after surviving our last river activity/ canoeing debacle, by dragging and clawing our way down a long dry riverbed through the heat in the middle of nowhere, we decided to switch things up a bit for our next water adventure. on this fine, cool morning we would go for a much more relaxing and fun river experience – tubing.
we drove to another northern river and only one of us chose the optional life vest. after knowing how slowly the last river ‘moved’, we didn’t think there was a need for anything other than bug spray to protect us, and went so far as to actually make fun of my son-in-law who chose to wear the vest.
as everyone climbed into their tubes, i remembered how slow our canoe trip had been, so i chose to take my time. i tossed my sandals in and planned to leisurely hop aboard. as i turned to throw in the rest of my stuff, things quickly went bad –
in contrast to the canoe trip experience, this river actually moved! i saw everyone already floating down the river, along with my empty tube! i yelled to the group to grab mine and started running barefoot through the trail in the woods that ran parallel to the river. thinking they could easily stop it and pull it to the side, i kept running trying to catch up.
within moments, things got worse. my feet were cut up and bloody from the barefoot woods sprint, one of the group was in the middle of the freezing river, out of her tube and shrieking and crying as though she was being pulled under by a shark or had lost a limb, another was quickly carried off down the river in her tube, and my poor, long-suffering son in law, was trying to bring his tube to the bank of the river to pick me up, as my tube and sandals were long gone down the river.
somehow he and i managed to meet up further down the river and i jumped in, with us now sharing the small tube. we quickly went over to rescue my daughter from her disaster in the middle of the river and found she was hysterical from the sudden cold and a small scratch. there were no sharks anywhere around and she had all limbs still fully attached.
finding that everyone was alright, knowing that we’d eventually catch up to the rest, and seeing the whole scenario from this vantage point, led me to begin laughing uncontrollably, which in turn ‘may have caused me to wet our shared tube even more than it already was,’ causing my son-in law to start shrieking in horror at the thought and to jump out back into the freezing river rather than share a tube with me under these circumstances. (good thing he ignored our snide remarks and chose the vest)
my ‘shark victim’ daughter picked him up, led him to my original tube, now caught somewhere on the side, and soon we were all on our way again. most everyone was now pretty crabby, except for me, who could not stop laughing, only making things worse.
it was a fast and wild ride down that cold,cold river and quite a memorable family experience once again.
back at our cottage, after a couple of cocktails and some time had gone by, we ended this special day, with a performance of our ‘family follies,’ with each of us taking the role of another, as we re-enacted this latest activity. at last, everyone was laughing and what a wonderful day was had by all! i cannot wait for our next adventure –