Who really trusts the weatherman anyways? This being our ONLY chance this summer to go on a camp and float trip, we decided to go against the forcast and “take our chances”, we figured, “so it may rain a bit, we’ll make fun of it anyways!”….off we headed for the Huzzah River in Steelville, Missouri. Billy and I really miss our “river” days, we used to do floats all the time (before kids), so we are fairly experienced and up for the challenge of taking Blake and Taylor along for a 6 mile raft trip. Plus we had my sister, Diana along and she is great help with the kids.
The morning started out great…we got an early start, set up camp, and then got headed out on our raft. The first 20 minutes was GREAT…then…the thunder rolled, and the lightening clapped, wait a minute Garth Brookes wasn’t there!!! Anyways, when the rain came, we just rowed through, until it kept coming down harder and harder with lightening EVERYWHERE!!! We were “only” 5 hours from pick-up….Yikes !! It got so bad at one point, we emptied out our raft on an embankment, flipped it upside down against some brush, propped it up on the oars, and crammed our two little towel -wrapped kids underneath to protect them from the storm!! I’m not sure if I should even mention the fact that my sister was seeing the world through the goose’s eyes…that is “Grey Goose Vodka” eyes!! Maybe she won’t remember this trip!!!
When I compare the past with the present, I realize one thing…EVERYTHING changes after kids. Before kids, we loved camping and rafting because it was away from everything, in the middle of the wilderness, private, relaxing, challenging, isolated, just us to fend for ourselves…NOW, those things are the exact reasons I did not enjoy this trip!!! With the little one’s along, being stuck in a thunderstorm on a quickly rising river with challenges around each bend scared me to pieces!! I could not stand the thought that something could happen to one of the kids and the next human being to ask for help would be 6 hours away! Not to mention the fact that the entire night in our tent was spent with Billy and I holding waterproof sleeping bags over the kids, trying to direct the rain, that was pouring down inside the tent, off of them. It was sooo loud that every once in a while I could hear Billy scream, “STOP RAINING!!!”, or “WHY???” and trust me, Billy is not a yelling type of person…it was just that bad. The lightening was flashing and striking all around us. A tiny bit of comfort was taken by the fact that we were all sleeping on rubber blow-up beds…would that even protect us from a direct lightening strike? Who knows, and thank God we didn’t have to find out!
Torrential rains continued all night long, but by daylight it seemed there might be a chance to recoup a bit of our trip. The sun began to shine and we took complete advantage of it…swimming, sun bathing, wading, and fishing to our hearts content. Billy and Blake caught lots of fish in the newly raised river levels. Diana, Taylor, and I swam with delight as we hunted for arrowheads, skipped the flat ones, and collected the shiny ones…even if our two day camping trip only afforded us two hours of enjoyment, it was worth it and served as a very MEMORABLE trip !!!
our campsite by the river...awesome!