Hurricane Isabel whipped shallow creeks into raging rivers, before she calmed down to a violent tropical storm. What better time for a canoe trip? Especially at 2:30 in the morning, on a moonless night? Enter "Blumpkin" 21, captain of the University rugby team, described as "insane, just indestructible."
He left his own party with friends who "thought it would be all ha, ha and funny" to take the canoe straight down Blacks Run Stream, to Blumpkin's old house.
Winds were gusting to 50 mph, as nearly a foot of rain fell on the Shenandoah Valley. The Boy Scout canoe merit badge says, "If in doubt... survey the water from shore. Do not run any but the mildest rapids unless you have a guide who knows the river. Wear life jackets in all rough water." Surely Blumpkin noticed that the knee-deep water of Blacks Run was now a flood churning higher than his head. Nevertheless he launched, and just as quickly capsized, the boat occpuants tossed into the swift storm-fed stream.
Our "indestructible" friend Blumpkin was sucked underwater twice, to resurface at dawn, 100 yards downstream with a Darwin Award clutched in his fist. His female companion managed to reach shore, as did his male companion, who knew it "wasn't a good idea from the start."
Whether alcohol or drugs were involved, Chief Peavy was not allowed to comment.
"Hopefully no relation, right?"
"Kinda sad. ahhh... Blumpkin. My college crush."
"Check it out! We made it! The guy from JMU who drowned in Blacks Run made the Darwin Awards. It's about weeding out the bad-braincell people so we can evolve into a better race quicker. Hope this guy gets it!"