By Christopher Tupa
This past weekend I decided my family should have ourselves a little canoeing adventure. My wife and I woke the kids up and told them about our awesome plans for the day. They were less than thrilled and I won’t bore you with the details but it involved a lot of moaning and groaning and hiding under the overs. Once everyone finally got out of bed, ate breakfast, found their shoes and stumbled out to the car it was almost 10am.
This is much later than I had hoped for; usually when I canoe on my own I always get on the water well before dawn so I can watch the sunrise. But at the rate we were moving we just might end up seeing the sun set. After fighting about who got to sit in the front seat (my daughter won); we drove to one of our local boat ramps, unloaded the canoe and stowed our gear.
There are four of us in my family and it was a tight fit getting us all in the canoe, along with some food, art supplies and other gear. I’m pretty sure we were pushing the weight limit as well.
The river we chose for our excursion is dirty brown and full of alligators, so you definitely don’t want to tip the canoe over. To be honest my wife and I didn’t want to tip the canoe, the kids; believe it or not actually wanted to go swimming! Alligators or not. My mantra of the day was; “stay in the middle of the canoe” and “be still!” Well, more accurately it was “SIT DOWN!”, “SIT STILL!”, “DON’T MOVE!”.
As we canoed down the river my wife had a fishing line out. She likes to fish but we’ve never caught any fish big enough to take home but for some reason we keep trying. Twice we stopped and beached the canoe, giving my wife a chance to fish off the river bank and the kids an opportunity to stretch their legs and yes- get in the water!
It started like this: “Dad, my hands are muddy, I need to wash them” and then “Dad, now my feet are muddy, I need to wash them” and then “Dad, look I’m in the water!” Followed by me saying “Yeah; so are the alligators – now get out!!” Who knew canoeing could be so stressful.
My wife didn’t catch any fish and didn’t even get one nibble; so it was leftovers for dinner. After a few hours we decided to call it quits and loaded everything back up and headed home.
It was a great, fun, mini-adventure on the river and even though it was hot we had plenty of water and sunscreen to keep everyone happy. The next time we go we may take another canoe so I can have some leg room; oh yeah, and some dynamite for those elusive fish.
I did manage to paint an exciting picture of some logs in the river: