Members of the Cedaredge Senior Hikers group on a river float outing last week ended up playing the role of heroes by rescuing a pair of tourists who had become stranded during their own Gunnison River outing.
Jude Kieca, a member of the Hikers' group, reported to the DCI that, "It turned out to be a exciting day as we rescued two doctors, one from New York and the other from New Mexico, who had wrapped their canoe around a rock. They felt fortunate to get out of the river with their lives. No one else was on the water, so they were grateful that our raft stopped for them.
"The two doctors were taken on a raft by Rex Replogle, who already had two passengers, and they were transported to our campsite at Dominguez Canyon. The group's three inflatable kayaks managed to retrieve a lot of the doctors' gear, which was by that time floating down the river.
"The doctors called us 'heroes' and realized that although we were their seniors by 30 years we had the skill and know-how to navigate the river. We toasted ourselves with margaritas that evening at camp!"
The day had started as a fairly normal outing by members of the hikers. Kieca explained, "Six of the Senior Hikers had taken to the Gunnison River with a raft and three inflatable kayaks for a relaxing overnight at the Dominguez Campground. The plan was to then continue on the river to Whitewater.
"This is the prettiest section of the river with high, red canyon walls. We also had two members of the Senior Hikers who trekked in and joined us at the campground."