Thursday, July 10, 2014

Was it worth two cell phones and a key fob, and a little bit of dignity? Hell Yeah.

The long holiday weekend was upon us.

Geoff has been bored out of his mind stir-crazy since school got out. He wanted to apply for a job, and several places took his application but no one hired him. And in 2 weekends he's off to camp so it hardly seems worthwhile at this point for him to go get a summer job.

I was starting to feel awful, because my body hurts (mostly my legs, still) and I'm tired easily. I'm afraid this is the new normal for me. Since I got this job, which I do love and I love the money, and I'm happy there, I just haven't been able to make time to go to the gym. I miss Carrie, I miss riding the exercise bikes and bitching about everything with someone who gets it. I needed to get out and do something... fun.

Saturday morning I suggested to Doug that we go out on a canoe trip on the Ipswich River, take the "short" tour, rent one canoe so all 3 of us can go in it... just get out and have some fun. And I do love to canoe. I love it. I love not paddling and just sitting and looking at things. I love paddling to get away from things. I love when there is a challenging bit of river that you have to navigate through and work with your partner. It's fun.

And, it doesn't require my legs. While I'd love to go hike a mountain, or even a hill, I don't think that I can make it. It sucks.

So Doug agreed with me, we grabbed some sandwiches and a cooler, got a 6 pack of local beer, and headed to the put-in. We rented a canoe, I asked for a 17 ft canoe and they didn't have one so we got a 10 ft.  Which immediately was not a good idea but... we wanted to get out on the river!

We hopped in, pushed off, and started up the Ipswich. Beautiful day. Kind of a head wind, but with two paddlers working hard it's not a problem.

Until you start to approach the boughs of a tree hanging down over the water.

By "you" I mean "me."

I called back to Doug and said "Hey, Hey.... Um... we're going into some branches." And we did. And they weren't just branches that kind of whisk gently over your head, maybe knock your hat off. Make you giggle.

They were some serious fuck you in the face branches. And by "you" I mean... yeah.

The branch hit me in the face, and I grabbed it to kind of
  1. slow us down and 
  2. prevent it from swinging back and seriously smacking Geoff in the face, as he was the rider in the middle. 

The canoe didn't slow down, because Doug was paddling hard. So there's me holding on to the branch, which wasn't a branch it was a total huge tree part, and getting pulled OUT of the canoe, and that was when the whole canoe just went sideways.

And we all ended up in the water, with our stuff.

Now, without a sense of humor and the love for ridiculous, this would piss a lot of people off. Like my son. Who was livid. But ... no one got hurt (me a little, but the sting of the branch was quickly forgotten when I got dunked). No one was bleeding. And we were all standing chest deep in the river, a very gentle river, where no one was being washed away or drowning. The water was a lovely temperature, and no one laughed too hard at us as they paddled by.

We got the canoe righted and over to shore, dumped the water out and got back in.

We had a dry bag with us, inside my backpack.

Only, the only thing IN the dry bag was my camera. I had taken my cell phone out to start tracking the miles on the trip on, and I thought while I was paying for the canoe rental Doug had put his wallet, phone and keys in the dry bag. But he had not.


We continued on our journey, went a couple miles, had lunch. Doug's legs kept cramping up but I was perfectly happy and joyful... Geoff kept fearing that the canoe would spill again. It wasn't really built for 3 adults. More like 2 adults and one small child. But we made due, and it was beautiful.

 Our canoe loves us.
 My mountain men on the shore while we ate lunch. I stayed in the canoe.
 The only Green Heads that we had to think about, which for this season on the Ipswich River is a good thing!
 Our map got wet. And ruined.
 But ... it was so beautiful and tranquil...
This was the only traffic jam we sat through. 

We saw tons of wildlife. The dragonflies were outstanding, so many dancing along the water. Fish were jumping. There was a huge gaggle of geese, and we had to wait for them to "cross the road." Other canoes sat there too and little kids were losing their minds. It totally made me smile. A small beaver swam along ahead of us and then went under the river bank ahead of us. There were huge beautiful yellow finches in one of the trees just singing and dancing.

I'm glad we got the chaos and disorder over in the first five minutes of the trip and then could enjoy the rest of it not worrying about it happening.

We got to the car and our key fob was soaking wet so we couldn't unlock the car with it. Doug used the key, and we got in and closed the doors. When he started the car the alarm went off and we drove through Ipswich for a while with the horn beeping. This amused Geoff greatly.

The beeping stopped and we figured the car was happy. We stopped for gas and when Doug opened the car door the alarm went off again. Several people stopped what they were doing and stood there and gawked at us. So we just drove away. We got home, and got out of the car, where the alarm once again sounded... Doug finally got it semi-disconnected so it doesn't go off all the time.

The key fob dried out in a container of rice. But the horn keeps chirping and wanting to beep and go off full force. Oh, the humor. Until someone thinks we're beeping at them and gets out of traffic and comes and punches us in the face.

I had a great time canoeing... We'll go do this again, I'm sure. For as long as we've lived in this area, we've never gone down the Ipswich. Next time, we will rent kayaks and have them take us to Middleton to the launch site up there, and with a kayak, if you fall out or over or whatever, you're the only one responsible. No one can blame you for anything. And, everything will be in the dry bag, I promise.

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