Monday, July 13, 2009

Tubing

We have a tubing adventure!

The DNB gets off work early on a random weekday, so we spontaneously head to Wisconsin to tube the Apple River.

"Thanks for being willing to tube with me!" I tell the DNB as we drive.

"No, thank you. I'm surprised you were willing to do this without a full month of pre-planning and list-making," he replies.

Ahh, married life.

We rent our tubes and begin our 4-mile float. It is DELIGHTFUL: relaxing and quiet.

Until, that is, we round a bend and come upon a family of large individuals, all shouting up at the bridge we're floating under.

"Stop being a little SHITE and get down here!" the mom is screaming.

"But I don't want to," the chubby teenage daughter says, pouting. "I scraped my back. I'm not tubing any more." She's standing by a country road, clutching her tube.

The DNB and I exchange looks as we float right through the middle of the mayhem.

They're still hollering as we paddle ourselves out of earshot. I can't entirely blame the girl; the river rocks definitely have their way with me where the water shallows.

I hiss at the DNB as a beaver swims past us. I've never seen one in real life before, and it's not as big as I thought it'd be.

"It's not going to, like, bite my rear, is it?" I ask.

"Probably not," the DNB replies. "I'm just glad there are fewer crocs than normal."

I view it as one of my contributions to the success of our marriage: allowing him to antagonize me like this. YOU'RE WELCOME, HONEY.

We see two more beavers over the next three hours, and watch a small bird wade into the shallows and catch a fish. Giant trout rest still beside the banks, their top fins above the water.

The whole National Geographic-ism of the trip takes a new twist as we approach a river-front campground on our left. A young woman walks behind her trailer - directly facing us - drops trou, and pees on the ground.

"Does she not see us, or does she not care?" I whisper.

And then, and it doesn't get better than this, she stands up slightly and GIVES A LITTLE SHAKE in lieu of wiping. I'm trying not to watch, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME? If you're peeing 3 feet from the edge of the river, privacy is a moot issue.

The campground appears to be full of... "Are those frat guys?" I ask the DNB.

"Nah, but they probably would be if they had gotten into college."

Fair enough. They are so loud and rowdy they don't even notice as our tubes begin scraping on the riverbed. The river's quickly become less than a foot deep. We look at each other as we try to scoot to deeper water. I push with my feet and pull with my hands, but the water is just too shallow. The DNB tries to crab walk.

"Portage!" I eventually exclaim, picking up my tube and walking through the water past the campground. No one pays the slightest attention to us as we slosh by.

Beyond the campground, we resume our float, the world peaceful once again.

"So was that, three....FOUR beavers we saw today?" the DNB asks.

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