Once again, my unhappy opinion of boating-like outings was confirmed and my resolve further hardened against repeating such endeavors.
And no, depsite the boat rental guy’s vivid descriptions of potential local wildlife sightings, we didn’t actually run into any snakes out on the river today (although they do have a nice black snake in the office terrarium).
We did, however, hit and get completely and nearly irrevocably stuck on every *&+!$&)%!$ rock, log and thicker-than-normal chunk of water between put in and take out, resulting in many minutes spent frantically bouncing the raft about and pushing fruitlessly against the local geology in variously successful attempts to free ourselves, eventually scooting free only to run aground again a few more meters down the channel. We also spun around a lot, usually as part of the “rock on, rock off” process, prompting the 4 of us who were on the inflatable together to christen it the Merry-Go-Raft. It was very hot and sunny. I was layered up in sleeves and pants like Micheal Jackson in Dubai drag over heavy sunscreen (and still got some pink on my shoulders). I had on my big pink straw hat (I bring my own shade if none is provided) and flip-flops (it was either that or risk getting my sneakers wet, and they take days to dry if that happens). There was only a spotty breeze. I had to pee when I wasn’t waterless with anxiety. My wrists were shot from yesterday’s CPR training and by the end of the trip I was paddling with my forearm.
It was quite thoroughly Not Fun.
Thankfully, it is over and, as one of my raftmates said, we can always use this when times get tough during our tour by saying “Hey, at least we’re not out on the water.” I, however, plan on working hard at simply blocking the whole morning out of my memory entirely.
The rest of the afternoon was devoted to more teambuilding games designed to simultaneously bond and torture. Our afternoon was hightlighted by the arrival of the tinkle-tuned ice cream truck, whose driver has the brilliance to know a captive market base (hot and sweaty post-float-trip tourists) when he sees one. He was summarily mobbed by a dozen Americorps members waving coinage.
So, the float trip is done (float trip? what float trip?). I’m off for the weekend. Oh, and I got my assignment – mornings at Haw Fletcher elementary as a teachers’ aid sorta thing and afternoons at Pisgah View after school program as the volunteer coordinator. Not my top picks, but I’m going into it with an open mind. Should be an interesting year.