Ah, summers in St. Louis. Do you know what that means? Going floating! Third year in a row for this group of friends and so far, this year has been the biggest group yet. Of course, we followed last year’s act and had the boys head down there Friday night, their cars stuffed to the gills. Really, the main purpose was for them to set up the tents for us so we didn’t have to participate in that and no sleeping outside for two nights, one night is my limit.
Bright and early Saturday morning, five girls crammed into Stephanie’s car and drove the two hours down to Lesterville to Parks Bluff. Don’t worry, we did not get pulled over for tinted windows again (we actually drove with the windows down when we were going through the small towns – we were smarter this time). Funny car trip story: my sister drove down separately from Arnold and we were texting back and forth while on the highway. She called me to say that she was passing by the Harley store, I told her no, that we were driving by the Harley store. I turned around and there she was, right behind us! Perfect timing!
We got down there and launched around 9:45am. I was a bit worried that the weather wasn’t going to cooperate but it was absolutely beautiful! The sun was shining, it was hot and the river was cool. Great conditions for a 6 hour float trip. We ended up with three rafts and one canoe and we pretty much stayed that way throughout the trip. Let me introduce the players:
Team Drunk was the raft of drunks and spent more time drinking, going around in circles and pushing each other off the rafts. I wished I had pictures of that but unfortunately they were too far behind for the camera to capture these moments.
Team GAR (Good at Rafting):
Apparently this raft dubbed themselves Team GAR probably due to Matt aka “Rower Joe” at the head of the raft, directing and rowing their raft down the river. But really, I think Matt’s rowing skills were more of a detriment to the raft and Andrew spent more time correcting that. But Matt sure did look like the captain.
Team Chose Poorly:
Team Chose Poorly was named only because we chose the wrong side of the river when going through some rapids. I mean, it wasn’t that bad. Kari got dragged underneath the raft, Chris fell face-first into the water (she seriously fell like a board, smack) and I, while laughing at my sister’s fall, proceeded to fall ass-first into the water. This all happened in the matter of seconds. The only person left in the raft was Bob. It was a comedy of errors, wish I had gotten that on video, it probably could have won “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Besides choosing poorly on the river, this raft as aptly named when I chose poorly and wore my rings. Wrong move, especially when I tried to pull Paul from his raft and my engagement ring slipped off into the river. Well, that was a scary moment until Doug, sweet, drunk Doug, found it and grabbed it from the bottom of the river.
Then you had the canoe with Rob and his brother, Ryan. I’m going to include them on Team Chose Poorly because they chose to let Kari onto their canoe and this is what happened:
As you can see, those who are supposed to be in the canoe ended up out of the canoe.
We did choose wisely with the Black River, though. The water was crystal clear (hence, being able to find my ring), there was a nice current and the river was deep. We spent more time swimming and floating and NOT dragging the rafts across the river beds. There was even some rope swingin’ at one of the banks and three of our guys went up to try it out:
After coming off of the river, we headed back to the campsite and proceeded to clean up. Now, I will have to say, the amenities were not as nice as the Bass River Resort. There was absolutely NO hot water and the showers and bathrooms were disgusting. It was so bad that as soon as I was done showering, I walked outside in only my towel and proceeded to put my clothes on out there. I had no shame when it came to that. Even Bob went around to the back of the facility and changed there.
As for the evening, it was a night sitting by the fire, enjoying the stars and contemplating life as we know it. Actually, it was really time for people to pass out:
We all went to bed fairly early that night and I slept better this year than last year. Oh, but it’s not like I slept in, I was up at 6am because it sounded like someone was peeing on our tent (it was really condensation dripping from the trees). I do have to say, I really enjoyed waking up to the quiet morning and looking out my tent to see this:
As always, it was a fabulous trip with a great group of friends! We will definitely be coming down to the Black River again!
Here are the rest of the pictures from the trip.