A super nice older vet came by the church to offer us a lift to Wally for resupplying. Due to these antibiotics wrecking complete havoc on my digestive system, I bought a liter sized jar of yogurt and completely pounded (roughly 700 calories) it in hopes that my body would be able to start retaining things. After that, while in the store I crushed a Big Mac from one of the in store “restaurants”.
Today, we gotta get this tubing trip together! I ran by the outfitter and got the number for a business that would take us tubing and put together all the details. Of course, we also had to bring beer along because beer. The cooler at the church certainly worked, but it had a bit of a tear in the insulation part on the outside like someone had taken a knife and peeled back a layer of some fruit.
The float started out reallllyyy slow, but once beer was consumed, the speed also seemed to pick up at one point. Definitely one of the coolest tubing trips I have done, and highly recommended. You get to see mountains on both sides of the river as you float down, and there is a point where it does get a little intense and bumpy right about half way through.
At one point early, we were floating on and it started raining on us, HARD. We were all paralyzed, waiting for thunder claps to see what would happen. Beers raised to mouths, we just laughed and stared out across the river as the rain drops formed a near incessant state of surface disturbance. In a way, it kind of looked like TV static. The crackling sound it made even resembled the white noise of a disconnected tube late at night. It was as if nature had unplugged and was paused for a minute. Of course I had experienced plenty of rain on the trail at this point, but the experience on the river, in an open, already well saturated area, was much different. In the isolation of the forested mountains, the rain creates a sense of monotony in the walk, a constant noise and cooling, relaxing feeling. That is something I will never forget is the way I have grown to appreciate the rain in a way I never did before. Most people go through their lives hiding in concrete bunkers or running frantically through the stuff with their heads covered like it’s going to kill them or something. We would walk, open armed, near-tears thankful for a break from the heat and a chance to wash the salt and grime off our bodies.
On the river however, it was, as I said before, a moment of pause. Like nature had taken a break. It was rather relaxing. In fact, the crackle of the rain was so loud on the river that we had to stop talking. We sat and floated, just enjoying the moment, where everything farther than 10 meters away from us had faded into a gray mist.
Sure this made smoking a bit difficult, but that’s okay. We’ll be carrying on…
Chatting with Timber, her trail name came from an incident last year during her first attempt when a tree had fallen on her. In fact, it was the exact scenario that almost happened to me. One of her support trees was struck by lightning, which not only sent pieces of bark flying, but also essentially scissored her. Fortunately she wasn’t killed, but she was injured enough that she had to leave the trail. And it scared her from hammocking for good :(.
By the time we reached the end, I was 100% sauced. I could barely pull myself out of the inner tube let alone pull it out of the water behind me and carry it up (at the time) the seemingly cliff like hill, right next to the very “friendly” neighbors house. Thankfully there was a dumpster at the end and we had finished all of our beer, so we could come back to the church alcohol free.
What a weird night though. We all went for pizza tonight (and got way too much haha). Kudzu was talking about how her card had been snagged and now she had to wait here until her new one showed up. I recalled how earlier in the day someone had jacked my phone charging cable as well. Plus, my debit card situation from yesterday. And my camera is broken. Damn we can’t win… This state just wants to eat us and spit us out in New Jersey…
A little god send from home, Natalia sent me a playlist on Spotify to give me some new jams to listen to. You the shit guh!