, knowing that his toddler days are passing. As a single mom, there are so many things I haven’t been able to give to my son—a dad he sees daily and a mom who isn’t stressed out living paycheck-to-paycheck. This canoe trip reminds me that I can pass along what I value most to my son, spending time on rivers.We are on the northern border of Georgia, paddling the same river made famous by the 1970’s thriller Deliverance, which portrays the Chattooga River as a foreboding place where locals don’t welcome outsiders. In the movie, when businessmen canoe down the river, they encounter grizzled mountain men who rape one at gunpoint, ordering him to “squeal like a pig.”As we drifted, my mind conjures images about who might live nearby, uneducated-locals-turned-meth-heads and rapists-in-the-woods—even as I told myself those are vile stereotypes that in no way reflect the real people of this region.That evening, I beach the canoe on a sandy bank, and search for a level spot to put up our tent. On the shore, broken glass litters the remnants of a recent fire. A broken camp chair sits next to the fire ring, and a pair of men’s underwear hangs from the arm rest. The campsite looks as if it might be someone’s place, and it occurs to me that we might not be alone. A prickly fear overcomes me, and I scoop up Tobin, hurrying back to our canoe.Chatooga3_FIX2I paddle fast downstream in search of another campsite and finally settle on one. Tobin helps unfold the tent poles. I make an easy dinner of canned Spaghettios and the last bit of trail mix for dessert. We put on our pajamas and climb into the tent.As soon as I zip up the tent, Tobin asks to go home. I tell him no, that we are camping for the night and will paddle out the next morning.“I want home.”“We aren’t going home. We’re spending the night here.’He cries and I rock him in my arms, tears flowing down my own face as I curse my decision for taking a two-year old on an overnight river trip alone. Between his sobbing, I hear a noise.“Shhhh. Quiet, my love,” I whisper. My thoughts turn to the rape scene in Deliverance. I think of all the wild mountain men who might be hiding out in the woods. It’s dark now, and we have no way out of here until the morning.Tobin identifies the source of the sounds before I can.“Frog!” he says.Bull frogs are serenading us. We sing back, imitating the bull frog’s call, and Tobin laughs. He laughs in little peals at first and then uncontrollably until his whole body heaves from giggling. His joy is contagious, and I start laughing too.The next morning we paddle out as sunlight pours through the pines. Blue herons sit on limbs above and startle as we approach, awkwardly loping to another perch downstream. I feel like I’ve entered into a secret dream world that exists on the Chattooga before all the tourists come out to float, before the sun casts its sharp rays directly overhead that turn the river a deep brown, before the herons disappear into the forests.At the takeout, a father and his teenage son are casting, thigh-deep in the water when we pull up to the riverbank. I am wary as I unload Tobin and the gear. I struggle with the boat, and the teenage son wanders over to me.“Do you need a hand?” he asks. He helps carry the canoe up the steep gravel and then hoists it on top of my car. As I start strapping it down, the boy disappears.I tie a bowline under the front bumper and add a stern line to secure the back. Just as I’m giving the straps a final tug to confirm they’ll hold for the three-hour drive back, the son and dad reappear carrying our camping gear up from the takeout.I am stunned by the kindness of these strangers—and my own stereotypes. All of my scary-men-in-the-woods-who-want-to-hurt-me fears fall away, leaving only embarrassment for falling victim to baseless fears. The father and son disappear down the wooded trail, and I remember the other half of the storyline in Deliverance: how locals helped outsiders who underestimated challenges posed by the river.last_img read more

Control population to save the planet

first_imgGlobal warming most likely will not be controllable until we, as a race, curtail our reproductive rates. Sure, many other things such as heating oil, car fuel, cutting down trees and generally polluting our planet should be controlled as much as possible. But the simple overpopulation of the planet is by far the most detrimental factor.China had the right idea (30 years ago?) when it implemented the number of children to be limited to one per family. This caused problems there, too, as the balance of male/female genders went out of whack. They did at least recognize the problem. The rest of the world apparently doesn’t get it.With the extending lifespans and the rate of childbirth today, our planet can’t sustain life without a major event occurring that would wipe out a large portion of the population. Simple facts: The more people we have, the more food that’s needed, more fuel for heat, transportation, etc. and more pollution from waste. The answer is quite simply population control. Good luck, Earth.Guy HildrethRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Rotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusCar hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burn Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Cattle drive

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Spain tennis Superstar Rafael Nadal withdraws from Asian tournaments

first_imgMadrid: Spain tennis superstar Rafael Nadal, World No. 1, on Wednesday announced his withdrawal from his upcoming tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai due to a knee injury.The same injury forced Nadal, 32, out of the US Open on September 7 during his semifinal match against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina and also caused him to miss the Davis Cup semifinal over the weekend, in which Spain lost 3-0 to France. “As you know, I had to retire from the US Open semifinal match, and last Monday I was in Barcelona looking at my knee’s situation with the doctors,” Nadal said via his official Twitter account. “Although the discomfort in my knee is nothing new, we decided together with my medical and technical teams not to participate in the Asian tour so that the knee can recover in the way we want it to,” he explained. The 17-time Grand Slam champion apologized to his fans in China and to the tournaments’ organisers. (IANS)last_img read more

