I plan to spend more time on the river this summer. Last summer things got crazy and we were pulled from pillar to post and did not do some of the things we love most - which is riding on the river with a boatload of friends is one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done. All you need a boat, a bunch of friends and a designated boat captain and you’re in business.
Both my friends Terry and Tom live on the river and both have boats. In years past, you would find us on the water at least two weekends out of the month. Dale, a writer friend, was visiting a few years ago and I told him we were thinking about heading to the river on Saturday. He didn’t have a lot going on, so he agreed. A short time later, we were on the water having too much fun. We talked Dale into getting on the inner tube. He had never spent much time on the water but he was game, so we strapped a life jacket on him, hitched him to a long rope and took him for the ride of his life. We headed upstream at a slow clip – about twenty knots. We passed blue herons, and cranes. Near the banks we passed logs sticking up out of the water and on the entire length would be river turtles sunning in the warm summer sun. We turned around near the Alabama Power steam plant and headed back down stream. Gently weaving, we lured Dale into a false sense of confidence. Then someone suggested, “Let’s do Moses and the Bulrush.” We all looked at each other and nodded in agreement. Everyone in the boat, at some point in the past, had been on that inner tube when someone suggested Moses in the Bulrush. It was almost like a right of passage. The captain jammed the accelerator to full throttle and all of a sudden, the inner tube was only hitting the high spots on the water. The weaving became more erratic which caused the swings of the inner tube to become greater. Along the river in several places, reeds and cattails grow near the bank. The keen instincts of the boat captain timed the zig and the zag so that Dale wound up in the cattails at warp speed. We were all watching with curiosity and when Dale emerged out of the shallows, he gave a loud WAHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
When we got to the dock, he was still picking reeds and lily pads out of his swimsuit but he had a smile on his face that can only be described as bliss. He could look someone in the eye and say with all honesty, that he had the time of his life.
So if anyone out there wants to get some reeds in their swimsuits, send me a note. I think I can make it happen.