Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Man overboard!

Yes, we were! The remnants at left only hint at the african queen-like barge we concocted yesterday for our Susquehanna River floatilla.

We actually had two 5-man rafts, 1 personal-size raft, 2 innertubes, 2 seat-like floaty things and 1 throne-like "comfort lounge". All roped together. Oh, it was a sight to behold.

How many were in our party, you ask? Um, only four, and certainly old enough to know better. I guess we wanted to be prepared for anything as we drifted 9 miles down the river on the hottest day of the summer.

We also had 5 oars, two bags of junk including snorkle equipment, cigar and lighter, keys, sunblock and snacks and a cooler full of bottled water and a couple sodas. Oh, and two golf umbrellas. Yeah, I laughed at Chris when he suggested it, but you can't imagine the relief we enjoyed from the shade they provided. It reached the high 90's, but we were able to be pretty oblivious to that - thank goodness.

You just have to picture it all. I only wish I could have brought my camera (but that would have really been foolish). Our ropes got tangled a few times. The current was extremely fast and made it almost impossible to get a foot hold in even the more shallow water! And it was a whole lot easier getting OUT of the rafts (and other floating devices) than back IN them! All of this provided great amusement for the relaxed onlookers.

Yes, it often seemed like something out of a slapstick comedy, but we enjoyed the heck out of ourselves. First of all, the setting was gorgeous. It was a cloudless day on the beautiful Susquehanna River, which meanders through the forests and fields of mountainous central PA. There were ducks and herons and a continuous serenade of bird songs. And when we weren't transferring from one floating implement to the other or fighting over who got the umbrellas, it was sooooo lovely to just drift along - whether stretched out in a raft, hanging over a tube or just letting nothing but the current carry you as you yielded your body to the cool water.

It only took four hours - the shortest time ever for us. No surprise taking into account the high and swift water. We emerged from the river in pretty good condition - very minimally burned, one rock-bruised ankle and HUNGRY. After we filled our tummies, exhaustion took over. As for me, I took a brief nap that extended into an all-nighter. As nice as it was floating on the river all day, the bed sure felt good!!

Maybe next time we'll go a little less overboard with equipment, but there will be a next time! And, man, we will be overboard!
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