To the editor:
Many of your readers are certainly aware of the recently completed 30th annual 90-Miler Adirondack Canoe Classic because of the Enterprise's extensive and descriptive coverage. We have both raced for many years, but it was this year that brought us a deeper appreciation for the impressive behind-the-scenes efforts orchestrated by race organizers Brian and Grace McDonnell, which make the weekend run smoothly and safely.
During the memorable second day's paddle - which included a wild, windy Long Lake ride - in the middle of the arduous Raquette Falls carry we experienced a physical collapse which required immediate medical assistance. Within minutes, aid came from fellow paddlers, race officials and support personnel. Under challenging conditions, they selflessly and professionally executed a rescue which resulted in our being safely brought down the Raquette River to a waiting ambulance at Axton Landing.
We want to extend heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to this effort, with some very special thanks to:
-Fellow paddler Nurse Katie and her three teammates, who stopped en route to come to our aid
-Fellow paddler John and his son, who went for help
-Ranger Pete Evans, who took control of the situation; displayed superhuman strength, compassion and knowledge; and who was with us from almost the beginning to our arrival at the ambulance
-DEC official Gary Valentine, whose knowledge of small boat motors made the difference in getting us down river safely
-The entire amazing ambulance crew, especially driver John McEneany, who went out of his way to help us.
Also thanks to the professional staff at the Adirondack Medical Center Emergency Room for their care and comfort, and to the fantastic Dr. Waickman for his follow-up care.
And our deepest thanks to Brian and Grace McDonnell for their incredible organization, deep caring for all of us crazy enough to do this race and their ability to keep their attention on the myriad of details which make this race the success it always is.
Paddlers No. 37 and No. 151
Fran Yardley and Burdette Parks