Adventure On The River: Part 1
I mentioned yesterday that Tara, Tyler, and I would be going tubing, remember? We did. Around 4 in the afternoon we arrived at the Georgi (a local art museum/park near the river in Shushan). This would be our launching point. We were armed with 3 big tractor tire tubes we had rented from a boer goat farm up the road and had parked another truck a few miles downstream. The plan was simple. Get in, float to truck 2, return tubes. Easy, right?
Well, let's just say I don't have a great sense of direction. At least not when it comes to something as wild and winding as a river on a summer day. Hiking or on horseback I am practically Sacajawea, but in a sun-kissed river with forests and cliff edges on both sides I am as much a foreigner as a "local" can be….
After three hours of happy floating, talking, and laughing the sky was starting to darken and storm clouds were gathering behind us. I realized (feeling it in the pit of my stomach) that I had not seen another tuber, canoe, or kayak in miles) and was starting to wonder why the short trip was taking so long. Eventually we floated past a campsite where a man was building a cook fire for his daughters and himself to enjoy the setting sun. I hollered out. "How far are we from 313?" and the guy just gaped a while before responding back, "You are HOURS away from 313!" and then I took my turn gaping back. Inconceivable! We had left my truck near the swimming area a few miles from my house and drove nearly twenty minutes southeast to our launch area. Rivers don't just change direction. How could we be so far from home?
"What town are we in?!" I yelled back from my soggy black tire.
"Salem! The next bridge you come to is the Rexleigh!"
And then it hit me. What a stupid mistake I had made! See, dear friends, just because a river flows east to west doesn't mean it follows the same path as the road you took to get to it. Thanks to a dramatic 90 degree turn that sent the river north into a horseshoe I had actually managed to get my launch point and end point reversed, geographically speaking. The roads I drove went in a logical direction but the river circumnavigated around it all, and I had not looked at a map of the river before jollying along two good friends. Now we were 14 miles away from our trucks and it would be dark in an hour. Tyler was barefoot. We had no phones, no watches, we were just three chumps with tires on a summer day.
To Be Continued!
photo from vermontel