My kayak adventure
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Oh boy :-) I had an adventorous weekend!
I drove up to the kayak/camp place Saturday morning with kiki my dog. Had Josh (the boyfriend who went up friday night and camped) get a tandem kayak so that she (kiki) could come with me :-) Prior to my arrival everyone had decided what trip we were going to take. I failed to double check what they had decided... but the driver told us it would take about 5 hours (everyone else was on intertubes, I was the only kayak) so I didn't worry too much.
We got on the water at 1pm. Kiki LOVED the kayak!, however Josh isisted that we all tie the tubes to the kayak... which didn't allow me to do anything but float down the river... which apparently is what they wanted to do... I wanted to actually kayak (paddle) but I compromised and just relaxed.
Josh also insisted on stopping every 20 minutes on the sandbars... about 4 hours goes by and we haven't even made it to the half way point... people start to get cranky and disconnect their tubes from the kayak to continue down the river without us, because they were tired of stopping especially considering the halfway point hadn't appeared yet... and the sun was going down... meaning it was going to get cold soon. I of course had no choice but to stay with Josh, even despite my own wishes... I coudln't just leave him on a tube in the river.... my morals came into play.
So by now it is 6pm... the sun is setting and it's just me, Josh, the dog and 1 other friend on a tube. Josh gets cold, and gets in the kayak... leaving the dog on my lap... uncomfortable doesn't even begin to discribe how I am feeling at that point. I am hungry (didn't have time to grab a real lunch.. a lunchable and some cookies is what I eat on the way up there... also had a poptart on the river earlier in the day)... AND Josh just got me soaking wet, and filled the kayak with water when he got in... so now I am freezing sitting in a pool of COLD water as well... with a cold, tired shivering dog on my lap. I get the life jackets and situate them so that kiki is laying on them up out of the water... shivering dog isn't adding to my comfort :-)
Josh keeps insisting that the halfway point must be right around the corner... until a canoe pulls up and asks where we are heading... we tell them the name of the halfway point and they say "Oh wow, you still have atleast another 3hrs until you get there"... and that's just the HALF WAY point... I get cranky and make the decision that Josh and I are going to paddle... and tow the tubes that we have with us back. Josh trys to argue... but I put my foot down and tell him that he doesn't have a choice.
About a half hour goes by and we run into 2 more of our friends. They tell us that 1 of the tubers went out on his own... he was cold and wanted to get to the end ASAP. And that the remaining 2 tubers hitched a ride on that canoe when the canoe told them that it was another 3hrs to the halfway point...
So, we the two of them tie on and Josh and I continue to paddle.... we run into the lone tuber who is almost hysterical... let him tie on and we keep on paddleing.
Let's just tell you that EVERYONE is drunk... but since I do not drink, I was 100% sober... so I am trying to calm EVERYONE down.... all the girlfriends are crying and yelling at the boyfriends... and EVERYONE is mad at Josh.... who is so drunk is being pretty inaffeciant in paddling... I never stop my rowing... he stops off and on... I am determined to get to that halfway point.
Darkness sets in... although the sunset was beautiful... it just caused more panic in everyone. This was not a life threatning situation... just everyone was more worked up due to the alcohol I think.
Bats begin swooping us... yup, real live bats. All I can do at this point is laugh... it's pitch black, we cant see 10 feet ahead of us... we are now pulling 4 people, and 2 coolers... and the bats are swooping our heads! I keep telling everyone to try and stay calm, that once we get to the half way point I will find us a way back to the campground via LAND.... they all insist I go over and over how I plan to do that. I tell them that first we will call our friends who hooked up with the canoe... maybe they have made it back already and come get us... if that doesn't work I'll try a cab... if that doesn't work I am pretty sure this qualifies as an emergency situation... tubes can not be on the water at night I reason, so I will call the police as a last resort. They seem sort of satisfied with my answers, and that calmed them all down a little.
I continue to paddle even while Josh stops... and even make them sing row row row your boat with me... I got alot of gruff for that, but I think it made them laugh.
We finally see the car lights, and can hear our friends calling us (the two that got the ride with the canoe)... we hear them about a mile away... so Josh gives up paddleing reasoning that we are almost there... I continue to paddle... I want everyone out of the water as soon as possible... I know how uncomfortable I am... and I am not actually in the water as they are... plus I imagine the alcohol in their systems was not helping!
Once we arrive to the bridge/campground/halfway point... the driver from the kayak rental place is there with an entier search and resuce team... they had been in place for 2hours looking and waiting for us. Turns out they caluclated the hourage of the trip wrong by accident, realized it and had posted at the halfway point waiting for us. By this point I have paddled for 2.5hours straight.... and dont forget, I had lifted weights for my upper body the day before. Surprisingly I think I could have made it the next 3hrs on the kayak had I needed to... I wasn't too tired. EVERYONE was glad to be back in that van headed back to our campsite! I had a hard time sleeping because I was (still am) completely sore from me ears to my hips... and can barely move....
We drove home today... I got home at 1pm... took a shower and laid down for a nap.. hurt, sore, exhausted... and I just woke up at 7pm... I think my body was trying to tell me something :-)
But, just had to share my experiance. And Donna if you read this, be sure to put in your book that the women double check the mans plans ALWAYS :-) to prevent situations like this one from occuring.
I will never forget the bats :-), singing row row row your boat... or the inexperianced people behind me praying (seriously)... it just showed me how much of an outdoors person I can be... and how positive I am. I knew nothing bad would happen, I knew I could get us to a safe place and I just focused on that... and although pulling 4 people behind us I never gave up or complained about having to do it :-) It is a life experiance I think I learned alot from :-)