It's almost 6AM here and the coffee aroma seeping into the office makes me want to jump up and pour a cup. To do this I'll have to not walk briskly nor without a bit of discomfort and that's what I will do to get a cup of brew. The pain in my foot has decreased somewhat dramatically although not to diminish the fact that it is still there and bothersome. For the plantar inflammation the remedy is to rest the foot and give the inflammation time to resolve while the remedy for the knee replacement is to exercise and do a lot of walking. I'm conflicted here. More patience and waiting for both to heal. I still went Tikki Tubing though.
This past Thursday my daughter and her children did one last summer trip before school starts next week. A few miles north(I think it's north) of Baton Rouge is the small town of Denham Springs, home of the Tiki Tubing experience. You rent tubes, climb aboard a bus and get bussed upriver to a spot where you launch yourself and tube into the river. Some of the floatation devices are just inter tube shaped, some resemble love seats without the arms and two or more can float on these. Pinks, green, reds and yellows bobbing and swirling down the river make for a kaleidoscope of color. The colors make it look fun!
In some spots your tube will bounce along on the bottom of the river and in some spots the water is chest deep. The river flows slowly; at times I had to check the trees along the river to determine if we were moving at all. Carrie spent most of her time on the raft I was on. Mine resembled a huge love seat minus the arms. The pictures of the float devices can be seen here http://www.tikitubing.com/. The sun is blazing down and a breeze is nonexistent and about 30 minutes into this brainy idea, I was wondering at the wisdom of my decision to be involved in this. About 2 hrs into this, I was not so kind to myself about making the decision to go along on this excusion. For the first hour the sun was relentless. There is no respite from the sun. I was worried that Carrie and I would end up with a sunburn worst then the one we acquired at the beach.
I shouldn't have worried. Within an hour the sun had faded away, huge clouds drifted overhead and the cold rain started pelting us ungently if that is a word. The rain would scale back it's attack, thunder rumbled in the distance and I'm now scanning the sky for lightening. My T shirt tied to the raft was soaked. I used it anyway. I untied it, wrung the water out and draped it across Carrie to protect her against the rain ladden wind.
Only twice did I dump us into the river. Carrie got a little hysterical when this happened. I would have to drag the float device to the shore and heave her back onto it, get myself back on and then use my legs to pole us back into the current. Occasionally she would be assisted off the raft to swim but only when tree trunks and roots were not noticeable. Oh, did I forget to mention the trees, roots and debris? Some areas were clear but you had to be alert to steer your tube or raft clear of the huge trees and trunks protruding out of and across the river. I only had my flip flops as oars. That helped a little but more times then not we would end up floating into the debris and have to use our legs and arms to push us backwards off the spiky trunks and branches to get moving again.
As a watcher of people, I made note of the fact about 30 minutes into this float, that most of the floaters were between the ages of 16 and early 20's. The only people on the river above those ages were myself, daughter and two other women. Carrie took the honors for being the youngest.
Coolers were floated alongside the tubes in these handy little devices that hooked around the coolers that were made of Styrofoam. The coolers were filled with beer and the owners of these coolers were smashed by the time the 4 hr. journey ended. The young girls flirted, laughed and sometimes became amorous with the young men. The river reeked with youthful hormones and beer and I'm sure everyone of them will remember what a fun day they had tubing that river.
It's at times like these when you realize that some things were best done at a certain age and there should have been an age restriction placed on this activity for our own protection since it seems some of us don't realize until too late why cruises were invented. I'm sure they were invented for the older folks to enjoy the water from above and not in it.
At the end of this 4 hr journey I was using my flip flops to paddle to the sandbar I could see in the distance that was the point of disembarkment. It's still raining, we are slipping and sliding in the wet gooey sand and we have to take a trail through the woods on a narrow path to get back to where the car is parked. Carrie as usual has spent her time on the river waving at everyone she floats by and on the walk back these same people stop to say hi and goodbye to her. She always manages to make many people contacts where ever she goes.
We rinsed the sand off ourselves at the outdoor showers and trudged on to the car. Carrie was exhausted. We waited for the rest of our party to arrive and as we drove away, I was thinking about the next trip and how it would be minus me, how I would rather have been on a white water trip and how I would feel about that now since it has been something I've always wanted to do. Maybe there should be an age restriction on that also?