Syracuse thrashes Jacksonville in season opener

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ No. 3 Syracuse (1-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) waited nearly 40 extra minutes to begin the 2014 season after a thunderstorm settled over Southern Oak Stadium and delayed the team’s season opener against Jacksonville (0-1) Tuesday night.But then it was time for the Orange offense to unleash its own storm.Syracuse scored 16 first half goals, including a combined nine tallies by attackers Alyssa Murray and Kayla Treanor, and cruised to an easy 21-7 victory over the Dolphins in front of 229 fans. The goal count equaled SU’s 2013 season high, which it reached on three occasions.The Orange wasted no time in attacking the defending Atlantic Sun Conference champions. Only 51 seconds into the contest, Kailah Kempney gave SU a 1-0 lead off an assist from Treanor. Minutes later, Amy Cross received a beautiful feed from Murray in front of the net and converted to double the advantage.That was only the beginning.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMurray quickly followed with two of her four total goals. Then Katie Webster and Erica Bodt scored to put the Orange ahead by six.Jacksonville sophomore Kelsey Wiglesworth broke the shutout and cut the lead to five with 18 minutes remaining in the first half, but that would be as close as the Dolphins would get. Treanor then took over and added five goals before the end of the half.After Kempney added to the 17-3 only 14 seconds out of the break, the Orange reserves tacked on another four goals in the remaining minutes.Treanor finished the game with a career-high 11 points, and 11 different players scored goals for the Orange.Syracuse now holds an all-time record of 11-5 on opening day and hasn’t lost a season opener since Gary Gait took over as head coach in 2008.The Orange will be back in action Friday at 7 p.m. against Stetson at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Comments Published on January 22, 2014 at 1:32 am Contact Tyler: [email protected]last_img read more

Julian Buescher earns 2nd-team All-American honor

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Julian Buescher named semifinalist for award honoring nation’s top playerSyracuse goalie Bono earns Hermann Trophy finalist, 1st-team All-American honorsBuescher named to All-ACC 1st team, 3 others earn honors Sophomore midfielder Julian Buescher has been named a second-team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Buescher is the eighth player in Syracuse history to be named an NSCAA All-American.Buescher leads the Orange, and is tied for seventh in the nation, with 11 assists. His eight goals is second most on SU, as well as his 27 points. Nearly two weeks ago, Buescher was named one of 15 semifinalists for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, awarded to college soccer’s best player. He was also named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team in November.Last season, Syracuse goalie Alex Bono was named a first-team All-American. Prior to 2014, the last time an Orange was named an All-American was in 1992.No. 6 seed SU (16-5-3, 3-4-1 ACC) takes on No. 2 seed Clemson (17-2-3, 6-1-1) in the national semifinals on Friday at 6 p.m. Follow @DOSports and at dailyorange.com for coverage. Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder textcenter_img Published on December 11, 2015 at 3:33 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschwedslast_img read more

Women’s water polo finds success but cannot close

first_imgDespite winning each of their first 10 matches, USC women’s water polo lost for the first time this season. Falling 9-3 to No. 1 Stanford in the championship match of the Barbara Kalbus Invitational, the Women of Troy found a disappointing end to what was an otherwise strong showing for the squad.Sophomore driver Kelsey McIntosh has scored 14 goals in the 2018 season, the third most on the Trojans’ squad. Daily Trojan file photo.“By the end, recovery played a huge role,” head coach Jovan Vavic said. “We were definitely worn out.”To start out the tournament, action was business as usual for USC. After dismantling No. 18 San Jose State by a 17-1 margin on Friday, the Trojans were off and running. Against the Spartans, nine different players found the back of the net, six managed to score twice, and two (drivers freshman Paige Hauschild and sophomore Denise Mammolito) notched hat tricks. As a team, USC opened up the match with a massive 16-0 run only conceding a late goal in the final seven minutes of play.On Saturday, USC faced a tough pair of opponents standing between them and a shot at winning a third consecutive Barbara Kalbus title. In the first match of the day, the Trojans took down No. 6 Arizona State 8-6 in a hard fought, back-and-forth affair. Taking a 5-5 tie into the fourth period, USC stepped up when it mattered most, striking three more times to secure the victory before the Sun Devils could find any footing. Senior utility player Annika Jensen became the third Trojan to pick up a hat trick over the course of two games while Hauschild netted her fourth and fifth goals of the tournament.Moving on to the semi-finals, No. 2 Cal. represented the toughest test the Women of Troy had faced thus far in the 2018 season. Early in the match, the Golden Bears were proving just why they are such a difficult squad to overcome. California came out firing, pinning down USC 3-1 within the first few minutes of the game. The Trojan defense tightened up in the second period and by halftime, the score was knotted up 3-3.Continuing momentum off a strong end to the half, junior goaltender Amanda Longan dominated the final half of play. In a career-best performance of 18 saves, Longan repelled shot after shot from the dangerous Cal team. Her performance completely shut down Cal for yet another period in the third, allowing USC to take a 5-3 lead into the fourth off goals from senior drivers Brianna Daboub and Jensen. Despite conceding their 2-goal lead, USC found a late spark as Jensen completed her second consecutive hat trick with a clutch score that came with just 18 seconds left in regulation time. “[Jensen] stepped up and that’s what you do as a senior,” Vavic said. “I’m excited to see what she can do.”All that remained for USC to secure a third-straight title was a championship match against No. 1 Stanford. As it turned out, the Trojans’ long stretch of success would finally come to an end. After turning in a number of dominant offensive performances throughout the early season and the first few matches of the tournament, the goal scoring faltered Sunday against Stanford as the Women of Troy fell 9-3 to the Cardinal.Despite failures to convert on key chances early in the match, USC was down only 3-2 in the second period. At this point, the floodgates opened and Stanford managed to score four consecutive goals until a last-minute score from Trojan freshman driver Verica Bakoc closed the Trojans’ deficit to 7-3 heading into the half. While this margin is certainly within striking range, USC was unable to close the gap as the Cardinal completely shut down the Trojans’ attack for the remainder of the game to take home the title.Looking ahead, the squad will have a few weeks off before taking on No. 7 UC Irvine on March 7.last_img read more