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Kleptography -- All images and site content are Copyright 2001-2004 by Don Ellis. All rights reserved. Images may not be used without written permission.

River Rafting

At the start of the monsoon season in 1967, we relocated for a while to some hilly place outside Danang. A natural V-cut about three feet deep and three feet across ran from the mountain through the entire camp, splitting it in half -- and the monsoon rains turned that little trough into a torrent.
     Always on the lookout for juvenile diversions, two of us blew up air mattresses one evening, stripped to our skivvies and jumped into the water slide. Jungle plants grew in a low canopy over the chute, so we shot down the hill inside a green tube.
     For all its charm, however, the foliage and failing light hid the communications wire strung across our miniature rapids that regularly tried to garrote us. If you saw it coming, the best you could do was raise up slightly so that it caught you in the chest rather than the throat. Then you fought to untangle yourself while the crashing water turned you into a temporary dam.
     We managed to escape with our ears and now it's just a memory...recalled because of this tiny tendril bridge across a piece of split bamboo that caught the morning rain. War isn't always hell...although comm wire sometimes is.