Every 4th of July, my grandfather told us all that Summer was over. Thanks to many terrifying childhood moments like this, I’m annoyingly committed to making the most out of these golden months. Though my seasonal loyalty extends to all four colors of the wind, I don’t think another Season can make you as happy or as sad as a solid summer. The summer that I was 12 I kissed a boy and split my face open on a rusty jungle gym….setting the stage for 17 more magical combinations of sizzling and searing.
I’m anticipating Fall like everyone else, but I have to make sure to squeeze all the juiceeeeee (it’s worth the squeeze) out of the end of Summer. SEPTEMBER 21. That’s when I’ll stop saying it’s summer. And on that day, I’ll wear allllll the leather and all the boots.
BUT. Until then, I’ll be dragging/tricking/willing people into bodies of water. For example, the Battenkill River, in a land far away called Cambridge where everything is coming up countryyyyyyy.
River tubing is like camping. Everything has to be 100% right in order for it to be a good time and turns out, most people hate the actual experience, but look back on it very fondly with deeply rose colored glasses that could trick almost anyone into going again. I keep forgetting these things….so I keep going tubing. If you’re very very bright, one thing you might already know about tubing many miles down a river, is that its best when the river has water in it. And, said water is a temperature that is above freezing. Unfortunately, this last time….we were not solid in either of these areas.
After hours of preparation, we entered the river around noon. As Jen ” I Work All Week” Montalvo and Wayne “New York, New Yorkkkkkkkkk” waxed poetically about their previous weekend spent lounging in Aruba, I proceeded to drag them through the 7 layers of river hell. Sarah wished for shoes and water ….and I started to come to the realization that tubing PROBABLY isn’t fun for everyone. Unless it goes perfectly and it just isn’t that kind of activity..
About 30 minutes into our 5+ hour trip, we were on foot. We walked at least 75% of the length of our trip. We even walked by a naked man, matter of factly standing on the banks of the river in the middle of nowhere shaking his penis, as we casually walked by. This concerned my guests. Things were starting to get weird. We walked more.
There were a few deep parts with treasures like this. And by deep I mean 4 feet….tops. No one else wanted to try this rope fashioned of scraps of fabric and bad decisions.
As those who had shoes on walked, and those who didn’t (SARUHHHHH) got pulled, the energy and life drained from everyone’s once happy faces and we reminisced about fun times the way starving people talk about food and water. “Remember the time we were on the boat and there was food and we went tubing behind a boat? That was soo fun. Remember the time we sat in chairs and were not walking down a river? Those were the days…” And so on and so forth….for miles.
Three and half hours in. We hadn’t eaten since 8:30, we were out of beers, and we had been walking down a dry river all afternoon. We were all having visions…
5 and a half hours in. Days had gone by. Months maybe. The collective panic was now palpable and the setting sun was not helping the mood. I was now not having fun either. We really couldn’t find the exit. After the 18th false alarm exist, everyone snapped and clawed up to land (not the exit) and we dragged our asses and giant tubes through some yards, campsites, poison ivy etc.
We had a silent walk to the car….I was honestly afraid it was over between us. This was a major stress on our relationship and I was pulling that we’d make it through the tough times. We immediately drove (not walked) immediately to Brown’s and inhaled burgers without stopping for a beer or to talk (or chew.). My guests were just so happy to be alive and on land. We came back from this trip as a team, and alive too, with only minor scrapes and bruises andddd with full stranger nudity. That’s a success in my book.
I learned a valuable lesson that day. In the pursuit of fun, some people like to scare the shit out of themselves and make themselves physically very uncomfortable…. cold, hungry, alone in the woods with old naked guys, etc. and someeeeee people just like to float down a fucking river with a cocktail and get their tan on. If you are in the second group, this “Tropical Paradise” might be more your style. However, there is no rope swing at water slide world per legal regulations, so me and the naked guy will meet up with you after. Also….sorryyyy, but I’m not giving up this look. I’ve worked too hard…
Next weekend, when Summer IS over, Jen and Wayne are returning for another ADVENTURE. I honestly can’t believe it and couldn’t be more pumped. We are running the “Color Me Rad” race…..where you run a few miles early in the morning and innocent bystanders hurl loads of paint at you as you run by them. It’s 50 bucks, so I hope it’s for a real cause. I’m really hoping to get really nailed with as much colorful paint as possible and have a feeling that will make me very very happy. I don’t really like running very far so the whole reason I’m doing this race is to get really dirty, drenched in paint, publicly shamed, run for my life, and….let’s be honest…carb load at Bacchus the night before on pizza, pasta, and fall beers.