Down the Tubes!

IMAG2100This photograph was one of the viewpoints during yesterday’s 2+ hour trip down the Congaree River. Below are the reasons I am grateful about doing this.

  • I am grateful that my wife did 100% of the physical labor in preparing our tubes while I was able to sit in the car with A/C on to slather sunscreen.
  • I am grateful that there was a shuttle to take us to the drop-off point; no multiple-mile walks required!
  • I am grateful that putting my ass into insanely-cold river water saw an almost instantaneous reversal of the neurological storm Uhthoff brought onto the hot elementary school bus shuttle ride. It was a bad enough state to warrant turning around and going home. It did elicit a few tears of humiliated frustration; I grew up navigating creeks with a terrain so similar that it should have been as familiar to my feet as though I were still a child. Instead cue the entrance into the infamous “State Fair Funhouse Nightmare.” But then I fell into the tube. I screamed and immediately began jabbering and laughing. I had been unable to speak just moments prior. Cold Therapy has never known better tribute.
  • I am grateful that I had a beautiful day on which to try this for the first time.
  • I am grateful that this was not my wife’s first rodeo.
  • I am grateful that we put items inside ziploc bags before putting them in the waterproof box that shed a gasket after the first rapids.
  • I am grateful that I finally got to experience rapids! I was backwards at one point and only saw the sharp drop off into a toilet-esque suckhole moments before it spit us (bungee-corded together) back out it’s plumbing. The worst part about getting to do this for the first time wasn’t the rocks-to-bones ratio, it was how previously-unimaginably cold was the water that washed into the tube.
  • 1010389_566293910094425_1139889356_nI am grateful that my wife was able to do most of the work getting us back upstream to the landing site after we missed it by a few feet. This was where I did most of my falling and shoe-losing. This minute or five was the part that might’ve been a little scary — my legs, which are generally only begrudgingly functioning, were completely numb from the cold water. Even if the water wasn’t rushing against us it would have been near-impossible not to take up her offer to pull me in. I helped a little by grabbing the rock-n-indistinguishable-vegetation to help keep us moving the right way.
  • I am grateful that my wonderful, compassionate wife let me wear her yoga pants after we got back to the car, and that she wore her soaked boy-shorts into pick up Chinese food for dinner since I had no shoes now.
  • I am grateful for Chinese food!
  • I am grateful for a well-earned good night’s sleep.
  • I am grateful that I don’t have a sunburn today, and that nobody got hurt more than anticipated.


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