Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fun and Frolicks on the River

Sunday was another hot and very humid day, perfect for tubing down the Shenandoah River with Emily, Elizabeth, Steve and Margie. We were dumped at the side of the river by our bus driver and took so long titivating and fiddling and discussing the best way to float along together that another bus had pulled up and was tipping out more tubers before we'd even got a toe in the water. We finally decided that it was best to all tie our personal tubes to our large cooler tube so that we became like a huge raft and were all able to reach over to the beer, of which we seemed to have rather a lot of, and snacks.
A quick pose on the bank and then were were off. The water seemed a little cool to start off but we soon forgot about that.
We had all manged to secure tubes with beer holders, a very important feature when you need hands free to nibble snacks, smoke cigars, take photos, or generally fool around.
Cheers from all as we merrily bobbed downriver. Elizabeth, for some reason, had the hardest time in determining which way we were going and often thought we were traveling upstream. I did sit and ponder over this for a few minutes but gave up, and chose to accept her just the way she was, and love her regardless.
Steve managed to lose an unopened beer can in the water and good ole Margie, bless her cotton socks, dove in and swam furiously after the errant drink, standing triumphant once she'd caught the can. Emily and I had failed to even lift a finger, we were too relaxed for that kind of commotion, and I think Elizabeth would have got lost if she'd gone...
We were also very fortunate in that the sun wasn't blazing down today. It sometimes peeked out from a cloud, just to assure us that it was still there and had every intention of keeping us warm, but it was lovely not to be blinded or burned by its blazing rays.
We had a few little ruckuses where we tumbled over rocks, poking up through small rills but for the most part it was a smooth and pleasantly slow ride, during which we had plenty of time for laughs as we shared out our beers and munchies.
But even though we were moving so slowly down the river, it seemed that we were approaching the finish line too fast, and so we stopped at a small bank, climbed out of our tubes and parked ourselves in the river instead.
Elizabeth looking for the widget in the bottom of her Boddingtons can.
It's rather apparent from the photos that we were having glorious fun. The water was crystal clear and the perfect temperature. We sat for a long time, drinking, munching, laughing, and watching other folks pass us by. We also noticed after a while, probably as our skin softened, that there were tiny leech like critters that clamped onto us and manged to give little nips. None of us liked this discovery too much so we decided to carry on, since they only seemed to latch onto us while we were keeping still.
Looking upriver, so peaceful and empty. I think we may have been the last ones left in the river.
The many changing landscapes of the river bottom on our journey.
We only had a hundred yards or so until we reached our finishing point and so we all laid back in our tubes, and closed our eyes, lapping up the sun and letting our big rubber raft slowly Float On. But I snuck open one eye and saw responsible Steve and Margie climb out and gradually tug us towards the bank. And then a voice boomed out, "Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!" from one of the outfitter's staff, and our watery voyage ended
A funny sign in the Ladies back at the outfitters.
We soon got changed into dry clothes then headed into Front Royal to have dinner. Stopping at Joe's Steakhouse seemed like a good plan as they had lovely outside seating and the last time I'd been here the food had been great. And so we sat outside and ordered our drinks. And waited, and waited. It seemed that our lazy slow moving day was to extend into our evening, but finally our waiter brought them out and took our order.
We ordered mussels for starters and put in our main courses. And waited, and waited. Our previous lackadaisical attitude seemed to have rubbed off onto our waiter as he showed zero contrition when we commented on our delay of service. Whatever, the food at least was very good and we managed to gee him up a little when we wanted to leave. And as the day gave way to dusk, it was a car of tired pals that all looked forward to soft pillows at the end of our journey home.


Elizabeth said...

Such a fun day! Thanks for posting the photos and story.

Debby Karalee said...

You're welcome, you were a great laugh!