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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Canoeing The New River...

Last Saturday we took the boys canoeing.  Have y'all seen the movie Grumpy Old Men?  Because seriously, the sight and sound of those two starting off down the river together in a canoe as they bickered to beat the band was just like watching Jack Lemmon's and Walter Matthou's characters in that movie, minus the age.  I think I'm going to see if I can get them their own reality show called Grumpy Young Bros.

Dracen's anxiety level had already peaked before we ever got off the bank when the guy said anyone under 13 had to wear a life jacket (it's the law).  He was not going to have any of it, therefore an early morning attitude adjustment was deemed necessary. 
We had two canoes and a one man kayak for the five of us... three adults, and the two grumpy young bros.  Dracen wanted needed desperately to start off in the kayak but since he was in the middle of getting his attitude adjustment for the I ain't wearin' no stinkin' life jacket fit he pitched, Uncle Dave hopped in the waiting kayak which put him in a canoe with Devin and Charlie and I in the other canoe.
This lasted for all of sixty seconds before we were all pulling over on the bank so Dave could switch places with Dracen, giving him control of the kayak...
Being the captain of his own ship went a long way in reducing the level of little brother anxiety he was experiencing but Devin refused to let up, harassing him each time he got close enough.  We could not paddle fast enough. 
I didn't realize how far sound can travel on a river, which was really more like a very wide creek.  We had to get out of the canoe and push several times because the water was so shallow in some places we kept getting stuck. 
After lunch Dracen allowed the kayak to head back down the river without him or anyone else in it, another time he allowed his paddle to go off down the river solo, leaving him to paddle with his hands and the rest of us to chase it down the river in our canoes that continued to get stuck (it felt like we were in The Amazing Race at one point), and yet another time he managed to get stuck on a big rock, allowing his kayak to go off without him.  

Charlie and I heard, "Guys!  Hey, guys!"  and looked back to see Dracen standing on that giant rock as his kayak headed down the river, forcing us to paddle upstream in order to rescue him as Devin and Dave went off to rescue the kayak.
I know this one is a little out of focus but I was laughing hysterically while trying to dock my canoe on the side of a rock.  
That's when I waded across the river and took my own turn in the kayak since Dracen was clearly wanting back in a canoe but really didn't want Devin getting another turn in the kayak either.

That's when they both ended up in the canoe with Dave, bless his heart. Lucky for him though, our ten miles was nearing completion at that point.  

All in all, it was a successful trip although Dracen, to hear him tell it, narrowly escaped a snake attack once.  I have to admit, I would have been terrified myself had I been in his shoes boat.  Charlie and I were a little ways ahead of him when we heard a blood curdling scream and turned to see him standing up in the kayak yelling out, "SNAKE!!!  IT'S COMING AFTER ME! IT'S ATTACKING ME!" 

I spotted it swimming toward his kayak (it looked like a non-poisonous black snake from where I was sitting) and then saw it going under his kayak and popping up on the other side.  Once we got him to see that it was already on the other side of his kayak and swimming for the bank, he sat back down but swore it was a cobra aiming to kill him before it had a change of heart at the last second. 

At the end of our ten miles, the Zaloo's Canoes bus, van and crew were waiting to carry us all back to the shop.  We were the first ones back so got first pick of the seats, choosing the van over the big blue bus.  
Both boys caught some Zzz's on the two hour drive home... I was smart enough to sit between them in the backseat so we were able to avoid any additional squabbles.  

It was, in the end, a fun trip and I'd do it again.  Only next time I'll get two kayaks and pack something stronger than Diet Dr. Pepper in that big red cooler.  I'm just sayin'...


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  1. That pic of the kayak floating alone done the river cracks me up because I could easily replace my son in the picture. The last time we went kayaking, we got a double kayak and Matthew basically let me do all the work while he sat up front giving me directions. So helpful.

  2. We got a kayak this summer. When we can finally get the kids situated at school, I think RY and I will take it out. The boys have been out twice.

    I've actually been wanting the whole family to go white water rafting but after hearing about your time on the river, maybe we can wait until next year:)

  3. I am so glad you were able to work out a boat arrangement. It looks like a beautiful place!

  4. I am cracking up, because this is EXACTLY how things would have gone with my 2 boys. Arguing and bickering and not able to keep their hands to themselves. I'm shaking my head, because I KNOW exactly what that ride down the river was like. Bwhahahahahahaha. Glad they didn't scare you into never trying again. :)

  5. Floating the river...Family Fun at its Finest!

  6. That looks like a lot of fun... we have a family snake story as well... my uncle just referred to it when we were camping last week and had me doubled over hysterically laughing at my mom's expense.

    And life jackets...same uncle doesn't make me 11 year old cousins wear one on his boat, but yes, it is the law, which sends my dad into fits when they give lip about wearing one in his boat!

  7. We took the boys canoe-ing when we got back from Florida. No way I'd take my camera on the boat with me... I was SOAKED!

    And you can tell your son that WE ALL HAD TO WEAR LIFE JACKETS. Something about the ocean currents... sharks... blah.. blah... blah...

    Looks like you all had a fabulous time!

  8. Looks like fun and you got some awesome pictures out of it!