I'll take the red clay robe
with the red clay wings,
And a red clay halo for my head.
I had hoped that this blog would contain many pictures of me and Corey having a blast on the river, but alas, it was not to be.
As none of you will remember, NERA had its paddle trip down the Oostanaula on Saturday: the official one. I was really really looking forward to doing this with Corey, but he had been sick all week and he was still sick on Saturday.
I had been sick too, but I was over it by Friday. Saturday morning, we got up early and Corey kept saying, "Yeah, *cough, cough* I can make it baby *sneeze, sneeze*, I wouldn't *sniff sniff* miss it!" It took a lot of convincing and cajoling to get him to believe that I would not drown or be taken hostage by river pirates or eaten by river dingos if he wasn't there. It also took a lot of convincing to make him realize that he would have been miserable if he had come with me. But he finally caved. He settled instead on helping me gather all my crap and driving me to the put-in.
I ended up hitching a ride with Bumper again, who was more than happy to let me crash. I missed Corey the whole time because I know we would have been laughing and having a blast the whole way. And I mourn for the loss of several little songs he probably would have come up with along the way. Because that's how cool my man is.
Because there was no Corey there, I honestly don't have much to tell that would be different from the last trip down the river. Except that Joe, our parent organization's executive director, is hilarious. I had never seen him around his kids, but he must be one of the funnest Dads ever. He and his kids (well, at least one of them was his) kept ramming the other canoes (not hard enough to turn them over) and shooting water cannons at us. It was just silly fun.
They proceeded to sing the Meatball song among others as they paddled, which sent me WAY back. Since then, I haven't been able to stop singing, "On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed." Again I sighed and pouted because Corey wasn't there to join in.
We did have a very slight incident which I didn't see because Bumper, his little boy, and I ended up lagging way behind at one point. A couple of older ladies came on the trip and they hadn't paddled for a very long time. Apparently, they tried to pass over a shoal on the wrong side and ended up stuck between a rock and a big log. They flipped, and one lady apparently got a foot stuck for a minute. Luckily the rapids over the shoal were very tiny and the water rather shallow. They both emerged unscathed and only a little shaken.
When we took out, Corey came and got me, feeling a whole lot better. He said he'd had one of those naps that just completely works wonders. He was feeling well enough to take me to the Steak and Shake in Dalton for much-needed steak burgers and cheddar fries. He had lost some of his steam by the time we got back, but he was still feeling well enough to take care of my major sunburn.
Which brings me to my new wings. I applied SPF 50 (yes, 50) very liberally all over my shoulders and arms and neck when I took my shirt off and put my life jacket over my bikini top. I kept applying. I must have sunscreened my shoulders at least four times during the trip. Was this necessary? OH YES!! For those of you who don't know me personally, you must understand that I have VERY Irish skin. I mean I'm fish-belly white most of the time. So maybe that explains why, despite my four applications of SPF 50, my shoulders still got a little bit burnt.
But the worst was my back. Not my whole back mind you - just the part of my back under my shoulder blades and actually including the tip of my shoulder blade. How, you ask, did this happen? Well, apparently, the sun snuck in through the armholes of the life jacket and did its cooking quietly. Now I look like I have two little red wings. And they hurt like hell. It's the worst I've been burnt in years. I'm super careful about getting too much sun, but it just didn't occur to me that the sun was hitting me in that area. So now leaning back and lying on my back when I go to bed both hurt mightily. But I'm keeping up with the aloe and hopefully my little wings will fade soon.
Anyway, hope y'all had a lovely weekend, and didn't end up being made crispy by the sun.
Here's some Gillian Welch. This song is so me when I was a little girl.