Floaters, paddleboarders surprised by truck in river near Aspen
July 4, 2014
A commercial truck in the middle of the Roaring Fork River — it's an unusual sight, at least as far as the section of the river near Aspen is concerned.
Yet there it was on Wednesday afternoon, a vehicle belonging to Eco-Right Solutions, a Carbondale company specializing in noxious-weed management. Paddleboarders and boaters simply steered around it as they were making their way downriver a few miles east of Aspen.
It wasn't much of an inconvenience, according to those who dealt with the truck in their river path.
"We were floating the Roaring Fork this afternoon," Aspen resident Kirstin Klein said in an email Wednesday. "We put our rafts in at the Wildwood school at around 12:30. We saw the truck in the river with the hood up around 1:15 — it appeared broken down but there were no people working on the truck. We were able to navigate (around) it.
"It seemed odd as there didn't appear to be any road leading to the river in this spot."
James McMillian, an employee of the company, said the truck was contracted to do some work on private property near the river when it got stuck during an attempted crossing. It was only in the river for a few minutes before a tow truck arrived and removed it, he said. There was no mechanical breakdown of the vehicle, McMillian added.
Shaine Ebrahimi, owner of local paddleboard-rental company Shaboomee, said he was paddling in the area with his girlfriend when they came across the truck. No one was with the truck at the time.
Ebrahimi said there appeared to be a small vehicle path on each side of the river near the truck.
"It was no trouble at all," he said. "It was more of a surprise. I've been floating [that area] since 1995. I've never seen a sight like that on any river I've ever floated."
Ebrahimi said the truck was sitting in about 2 feet of water. There was no threat of danger to floaters or paddlers nor any indication of anything leaking into the river, he said.
"It looked like a simple misjudgment," he said. "No harm done."
Pitkin County Undersheriff Ron Ryan said Wednesday that he had not heard of any reports of a commercial truck in the river east of Aspen.