Saturday, July 04, 2009

Cannon Falls II: Tubing the River

After our bicycle ride and tour of the Anderson Center, Eryn and I hurried back to Welch to go tubing on the river. There's a tubing/canoing/kayaking outfit in Welch, and they'll haul you up river either 1 hour by tube or 4-5 hours by tube. I'm pretty sure it was the part of the day Eryn was most looking forward to. We had it all planned out to get there by noon so that it warming up a bit - it was pretty chilly at 9:00 a.m. - and we could do the 4-5 hour stint which Eryn was keen on, rather that a few one hour laps. It was perfect until we opened up my backpack to pull out the $100 in cash I'd picked up at the local ATM that morning. And discovered it was gone. Not in the backpack. Not on the floor. Not under the seat. Not tucked in a pocket. As tubing is cash only, it was a serious letdown. I hope I left it at Little Oscar's, because at least then there's a waitress with a great big smile on her face instead of some bicyclist with a tricked out machine that doesn't really need it. What had me most worried is that I hadn't seen a real gas station with an ATM on the way to Welch (and there's not much in Welch besides tubing and an ice cream store), but fortunately the bar at Miesville, which was hoppin, had an ATM and was only ten minutes down the road. So we were an hour behind schedule, and I was worried about our timeline for meeting up with Pooteewheet and Kyle in Cannon Falls, but we threw caution to the wind when we saw the long tour was running 3.5-4 hours.

Make sure you hang on to closer to the end for a special tree.

Here's our floatmates. Three couples, four men, two women. Eryn and I got to hear a lot of stories about Pride, bear attacks (in the context of Pride, not the woods), drinking escapades, how many mosquitoes a bat can eat, and a good one about how one of the guys was high on weed and couldn't remember playing tennis at all, but his coach congratulated him on his best damn game ever. Eryn didn't seem to care too much about the running commentary, although she snickered when they swore.

There are a few bikinis way in the background there for my more salacious friends. You'll be disappointed to know that I got Eryn in the water and a quarter mile downstream before the 21 year old barely dressed girls could get their s*** together. A few pot and Pride stories don't worry me, but I was concerned what Eryn might be subjected to with a dozen young 'uns floating next to us. peaceful. It was too bad about the clouds, because we got cold on and off. Eryn had a blue lips a few times until I demonstrated how to move your arms around a bit to allow the tube to capture heat.

That was foot cam. This is hairy leg cam.

Eryn, obviously happy afloat on the river.

And it's a good time to practice your "granny lips" tongue thrust exercises.

This may be shortly before we bottomed out. There were a few places on the river where the rapids brought the rocks up within an inch or two of the surface. That doesn't fly for a big guy like me and I got a few bruises on my bottom before I could get up and drag us somewhere deeper. Eryn thought it was pretty funny until she hit a rock once herself. I'm glad we were wearing shoes so we could navigate the shallows as necessary. After we made it through the first set of shallows, we heard this about five minutes later, "Ouch. Ouch. OUCH! Damn it!" Followed by the sound of women giggling. "Damn it! Ow!" Laughter getting louder and louder. "Turn around. Turn around. This is NOT the way to go through the rocks!" Followed by raucous laughter. Apparently our floatmates were getting a little bit of ballknocking action.

There were mating bugs all over the place. This is the blue one. But we saw red, green and black as well. At times there were four or five on each of us.

Very happy.

Spotted as we got closer to the end. This tree has wood. Eryn thought the fact that a tree had a penis was hilarious.

She also thought peeing in the river was hilarious. She had to go bad after about an hour and I pointed out that there simply wasn't anywhere to get out and do her business, and she was just going to have to do it and be done. She bounced all over the place for 15 minutes then calmed down, noting, "Ah...that's warm." After that she didn't hestitate and announced loudly every time she couldn't hold it and went. I pointed out that the going wasn't a real problem, but the announcement certainly was.

As we pulled into Welch, we were treated to a golden eagle overhanging the last set of rapids, watching for fish. A great trip, despite a bit of bruising and a slight chill.

For the parents, here's some video of us tubing:

And a few seconds of one of the canoes following us bottoming out. I only caught a bit of it, but the grinding noise went on for quite a while and could be heard bouncing off the river valley walls.


She says said...

I think you need a new blog tag... something along the lines of "phallus sightings". You seem to have some good luck with them -- and that's not even including the conveniently accidental photos!

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