A Grim, Difficult Task

Listen Now

The trouble began back in July. That’s when 23 year old Kimberly Appelson went rafting down the Arkansas River with friends. Just north of Buena Vista, things went wrong. She fell out of the boat and drowned in Frog Rock Rapid. Appelson’s body is still trapped underwater. Ranger Stew Pappenfort and his crew have been trying for three months to recover her body. Nothing has worked. So they’re left with trying something extraordinary: Using heavy equipment to build a temporary dam. But rangers aren't interested in altering the rapid to make it safer. Colorado Public Radio’s Sadie Babits recently spoke with to Pappenfort about the story. And to understand how this recovery will work, you first have to understand Frog Rock Rapid.