If you’ve never floated a creek or river in an old black inner tube, you should put it on your to-do list. All you need is a tire tube, a sunny day, flowing water and people younger than you to convince you that somehow you still have what it takes.
Jim and I went to Purdy, Missouri to visit Camp Barnabas, a summer camp for special needs kids, where Jason is the director. Yesterday, Jason, Jackson and Mollie Jane, Jim, a.k.a Big, and I floated Shoals Creek that runs along the edge of camp property. I used to float rivers and creeks every summer, but that was way before I had seven grandkids.
We parked a vehicle at the take out and Mr. Roger from camp took us to the put in. Mollie Jane was a little nervous when we dropped the tubes in the water even though she had floated the creek before. I’m sure the ripples seemed like roaring rapids to an almost 4 year old. So she and Big walked down to put their tubes in the smooth water.
After we drifted past a family at the put in, we didn’t see anyone until the end of the float. It was so quiet and beautiful until we hit the next set of rapids. “Stay to the left Sue Sue, stay to the left,” Jackson yelled. I tired, but went right and found out why I needed to stay left. I hit a rock, but didn’t flip. I was laughing so hard I forgot to lift up my bottom for the next set. I got stuck. Big and Mollie Jane made it just fine.
It was like an expedition in the middle of no where as we navigated the rapids, saw the entrance to a cave, moved a fallen tree, and rescued a a lost pink shoe. I had no idea my biggest challenge would be climbing out of the creek onto the dock. My proudest moment was when I made it out without help.
Big and Mollie Jane were about five minute behind us. She couldn’t wait to tell us they had seen a river otter on the bank and a banded water snake swimming by. I was grateful Mollie Jane was with Big instead of me. I might have ruined future family creek trips.
Today I’m sore and have some booty bruises, but I guess the kids were right. Much to my surprise, I can still float a creek.