Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rollin' on the River

Since we live in the canoe capital of Florida (seriously, it's on the signs), we of course had to take advantage of this fact. So Saturday we headed out to the river. We signed on for a four hour river trip, and after a short drive and a scramble into the canoe, we were on our way!

I started out in the front of the canoe. But after five minutes it was painfully clear that Anton had no idea how to steer a canoe and there were lots of logs and trees in the water.

So we stopped briefly at one of the numerous beaches along the way and then made the crucial driver change. I sat in the back now. All those canoe trips at girls camp have finally paid off! The first hour or so was a constant game of dodge the fallen tree. There were alot of places where the only clear spot through was barely wider than our canoe. It was a bit nerve racking. But the river eventually widened out and things were much smoother then.

Alex didn't think canoeing was much fun. He cried for about the first hour. He wanted to get out and play on the beaches and in the water. Our brief stop to change boat positions didn't help. But we didn't have time to stop and play since he dumped out the majority of our drinking water five minutes into the trip. So it was now a race against the heat.

After a while Alex finally calmed down and went up front to help out daddy.

He loved helping him paddle and doing his best to fall overboard. It's a good thing daddy was right there. There was nothing we could do to entice Alex to sit down. He had to be up rocking the boat.

He especially liked perching up on the very tip of the canoe. Not a mother's favorite place for her child.

We let Ella and Alex have the front seat together for a bit.

Then Ella came back and helped me row. You can also see a big speed boat in the background. People like to water ski on this river, among other boating pastimes. I think it's strange to use the river when there is a huge bay and gulf right down the river, but to each their own, I guess. But back to the boats. As a courtesy they are supposed to slow down when passing smaller craft, aka canoes. Well not everyone was very courteous. There were a few times I was convinced we were going to be swamped. Stupid boats. Maybe I needed one of those tacky "Baby on Board" signs. Oh well.

We made it back to the boat dock safe and sound, if not a bit hot and thirsty. We did manage to collect a little souvenir of our river trip. There were yellow flowers growing out of the river all along the way, and we made sure to pick a few.

Their stems were really long, like 2+ feet. I think that was Alex's favorite part of the whole thing, picking the flowers. Ella really liked that her life vest had a built in pillow so she could lay down and take a nap. And mom and dad were just really glad that no kids ended up in the river. We had lots of fun, but probably won't do it again until the kids are a bit older.


tonia said...

Looks like fun! I think you're braver than I am. We've considered going canoing but I just don't know how it would be with the girls so we usually end up doing something else. Glad you guys stayed safe!

Jamie & Brian said...

Good job on the canoe trip! We went in Georgia and I hated the experience because I was too hot. Brian ended up doing the majority of the paddling.

Jenn said...

Great pictures,looks like fun!

Andrea said...

Wow, looks like you all had your hands full!! LOL!! My boys would have jumped in and floated away!! I love it!! Those are really neat yellow flowers!! They look like those kind of huge flowers that eat bugs!! :)I know they are not, but it's fun to pretend!!

Hadlock Hideaway said...

You are a brave women! Canoing looked like a lot of fun! It brought back a ton of girls camp memories... Do you remember when we got stuck in the mud while we were supposed to be looking through our packets? Do you have a picture of that? hmm, fun times!