Saturday, August 13, 2011

Quite The Adventure

My brother, wife and I went on an adventure last night.  Around 6:00pm we had our mother drop us off in Swatara Creek, a creek about 45 minutes away from us, in a canoe.  We had all the necessary things for an evening of canoeing, a night of camping, and then another half day of canoeing packed into it.  We paddled for a while, going at what seemed like a fairly impressive clip, speeding past people in kayaks and tubes.  A little bit of fishing happened, a little bit of storytelling happened, a little bit of rope-swinging happened, and a little bit of canoe rocking that ended up with us taking in a good bit of water happened.  Also we passed under a tree at one point in time and ended up with a good few spiders crawling all over us and the canoe.  It was quite fun.
Every so often it would get rather shallow and we would get out to pull it over the rocks.  This was fine until we decided that we would be continuing to kayak after it got dark.  The full moon was a magnificent source of light and the big dipper was a great guiding constellation, but even so, when the water was shallow, it was awfully hard to guide the canoe over rocks without slipping or hurting your feet.  We passed an island that was dense with trees.  So dense that the moon was unable to shine through and be the source of light that it once was.  It also caused the water to be too shallow for a great distance, causing us to have to pull it rather far...the island was giving some of the crew members an eerie and unsettling feeling, so we got out of there as fast as we could.  By this point in time, everyone just wanted to find a place to camp, we kept going, our standards for camping spots as well as morale dropping.  This was around 9:30ish, things were getting awfully surreal.  Rounding a bend, we noticed some lights on one of the banks.  We realized it was a town of sorts.  We beached the canoe, left almost all of our stuff there and paraded through dense trees, bushes, and much poison ivy.  We came to a six foot wall that we had to scale...which was the wall of an old disgusting junkyard.  Trying not to get tetanus, we made our way through the junkyard, over a major highway, and to the doors of a tavern from 1804.  After trying oh so hard to get a couple of waitresses to understand that we were traveling by canoe and there smart phones were really not helping, we mostly gave up.  We called out mother and tried to get her directions to a place that we had no clue about its whereabouts.  We then had to get a canoe through all that poison ivy, weeds, trees, and bushes, and over a six foot wall.  Somehow we succeeded in getting it over, got picked up, then went to a diner at 2:00am.  A truly awesome experience.  Crazy and surreal, but awesome.  There are few things that I have done that I enjoyed more than canoeing almost blindly down a creek in the dark, relying solely on the moon for guidance, stars scattered all over the sky.

Not Swatara Creek
This isn't Swatara Creek.  I did not bring my camera.  It was probably for the best.  But I figured with an adventure like that, I could get away with taking a fairly standard picture of a creek.

Here is something a little more interesting than just a picture of a creek.  Only a little more interesting.

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