Save for your own heart thudding behind your chest, the only noise you can hear is that of a thundering freight train. It’s a low rumbling, a guttural churning. It’s the sound of unseen whitewater, of hundreds of cfs (cubic feet per second) of surging current charging toward a horizon line before dropping off into the void. Steep canyon walls rise from the river’s edge, boxing you in, committing you forever downstream.
The late afternoon sunlight filters into the gorge, but soon it will be gone. You and your partner stare at the lip from the safety of your cockpits several yards upstream. An almost foreboding sense of dread coupled with the enticing allure of the unknown tempts you to carry on. The only assurance you have that anything even exists beyond the river’s edge comes in the form of mist spraying intermittently into the air. Aside from that, you know nothing of what lies ahead.