Floating the river redux
Last time I floated the North Platte with Carol, our floats stopped floating. The old-school innertubes deflated about an hour into the trip, and we ended up walking a mile through neighborhoods and on the bike path back to the car.
We made sure this time not to repeat our prior experience. We rented a raft. With oars.
The yacht seated 12 (we were 6) and included a cooler to hold beverages, snacks and dry clothes. The heavy-duty sides protected us the few times we bumped into cement bridge supports.
I got to row!
We floated about six miles down the river, which included the whitewater adventure park.
The last time I rowed anything was November 2003, before the fall crew season ended and the Genesee River froze over. I liked rowing but didn’t like how cliquey the team was. It was college — time to branch out and meet all sorts of people. And I joined the newspaper, which cut into 5:30 a.m. practice on the morning the paper came out. Although I stopped in between seasons, I still consider it the only commitment I’ve ever quit.
“Rowing” the raft made me remember why I used to like it. Rowing is hard work that looks easy when it’s done well. I loved getting into a rhythm — slipping the blade in the water just enough, reaching forward and pulling with one clean swoop to glide across the water — and repeating it 2,000 meters at a time.
Last weekend’s outting can hardly be compared to competitive rowing, but it was a little reminder that it’s something I could return to someday.