June 28, 2010

Not So Lazy River

This started last summer... we were at the River with Eric skipping stones and Eric told tales to my boys, tales of rafting and tubing down rivers. And the boys were all wide eyed and said, "REALLY?"

Flash forward to four weeks ago, as this summer's plans were congealing, I heard from one of them, "Oh! And Mom! Tell Eric we want to go TUBING this year!" to which Eric, upon hearing this emailed back, "Are you SURE?" and to which, my being a "Hell Yeah! I'll try anything ONCE kind gal" said, "Hell Yeah!"

And as Eric found a place for us to tube/raft, a place he was familiar with, having rafted there last summer, he said again, "Are you SURE?" to which I now, a bit nervous of the question coming again said, "Sure! It'll be fun!"

And then there was the email last week that said something like, "Just so you know, the water is 55 degrees...and I'm not tubing... I'm getting a raft for me... and you have to be 12 to get a tube..."

Or something like that.

So then we realized that Bones would be rafting with Eric, and so I said that I'd definitely raft with Eric, tubing NOT sounding all that fun to me, in particular in 55 degree water, and the older boys would be tubing.

And to add a little background here, when Ringo and Mr. T get together, there are times they are a lot like Crash and Eddie, those nasty little opossum from Ice Age 2. They're all noise and mischief.

We get the raft and the two tubes and the boys get to the river and set a toe in it, look at each other and said, "We'll raft...", so Eric tied the tubes to the raft and we all got in, with the tubes tied to the back. And although the water was so dang cold I was hunting for icebergs in the event we might... hit one... it was also hotter than three hells, so 15 minutes into it, Ringo dropped into a tube. All but 10 minutes later Mr. T joined him.

Now Eric informed us it was a 2-3 hour float. The woman at the raft place told us that we were always to stay to the left of any island we couldn't see around, because to go to the right meant you'd get stuck on rocks because the rapids were shallower and there were more of them.

And I guess it was probably after hour one that the not so better part of my personality came out. I know it... I know I'm high strung, overly competitive and 'too assertive' at times. I know it. I'm working on it. Really. For my boys...

But here is the difference between Eric and my personalities. He appreciates his surroundings. I get consumed... by time.

This was an hour into our rafting excursion, with Thing 1 and Thing 2 tethered to the back of us, carrying on, banging into each other, screaming up to Bones to pass them beef jerky and what not.

An hour into our rafting excursion where we had already gotten stuck on rocks, had to cut the boys away at one point, only to join up with them later and retie them to us.

An hour into our rafting excursion where my arms were already starting to hurt.

Read his in a slow Southern drawl. Read mine very fast and high strung with a light Gulf Coast accent.

Eric (remember, read laid back): Would you like to switch places sit so you can look out and see how beautiful everything is?

Me (read this FAST and assertive): Nooo. I want to figure out how long its going to take to get the hell out of here!

Or later... out of the blue:

Me (fast and assertive): So you said this is a 2 to 3 hour float. Where do you think we are? Are we paddling like a 2 hour float or a 3 hour float? Is a 3 hour float just floating? Do you think we'll do this in 2 and a half hours?

Eric: *blink*

Then there was the time we were floating and I was just... Toast. I was done. I finally flopped into the boat and said, "I'm done..."

Eric said, "Right, we're on strike until there are better working conditions..."

Which was GREAT, until we all started floating into a bank, under some trees into not good territory. Good feeling gone!

I think what was funniest though, was when we were looking for this big green tent thing which was the end point, that we were supposed to be able to see for a LONG LONG ways away, and finally it was JUST THERE and I realized that we had been on the right side nearly the ENTIRE way... which would definitely explain all the times we got stuck on the rocks... which was A LOT. Remember the part about the water being iceberg cold???


A good time was had by all. Really. The boys had a blast and I learned... that next year we're going back to the other river to skip rocks.

Holy crap. I'm beat...

Posted by Boudicca at June 28, 2010 09:59 PM

Ha, All I could hear was me and the redhead in that conversation... Seems like every weekend I have a similar conversation with her... My southern drawl, her impatience.
Sounds as though you had fun though, and that's what counts.

Posted by: K-Nine at June 28, 2010 10:33 PM

.... I had a most wonderful time, ma'am..... I dinged my right knee a bit and my back is sore, but it was still a good, laughing day on the river.....

... next year we should go gliding.... hahahhhah!...

Posted by: Eric at June 29, 2010 07:10 AM

Heh! You ought to do the Ocoee. You go down with a professional guide steering and barking orders. There are some awesome rapids. I've done it three times. The last time was after my accident when I was a cripple. I took my mom down when she was in her 70's. Both of us have done the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon so the Ocoee is a little tame after that.

Posted by: Denny at June 29, 2010 12:20 PM

I'm just sitting here laughing - I can see it all.

Posted by: Teresa at June 29, 2010 01:19 PM

baw hahahaha. I can picture that perfectly.

Posted by: vwbug at June 29, 2010 01:36 PM

Hey Bou...cold water...good thing you don't have nuts.

@Denny, like you, I've done both the Colorado and the Ocoee, and you are absolutely correct. Rafting through the Grand Canyon is the Catdaddy. The Grand Canyon is a big ditch...makes the Colorado look like a creek.

Posted by: Yabu at June 30, 2010 07:48 AM


You did the TVA Power Station river didn't you?! Turn the river on in the morning and off at night. You should really stay to the left.

I did that as a teenager in a canoe with a pretty cute crew.

Posted by: Curtis at July 3, 2010 07:36 PM

Curtis - Yeah it's fun taking the bus up by the empty bed in the morning and all of a sudden seeing the water come down after they turn it on.

Posted by: Denny at July 5, 2010 10:31 PM