Ring in the river, ripped from a raft

Real Rogue River riddle: If you catch a fish and find my silver ring inside, will you be surprised? It’s not Frodo’s or Gollum’s Precious magic ring — it’s mine. No really! … Here’s the reason.


On Saturday of Labor Day weekend, my friend and I went rafting for our first time. Being dropped off at Lost Creek dam, we headed downstream. It was so much fun! For novices we did pretty well … until a little way before the “country store” restaurant, the racing current swept us under an overhanging tree … oops.


Into the river I went, then was swept under the raft! Coming up out of the light green water, I just barely caught a raft handle with fingertips … but I couldn’t hold on. I was wearing my floatation vest and able to get to the riverbank. It was too steep to climb up and no way to go in either direction along the river. Warming up and calming down, I called to rafters passing by: “Tell Karen I’m OK”. I waited. I couldn’t see where she was, but my faithful friend climbed a steep bank for help. In the meantime, when I took off my gloves, my wedding ring came off too and fell among the pebbles!


Flash backward 40 years. My husband and I were married June 1976 with handmade silver rings. I carved the masters, and a friend cast the rings as a gift. The fronts show three crosses to represent Christ’s amazing love. Inside are our initials “JWL – KEL”.


Flash forward to my Rogue River rescue. My new phone was in a watertight bag. There was no room on the steep crumbly bank to set it down. I was thankful to be out of the chilly, overpowering current. I took the gloves off to unpack the phone. My ring fell into the river. Tearfully I looked … but it was not to be found. My husband Jerry later hugged me saying he was just glad I was safe! Thanks to Jerry for reassuring me and making phone calls. Thanks to Marty for calling from the fire station. Thanks to Blake for his garden hose “rope”. Thanks to Miguel from Raft Rite climbing down to me, and also the driver who helped pull me up. Many thanks to God for Karen!


I still see it all vividly in my mind. Maybe the ring is stuck, or rolling along the bottom in the currents, or maybe, just maybe, some passing fish will get a mouthful!


When you, my fisher-friend, clean that fish and find my ring, please return it to Katherine Lundgren, Box 1033, Shady Cove, Oregon 97539. It represents my 40 real life married years, but it won’t make you invisible. After all, it’s my precious, not Tolkien’s!


Katherine Lundgren lives in Shady Cove.

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