Sunday, August 07, 2005

Boys canoes and bruises

On Friday, Dad's birthday, we went on a family canoeing trip. By family, I mean, my brother and his five friends, me, Mom and Dad. We went for a 13 mile canoe ride on the Jack's Fork River. It was very long, and I, as the odd number in the group, got to ride in the boat with my parents. (Let me let you in on a little secret: I hate canoeing.

I'm like the world's biggest canoeing geek. No matter what canoe I am in, whether I am paddling, or, like yesterday, just sitting, I always end up getting tumped out and then bruised into an unrecognizable pulp. Yesterday was no different.

The boys, distributed into three canoes of two men each, had a great time splashing each other, dumping each other out of the boats, and generally causing mayhem all the way down the river. I, with my usual overly developed guilty complex, sat in the boat with my parents and felt like a dumbass that they were paddling me around. (Though I did try a brief failed experiment and tried tubing down the river on my own. That was a bad idea, as the tube was very slow and would have taken hours to get anywhere. I finally tried getting a tow from two of the guys in our group, and that just slowed THEM down, so I got back in the boat with the folks.) We still managed to get dumped about 4 times, the last one, at the very end, being kind of traumatic as we were all so tired that we really found that we were unable to get the boat aright and get out of the tangle of trees and rooots that we were stuck in. Luckily some nice bystanders (who had just been in the same trap themselves) came and helped my brother and his friend extricate us from the dilema. It was scary there for a while. By this time we had been paddling for 8 hours, and Mom was worn out. I finally took the paddle from her (risking my Dad's ire, as he is pretty authoritative when it comes to paddling and suffers no fools) and we continued on to what we hoped was the end. Luckily, the end was right there, and Mom was understandably (and humorously) miffed that she had paddled the whole way, only to see me get the glory of the finishing lap in the last five minutes.

I lost everything I brought with me on that trip, including my shirt, my sunglasses, and, oddly, the rubber band holding my hair back. I am glad I had the forethought to bring only the bare minimum, and to wear my contact lenses, as, if I had lost my glasses, I would have been seriously upset.

The boys had a great time, everyone had sore muscles the next day, and I have re-affirmed my determination not to indulge in water activities unless they include an inner tube and beer, a fully staffed sail boat, or a couple of floaties and some nice mellow waves. I might try a rowing machine again some day, but canoes are definttiely not in the cards for me anymore.

Tomorrrow I go to Ft. Worth to see some family, and thence to Austin on Tuesday.

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