Mile 99 - Tuna Creek Rapids
It is always a relief to make it through Crystal, nonetheless in this part of the canyon the whitewater carries on in rapid succession. Tuna Creek, with upper and lower sections, never fails at producing a number of foaming waves. Below the upper section, the river races towards Esmeralda’s Elbow, a pronounced left-hand turn in the river. In 1950, a hard-hulled motorized boat called the Esmeralda II became pinned to the right wall in Lower Tuna Rapid. During the ordeal, Willie Taylor was thrown from the craft and into the river. His fellow mates tossed him a line, which subsequently wrapped around his neck. Most concerned about getting Willie safely out of the river and less concerned about his neck and air supply, the crew reeled him in. Back in the boat and sputtering for air, Willie was safe and after a few moments was breathing just fine. Since then, Lower Tuna Rapid is often referred to as Willie’s Necktie.