What a Week

I went, I saw, I got soaked.

Now I'm here, I'm alive, and I'm alone.

I managed to survive the last "hurrah" with the Teacher's Quorum, our high adventure on the Eleven Point River in southern Missouri. The plan was to drive down Monday, camp at the outfitter that night, get on the river Tuesday morning, canoe for two days, camp back at the outfitter Wednesday night, and drive back Thursday. Good plan, huh? Well, it ended up being a high adventure...as in, we must have been high to go on the adventure.

Pictures from the actual trip should be forthcoming (sometime next week, probably). But here's the short version:

Monday- drove down, set up camp, ate at a local burger joint (delicious shakes), went back and tried to get some (kid + energy drink = no sleep for anyone).

Tuesday- got an early start, started on the river (which, being spring-fed, was frigid); about mid-morning, had our first tipped canoe- it hit a log on a fast turn and took a spill. Fortunately, most of the gear was in watertight bags, so only the guys got wet. We stopped for lunch at a rope swing tied to a tree stretching over the water (which was still freezing). Sometime in the afternoon, we had our second mishap- Eric (the other leader) and I got pushed into some logs by the current and our canoe took on a lot of water. Didn't lose much (just some cans of ravioli and a spatula), but all my stuff got soaked. It was in plastic bags, but apparently there were holes. Rough.

We made a lot better time than anticipated, and as such got to the place where we wanted to camp early. Problem was, overnight camping wasn't allowed. Seems the outfitter forgot to mention that part. And there were storm clouds gathering. So, with rain at our back, we rushed to find a suitable camping spot with some shelter. Along the way, we had another slight mishap involving fast currents and logs- I had to walk quite a ways on sharp rocks with no shoes (which I had stupidly removed and put in the canoe so they wouldn't be sucked away). But with some help from above, we found a great little gravel bar on one bank, got camp set up, and had a good fire going.

As soon as we had dinner ready, though, the skies opened up and it rained for a good ninety minutes. Since my tent was wet and had a few holes, I had a steady mist coming down on me inside the whole time. But between the rain and worrying about flash flooding, I was able to get some sleep (though my foam pad was drenched, forcing me to sleep on the thin tent canvas between me and gravel).

Wednesday- Turns out the river never rose too much, and all we suffered was some wet gear. After a breakfast of dry oatmeal (not as bad as it sounds) and pop tarts, we hit the river about 10:00 a.m. We hit our exit point a few hours later, and after waiting for the outfitter to pick us up, we were on our way home. We had planned to camp Wednesday night, but we were done early and ready to leave. McDonald's was dinner, and we got home about 10:00 p.m. The boys were happy to see their parents (I think some of the parents had hoped on the extra day of the guys being gone). As for me...

...I came home to an empty house. Tamara is visiting her sister in Texas right now, and today they're driving back to Arizona. She left early Wednesday morning, and thus wasn't there when I arrived. Yeah, being home alone has its perks (I get to play videogames whenever, veg in front of the TV more, and jump on the bed eating Crunch'N'Munch), but I miss Tamara. Tuesday can't come soon enough.

But in the meantime, I'll get to hang out with Beckie, sleep more, work less, and play all the "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed" I can handle.

Yeah, that's me owning the heck out of stormtroopers.


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