Saturday found me standing on the edge of a creek in Maryland surrounded by over a hundred people clutching oversized colorful inner tubes, and wondering where my friends were. We were herded like cattle into a rope coral in the water until everyone was floating, and then released to float down the river for about 4 miles.
Our group hung onto eachother until tubes had spread out a little and then the PFDs could be wrenched off to be used as backrests, and then we relaxed.
There's nothing quite so stress relieving as bobbing down a river oblivious of anything else other than stretching out with a beer in one hand and listening to the gentle lap of the water while catching some rays. On this particular excursion however, relaxation was not easily come by. A hundred people swirling and bumping downstream was quite a sight and entertaining, but not relaxing. I gave up that notion early on and decided to have fun by laughing with pals, swimming alongside my floating family, and at one point, by being dragged along underneath my upturned tube because my wrist was caught in the strap. What larks!
We stopped for lunch at a field where everyone parked their tubes on the grass and plonked down in them and patiently waited for their chicken and potato salad to be handed out. Once tummies were filled, we were herded again into the water to resume our journey.
Some lads had fun jumping from this tree into the river, but most of us by now were content to just sit back and watch the river banks pass slowly by. We had a little excitement when Jon kindly pointed out that I had a spider the size of a dinner plate on my leg. Panic ensued as everyone tried to paddle frantically in every direction away from me. The spider nonchalantly walked on the water towards the bank, scoffing at our displays of cowardice.
After nearly 6 hours, we reached our exit point, clambered out onto the bank and plopped with soggy bums onto vinyl seats of old school buses for the drippy ride back to our cars.
A great way to enjoy the water, but I wouldn't recommend taking a book!
3 weeks ago