STORIES and MEMORIES


Regarding Dugout party, I was a member of that in 1965. We were asked to come up with a name that started with “D”.

At the time we were a water purification crew, though there were some of us with MOS of surveyor in the crew. While at a lake somewhere in the south I helped carve a dugout canoe from a tree we’d chopped down and added outriggers of bamboo. It was this boat that was the inspiration for the name “Dugout”. We took this “boat” with us to a new location at the head of some rapids on the Awata Dawa River near the Kenyan border. I think we were no more than 10 miles from the border, though when I search now for information or maps showing that region I’ve not been successful in finding it. I may even have forgotten the proper spelling of the name. We used Urdilator, (no idea if this is the proper spelling but I remember the name), tanks to purify the water and we would re-supply the other field parties with water.

When we arrived at the new location on the Awata Dawa, after setting up camp, we would swim in the river upstream from the rapids and also ride in the canoe. We would put the canoe in the water several miles upstream then ride it down stream till we came to a good spot to beach it and then re-load it on the truck and repeat the process. This was a lot of fun till we discovered crocodiles bigger than the canoe in the river. The funny thing was that the canoe was still pretty heavy since we’d not cut it from a tree that was very dry. So it rode low in the water and would ship a lot of water. Every now and then we’d come into shallow water and get out to dump the water out of the canoe. I think it was during one of the dumping events that the first croc was discovered and it was bigger than the canoe. The guy got back into the canoe so fast they almost upset the thing and stayed in the drowning boat till they got within yelling distance of the guys waiting for them downstream to attempt to come ashore. Needless to say, that was the last time we took the boat out or went swimming. There are several other stories about animals I remember from that place.

I would like to hear any other stories from folks on that party. Do any of you have pictures from the party or pictures of the dugout itself?

Thanks for starting this web site.

Richard T. Miller

San Diego, CA.

RICHARD T. MILLER