Lovely blue sky innocent happy happiness. It was seventy-four-hundred degrees as we busted out the hand pump and stuck the nozzle into the tube down by the water.
Truckee River Floating Time.
Dry bags full of cell phones and car keys secured with ropes to our floating palace. Ice in the cooler spot, some cans of sparkle water, and one Coors Light that our friend Jennie found in the snow behind a tree in the mountains a week or so ago.
A joyous yip as our butts touched the cold water.
The river was finally low. Crazy. It had been so pissed off just a few weeks ago. Frothing and churning, eating banks and trees and bridges. Silty brown with white caps. Claiming property and living creatures. Nothing was safe.
Now it was low enough to have tiny little rapids which felt just dangerous enough to make you hold your breath. Scream a little. Hang on tight to the raft.
Come out the other side exhilarated.
Feeling like you accomplished something.
YES. I MADE IT. I’M SO AWESOME.
I opened the who-knows-how-old-this-beer-is Coors Light and gave it a sip. Hard to tell if it was bad or not. It was Coors Light.
Black clouds zipped up out of nowhere, circling around us, shrinking our lovely blue sky. Only a teeny tiny patch left. Lightning zinging on the mountain top, the light making upside down trees against the black mass of the storm.
But we couldn’t get out. We’d committed ourselves to getting at least to downtown on our tube. WE ARE NOT QUITTERS.
Cool wind. Followed by colder wind. The sky’s colander dumping out extra water. Streaming down my neck.
WE ARE NOT QUITTERS.
I couldn’t feel my hands anymore. I had no toes. I shivered and we splashed and zipped through some more little rapids.
MY FROES ARE TOZEN, I thought.
I thought of my dry clothes at home. A hot shower. Some hot tea.
Hot tea in August. Huh.
We pulled over far ahead of downtown, the rain pouring down, violent thunder ripping open the sky, electricity and excitement in the air.
We deflated the tube and looked around.
And called an Uber.
The driver never even complained about our soaking wetness and we clamored into his car.
I took one look back at the river.
WE ARE NOT QUITTERS, I said to the river.
This is not ‘goodbye’. This is ‘see ya next weekend’.
Karen · August 20, 2017 at 10:30 pm
Jennie · August 15, 2017 at 10:29 pm
Nancy · August 15, 2017 at 8:00 pm
Fabulous as usual!
Aidan Gullickson · August 15, 2017 at 12:55 pm
Wonderful! Love it.
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