Tag Archives: tubing

That Time I Went Hitch-hiking

19 Aug

Remember those times I picked up hitch-hiking kayakers in Poudre Canyon? Well, during this adventure, the tables were turned (and what an adventure, indeed!).

Saturday started out well enough. I met a friend and we ate at this little dive bar and restaurant in the canyon. As always, it was delicious. Then, we set off to go tubing, which was where the days real excitement lay.

We got our cars positioned. Mine was at the get-in point, and hers was at the get-out point. She bought a fancy little stretchy key ring so that we could keep our keys on us without losing them in the river. I was reluctant, mostly because I never lock my car anyway, but we went ahead and put both of our keys on the key ring and she put it on her wrist for safe-keeping.

Bad decision.

Not even 10 minutes into the hour-long float, we hit some rapids and as she was paddling and off slipped the keys.

Gone forever.

The rest of the float was, of course, super fun and I had a fabulous time. Once we got out, our only option was to start walking toward the nearest gas station, which was probably about a couple of miles away. We didn’t have our cell phone, as they were locked in our cars, and we didn’t have service until that gas station, anyway.

Mind you, we are in bikinis. I’ve never been that naked in public for that long.

We thought about hitch-hiking but were a little nervous about it and didn’t want to get into anyone’s car wet. With the long walk ahead, however, we decided that if a pickup came by we would put a thumb out and just climb in the back.

A little while later, we finally spot a truck driving solo, and I immediately put my thumb out. At first, I thought they passed us, but they did stop (I was kind of surprised it was that easy).

It was a couple of college fellows named Carter and Dawson who had a huge white truck covered with mud, even on the inside. In hindsight, it was probably a poor choice of people to ride with, as they invited us in the cab, the back doors only opened if the front doors were open, and they had just been shooting so my friend actually had to climb over the gun in the backseat.

And we were basically naked.

But we were thankful, regardless.

Once at the gas station, we made the calls, and the nice attendant gave us something to drink. I drove in the back of the AAA vehicle, which had no seats. My friend was nice enough to drive me to work the next day, and pay for the re-keying of my car (because the key that was lost was the only key to my car). She was so much more helpful than I ever could have expecting, and the entire adventure was one that I won’t forget any time soon.

Moral of the story: don’t expect those key ring things to stay on when you’re swimming in a river

Have you ever hitch-hiked? Was it easy? What happened (before and after)?

Tubing the Poudre: An Adventure

8 Aug

It isn’t any secret that I love to go tubing, and go every summer. Usually, I wait until August because the river is shallow, but not too shallow, and the warmest its going to get. I don’t stay in for very long, but there is always a lot of excitement and a lot of laughing.

After waiting all year to get back in the river in a tube, I decided to go today with my friend, Jessica.

Poor choice.

After the fire that ravaged Poudre Canyon, the water was murky with the ash. As we got closer to the river, it was quite obvious that the water wasn’t the best quality, and as we situated ourselves in our tubes, we realized we faced a bumpy ride. I’ve never been in the river when it was that shallow before.

Right away, we (or at least I did) faced troubles. Our first set of rapids caused me to get stuck on a rock and I lost my shoe. In my attempt to get it back, I got stuck on another rock, and flipped myself into the water. Jessica kept floating on, and managed to grab my tube while I was stuck flailing in the river. I bounced off multiple boulders, and ended up with scrapes on both knees, and a banged up arm. When I finally freed myself from the rapids, I had to climb onto the rocky bank and over to where Jessica was resting.

We continued on down the river past another rapid, while trying desperately to avoid hitting ourselves on rocks. When we finally reached the first beach, it was reasonably smooth floating, and the people playing in the water there were nice enough to have grabbed my flip-flop and returned it to me. Just moments later we found ourselves on more rapids, but we navigated them reasonably well. The last set of rapids didn’t defeat us either, and was quite enjoyable (although just as scary as the others).

Jessica and I finally reached our finish point, and paddled to the shore. I put my flip-flops back on my feet, and jumped off my tube. I instantly sank a foot in the ash that had settled to the bottom of the river. It was one of the most disgusting feeling I’ve ever experienced, and I immediately starting moving to the shore. With every step my feet sank almost to my knees. I lost both of my flip-flops because of the suction and eventually, for lack of options, began to tear at the beach with my hands in an effort to move faster. When I finally got out of the water, I found that the beach still had the sinking quality of the river bed. My hands and my feet were covered in black, sooty mud and my shoes were gone forever.

Jessica’s attempts were better received. She climbed closer to the bank, and only sank slightly compared to what I had to power through.

Kindly, she let me use one of her flip-flops (which was even nicer considering the state of her smashed toes), and we made the trek back to the main beach. I, immediately, ran to the shallow water, and sat on a rock to allow the river to wash away the massive amount of mud I had collected. It was a flawed solution, but better than nothing.

Once I was decently “rinsed” we climbed back in the car and headed into town. After eating at Verne’s, we went back to her place to part ways. As we were talking, I looked down and noticed that something was in my swimsuit. It turned out to be a charred piece of what I can only imagine was a tree, about the size of a dime. Upon further investigation, I noticed that the inside of my swimsuit was a massive amount of black ash and the charred remains of the forest.

At home, I got into the shower and took my swimsuit off. Before I even removed my board shorts, the water was murky. When I finally peeled off my swimsuit, handfuls of ash fell out. They covered my body from head to toe, and as they washed off, they collected and made an effort to block the drain.

It was really an adventure for the storybooks, and we laughed harder than I’ve laughed in quite a while, but both my plans to go tubing tomorrow and on Sunday are cancelled indefinitely. Hopefully, next summer will prove to better tubing conditions. And we both survived.

Do you have any memorable tubing experiences to share?

Summer Lovin’ [A Few of My Favorite Things]

11 Apr

Warm summer nights

sitting around the campfire

exploring places lost to all and known by some

sitting by the water

driving without a purpose

the wind through my hair

the sound of dusk

a mourning doves call

watching the stars

summer dresses

flip flops and flowers in my hair

the sound of cicadas and crickets in the air

letting the river take me

long days

the twitter of the meadowlark

taking a stroll without a care in the world

All things I love about the summer. A few of my favorite things in this life. Blog inspired by my friend, Joel.

What are a few of your favorite things? What do you like about summer? Whats your favorite season?