July 14, 2000

  The big day finally arrives... the best description of the day is a quote from Ed to some of his river running buddies...

"18 of us left Coeur d'Alene at 7am on Friday, July 14th in
4 cars, and we had a couple of guys from Missoula meeting
us at the put in. All together we had 4 rafts and 1 drift boat.
Before this trip I had concerns about taking the drift boat. I
didn't think dumping the boat on your wedding day was the
best way to start off marital bliss.  Jill's dad, uncle and
friends have run the Clark Fork many times, and flipped a
few times too, but I couldn't get a straight answer from any
of them on how tough the rapids were. I finally called a guide
shop on the river and got the straight scoop. The guide says
not many drift boats start up that far, but it's very runable,
class 3. I figured no problem.
45 minutes out of CDA I noticed smoke coming from the left side of the trailer. We were the last car in the caraban, so nobody else saw us take the exit. We ended up in Wallace, Idaho at the local gas station with a flat trailer tire. I'm thinking, this must be a sign not to take the drift boat. We had 5 people in our car, so Pat Mitchell and I went back to Les Schwabe's in Kellogg for a tire repair. Jill, Jenny and Steve, friends from Seattle, got out the lawn chairs and waited. 30 minutes later we had the tire on and were dropping the jack, prepared to get back on the road. The whole time I'm wondering if there's something wrong with the trailer causing the tire to go flat. Sure enough, the leaf spring was broke.
I had given up on taking the drift boat, and figured we would
merge with the rest of the "rafters", when Jill got a hold of
someone with an extra trailer. She used to work up there for
her dad, who owns a mining supply company, and was able
to pull some strings. So we waited some more. New trailer
with leaf springs AND a spare tire arrived an hour later.
Of course when waiting for said trailer, liquid refreshments
were in order. We called the Justice of the Peace, and let her
know we would be 2 hours late to the designated beach,
aka chapel.
We had to stop in Superior, Montana for our marriage license.
We show up at the clerk's office and ask for the license. She
says, "someone's been drinking, I can't give you a marriage
license if you're intoxicated!!" Panic sets in. We explained our
predicament and had only a couple beers waiting for the trailer.
  Since the paperwork was previously completed via the mail
and realizing this wasn't a "spure of the moment" wedding, she
gave us the license.
Two hours late we arrive at the launch in Cyr. Someone had
stopped at the Court House in Superior and heard of our
problems back in Wallace, so they knew we'd be late. We were
finally on the river!
   The Clark Fork at Cyr has about the same flow as the
Deschutes; this section is called the Alberton Gorge. Rapids of significance are 3 bridges, Tumbleweed, Boateater and Fang. Tumbleweed and Fang are solid Class III's. We made it through without too much trouble. At Tumbleweed we ended up with about 8" of water in the boat, caused by a Colorado size wave, and I almost lost Jill a few times but we made it and arrived at Fish Creek, our designated Chapel.  Fish Creek is a very cool place. It has this swimming hole that is a brilliant turquise color. One small problem. No Justice of the Peace; she was not there. We hiked around, but no sign of her.  Jill's Uncle Mike ended up doing the services. Lots of bawling and crying. We had a nice lunch and champaine then continued on our way.
  We finished the float and took out at Tarkio. After doing the shuttle service and loading we were back on the road to Idaho. However, we felt a little empty without an offical service, so we went back to Superior to find the Justice of the Peace. Pat Mitchell is a Private Investigator, so I figured with my cell phone and my own Private Idaho Investigator, we could track down Wanda James. I call all of the James' in Superior and got no answer at any of them. There were 2. Pat went into the local gas station /convenience store and asked everyone in the place if they knew Wanda James. Of course, it's 10 o'clock at night and dark, but Pat's still wearing his sunglasses. You know how every small town has at least one convenience store, and there's always one very taqlkative guy who hangs out at the counter drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes It's like when you walk into Wal-Mart, there's an old guy to greet you. Well we found the guy responsible for the Superior Conoco Store, and he knew how to get a hold of Wanda James. We got the number, I called her and she showed up 10 minutes later at the court house in her sweats. She married us on the court house lawn with Pat, and Steve & Jenny from Seattle, as our witnesses.
  Jill and I made it to our "wedding suite" at midnight.  The name of our room was appropriately, "The Montana Room". We had a big party Saturday night (
Reception), then we were off to Tahiti for two weeks!"
Tumbleweed Rapid
The Ceremony