The Stories We Could Tell

Lazy Float Down the Madison River – so we thought!

Our day was a comedy of errors to be sure! We assumed that a lazy river float would be easy compared to white water rafting – by definition it’s “lazy” right? Well, we had a great time but after the float was over we had more bumps, bruises, and cuts than our whitewater rafting trip in Jackson. It all began when we decided to rent a raft to spend a lazy day cruising down the Madison River. The raft was too large to fit on top of our truck for the drive from the rental place to the river, so we left our float vessel deflated. On the advice of the rental shop, Teri picked up an air pump that could plug into the cigarette lighter. We would shortly discover that was bad advice, but not until we made it to the river. Turns out that pump would be sufficient for a bike tire or maybe a basketball; but certainly NOT a raft large enough for five adults. We were stranded in the parking lot at the river, cooler full of adult beverages, and no way to fill the raft. James tried his hand at blowing it up, but progress was VERY slow and there was sure to be a blackout (from hyperventilating or beer) if we were going to wait until it was inflated this way. Luckily Erika tracked down a hand pump, but we were only able to borrow it for a few minutes. Brad and James feverishly pumped until we had a full raft! Whew! Crisis averted!

We finally got the raft on the water, and just as we are starting to relax….. WATER SNAKE! We looked ahead and saw a big old water snake with its head out of the water making its way to the river bank. Thankfully the snake passed us by without incident, but it was definitely a long while before anyone was ready to dip a toe in the water. The water, by the way, was never deeper than waist high, and more often than not, was closer to 6 – 12 inches deep. It made for an interesting float!

The majority of the trip was blissful. The current was gentle, the beers cold, and the air and water were super warm. We laughed and joked for hours. Then it all turned sour. Rain began to fall and it got pretty cold. Then we were attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes. Hundreds and hundreds of mosquitoes. Thankfully, Erika was the brains of the operation and brought along some repellent that saved our hides.

Then things REALLY got interesting. In the distance we saw that we were nearing the point where we needed to exit the river. We had floated to the opposite bank, and needed to do some maneuvering. Brad got out of the raft to stop it and redirect it to the other side. Easier said than done. The water is very shallow and the bottom is covered with slippery rocks – not too pleasant on bare feet. I was the only one that had shoes, so I thought if I threw on my flip flops I could help navigate the raft without killing my feet. Bad decision. One of my flips flew off in the river. I was totally bummed (it was my favorite Havaianas)…. so my chivalrous husband leaped off the raft and dove for the missing flip. This began a chain reaction of (mostly) comic events. James missed the shoe by a millimeter and lost his sunglasses in the effort. He began to float away, so Erika threw out her leg for James to grab and get back on the raft. That didn’t quite work and next thing you know Erika is off the raft and in the water too. Headcount: Erika in the water, Bria in the water, James in the water (and quickly losing ground from the raft), and now suddenly Teri was in the river too! Brad was the only on left to hang on to the raft. But getting back on is easier said than done. You can’t swim to the raft as it is not deep enough, you can’t walk to it because the rocks will kill you, and the current loves to pull you away. And Brad had to hold the raft against the deliberate current while we all slowly made our way back. By the time we were safely all back on the raft it was time to get out of the water. In the process we lost 2 pairs of sunglasses, and one flip flop!

We made it to pull out site where Teri had left her car. Cold from the rain, and banged up from the bumpy ride, we were all excited to get into the car. But, to cap off our crazy day, the keys were mistakenly left in the car at the beginning of the float, a good 8 miles away! Luckily James was able to hitch a ride with some Polish tourists up to the first car. We were dancing in the parking lot when he finally made it back to pick us up, a sweet end to our crazy day. I can easily say we have never laughed so hard!

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August 11, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

1 Comment »

  1. I hope someone along the route made a video of this and posts it on YouTube. This was just so hilarious to read, I can imagine how funny it would be to see or be a part of. I’m so glad you’re having so much fun!

    Comment by Jamey | August 12, 2010 | Reply


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