uh huh. i think you know where i am going with this one. we started out on a three hour tour. literally. i told our friend who was watching bella that we were leaving at 11 and would be back at 2.
well, call us gilligan and the skipper, because our s.s. minnow took a trip into deliverance.
ok, well....it wasn't THAT bad. it was actually a ton of fun, despite the fact that it turned in to 7 hours, and at one point, i was pretty sure we were on the wrong river.
i'll start at the beginning.
we bought a canoe. yep, i asked for a boat. joel got me a canoe. well, it is a boat i guess. just not the one i was envisioning. so, we wanted to take our canoe out and break it in-joel plans an amazing trip, while i am urging him to tone it down. the last time i took out a canoe, we flipped over every time someone breathed too heavily. joel tells me, over and over again, that this canoe is better, more stable, and HE wasn't in the last canoe i was in. like that makes it better........
so he plans a "3 hour trip". it'll be easy! about 5 miles........or so. what's that honey?? oh, nothing. ::insert devilish laugh here:: at least this is how i would like to think it all played out. in reality, i think he really thought it would be a short trip.
so we get someone to watch bella ::thank you williams family!!!!!!:: strap the canoe onto the explorer, suit duke up with his life jacket and hit the open, er.....closed? seas. we get to our "put in" spot, and this is where things start to get tricky. our put in spot is actually someone's house. joel goes to ask if we can put in from their yard and the lady kindly refers him to a park "up the road a little ways". try 10 miles up the road! it's a quaint little town though, called juliette, home of towanda, the whistle stop cafe and fried green tomatoes. we see signs for "fishing boat and canoe launch". FINALLY. only.....don't celebrate too soon....there is a dam blocking our way down the river. so we drive around for another 30 minutes trying to find a place we can launch from. finally we drive down a dirt road and pull off onto some private property. yep. P-R-I-V-A-T-E. so we pull off far enough so we aren't seen and we load everything up and get going as quickly as possible.
yep. ready to go! excited to finally get in the water! our trip has been diverted a little, but we won't let that get us down. no siree!
and we're on our way! i've got the front. duke's holding it down in the middle and joel is el capitan! we are ready for adventure. or whatever comes our way.
cue rapids! these were pretty tame, and we made it without getting stuck or hitting rocks! after about the 3rd run, we are feeling like a super canoeing team! we hit a hard right, a hard left, and "jangle" back to the right. whatever that means. it's joel's word he made up to describe to me where to go. but we're in such a good mood that i accept his made up word, chuckle a little and keep going.
then we meet these guys. there were about 5 paths to choose here, and this is the one we chose. once we got to the other side, we were comforted by the fact that this was the least rocky of the choices. which is good because after being on the river for 2 hours already, we realize that THIS is where we were going to put in originally. by THAT calculation, we had at least 3 hours left. what we didn't know at the time was that, in reality, we had 5 hours left. (good thing we didn't know that, because i might have cried.)
so we decide to take a little break. duke absolutely enjoyed it, and didn't want to get back in the canoe (what's that they say about how dogs have a 6th sense? i think he was telling us something). this reinvigorated us and after about 20 minutes of playing on the beach, we hop back in our little boat and head on down the river.
for a while, we enjoyed beautiful houses, made some friends and even saw some turtles! then.....nothing. we hit a straight path in the river, and see.......nothing. no houses. no rocks. no landmarks. most importantly, no bridge. which is where we are taking our canoe out at. we realize we are in for a looong trip. it's been about 4 hours and we still see no signs of ANYTHING we recognize from the map.
at least we are in a good enough mood to joke. fast forward 2 hours. this is where i start thinking, maybe we took a wrong turn. ok, before you roll your eyes and say "but justine, it's a straight river!" understand that we were supposed to be off this stupid river 4 HOURS AGO! i hear more rapids and start stewing. until i realize it isn't rapids. IT'S A MOTORCYCLE! which means...dun dun dun. A ROAD! we turn a corner and about half a mile up ahead we see..........THE BRIDGE!!!!!! i felt like someone stranded on a dessert island, you know, with the coconuts on the beach, spelling out "S.O.S"? then the helicopter comes and starts to land. yeah. it was like that.
the rest of the story is pretty uneventful. we pull up, tie our canoe to a tree and then go get the cars. all in all, it was pretty awesome. we bonded, the baby stayed with someone other than me for 9 1/2 hours (!!!!!!!), and to top that off, she didn't cry the whole time! we learned a lot yesterday (the biggest lesson was, always bring water. and snacks) and we had a good time doing it. so moral of this story? plan ahead. and plan for the worst. oh. and bring a gps.