The following morning, the water level was still high. But with only a days worth of food left, and the stress that comes along with inactivity, we decided to go for it. The first three rapids we encountered were large and powerful. Fortunately, the long lines we prepared the day before allowed us to guide the kayaks through the rapids. We would climb around and meet the kayaks at the bottom of the fast water. This turned out to be the last of the dangerous water.
The rain had let up some, and the water was slowly clearing. Still we pushed on as fast as possible. As we neared the entrance to the Sibun Gorge, the surrounding hills lost their steepness, and the spurs showed gradually rises. The rapids also lost height and therefore the power that would make them dangerous. Coming out of the gorge, the high water was actually a help. Boulder fields that we would normally have to haul the kayaks over could now be shot straight through.
Where it had taken Jim a day before to make his way out of the gorge from our morning camp, it took us only three hours. The water was fast but shallow, allowing us to cruise through boulder fields and small rapids. Behind us, dark ominous storm clouds built as another series of rain squalls poured into the upper Sibun. But by now we were out of danger and only an hour away from the Sibun River Bridge on the Hummingbird Highway.
The last three days had been stressful. The river had put us in a survival situation. Fortunately, the combined experience of the team provided secure feeling that we were doing the right thing at each turn. Between the rain, the river, and the flood, very little collecting was done by Ed and even less photography was done by Tony. But we all made it safe, sound, and became even closer friends then when we started.