The Argo Cascades: Wild Ride
Four times last year, he says, he rescued people in the Cascades whose vessels had gotten wedged and/or swamped--including one woman in danger of drowning while pinned in an overturned kayak. As he watches this day, a river current propels a kayak from one drop straight toward a metal fence post sticking up out of the next pool. Turning at the last minute, the paddlers miss it by inches.
"There's nothing like that in the Cascades," says Cheryl Saam, when asked about the fence post. "If there was, we would know about it." But the post had been there all last year, according to Hood and to David Johnson, a Superior Township resident who bikes alongside the route. Hood and Johnson also say there was another piece of metal--Johnson calls it "rebar"--near one of the chutes last year, but it was gone this spring. The fence post also disappeared--a few days after the Observer asked Saam about it in May.
Saam seems skeptical about Hood's complaints. When told of his rescues, she responds: "We've never heard of anything like that. Why wouldn't he come to the livery and tell us?" And parks and rec chief Colin Smith, told of the same incidents, says: "I've not gotten a single phone call complaining. If the public has concerns, we wish they would contact the staff, so we can improve the experience for everyone."
Officials and livery workers say the overwhelmingly positive customer feedback speaks for itself: the verdict is all but unanimous--the Cascades are a blast. Smith says the only negative feedback he's gotten is from people who "would like the Cascades to be harder."