Sunday, July 12, 2009

Epic Float Trip

So... My friend Amy invited Jody and I to go floating down the Saluda River with her, her boyfriend and some of their (i.e. HIS) friends. The plan was to meet around 1:00 this afternoon, rent tubes and head down the river. We were both looking forward to the trip, and were ready to go.

As Jody and I were eating brunch, Jody let me know that his throat was hurting and he also started wondering about other peoples swimming skills, etc. He started acting leery to go. So, we gracefully (I hope) backed out, and Amy seemed understanding. We were a bit concerned about Jody spending a good deal of time in the water if he was fighting off something. (good thinking right?)

But, I was still a little disappointed that we weren't going to go. So, Jody went and picked up a 4person inflatable boat, borrowed 2 life jackets from friends, loaded up on Gatorade and away we (at least tried) went! We were going to be in a boat.. out of the water.. what could go wrong?

First off.. We tried to inflate the raft at home. Our friends were kind enough to loan up a pump, but it really didn't have enough juice to inflate the whole thing. So, it's nice and full, and Jody tries to put it in the back of the station wagon (don't ask me why...).. It doesn't fit, so he pulls it out.. and snags it. *sigh* So, we find the repair kit that came with the boat, glue NOT included. So, a quick trip to the store for glue, back home, and we fix the boat.

Drop off the station wagon over by the zoo for when we get out and drive on over to where we were going to put in. The boat was leaking a little bit, but we put some more glue on it and into the river we went.

It was so beautiful and peaceful. We saw an odd conglomeration of floats/boats/rafts up ahead of us, a few kayak's passed us, but we were pretty much alone on the river. The river was a little low, so we hit a few rocks.. no big deal. Right?

We ended up hitting a few more rocks, and actually getting "anchored" as Jody called it. We thought we heard a noise at that point, but we were only about halfway down the river, and there wasn't much we could do. At that point, we didn't seem to be losing air.

We keep going, seeing LOTS of turtles, a blue heron, some fish jumping. We'd been in the river for about 2.5 hours when we realize we were losing air, kinda quickly. We found a shallow spot, and we both hopped out, leaving the cooler, drinks and oars in the boat. We walk for a bit in the water, until we get to a point where we can't find the bottom. Oh yeah.. did I mention I can't really swim???? Yeah.. I can't. Fortunately, I have the life jacket on and I'm holding onto the side of the boat. We find ANOTHER shallow spot and Jody insists that I get back into the boat and he will tow it, with me in it.

I reluctantly get in, knowing that's way too much to ask of him, but not knowing what else to do. By this point, the main part of the boat sides are still holding out, but every time I move, I take on more water. Finally, I have to just lie still in the boat as Jody has the rope looped around his shoulder and swims. Jody swims and walks for about a mile or more, when we see a lady standing on the shore asking if she could help by this time.. well, the only thing that still had air in it was one channel in the floor of the raft, and the small side wall. It was crazy! OF COURSE we take her up on it. Who wouldn't by that point? I tried to climb out of the boat, but my legs didn't want to work. *sigh* I felt like such a doofus! We get to her truck, and ride in the back because we are both soaking wet at this point. Remember part of the reason we didn't go tubing was so that Jody could stay out of the water and {mostly} dry. That plan worked, right?

Let me say, Jody was a trooper! I cannot believe that he pulled me so far. I kept worrying about how the boat would drift over his legs and torso as he was pulling me.. I kept apologizing to him for it, and instead of getting upset about it, all he would say was "it's not like you can control the boat" *sigh* We certainly had an adventure!

All in all, it was a fun day. We would like to do it again.. in a sturdier boat that is!

Stay tuned for drama at the daycare.. I'll try and fill y'all in on Monday or Tuesday night....

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