Somehow, it is the last day of August. My summer, which was filled with endless good intentions, has ended. Faith is in school, I am in school, we are all newly adjusted to our fall schedule and all is well, but man, I kind of wish summer had lasted just a LITTLE bit longer. It just seems like we didn’t get to play enough.
It is wonderful, however, to be able to open the windows for the first time in months without feeling like we’re suffocating from the heat and humidity.
In one last summer hurrah, Jeff and I and some friends went down the river. In what might be the most redneck mode of free entertainment, we basically just sit on inner tubes and ride them down the Chattahoochee. What would be a ten minute drive on back roads that parallel the river is a five hour ride on tubes. We take coolers full of drinks and food, and shove them into their own tubes, which we tie onto ours and we just sit back and let the river take us down a little farther south. We always bump into rocks, cover ourselves with bruises, and occasionally flip over when we try to navigate little rapids. We have sometimes lost the contents of our coolers and almost always lose our sunglasses. When the river is down we have to scoot along the more shallow areas and when the river is up we fly along in a more fun and terrifying ride. We always try to cover ourselves with sunscreen but most of the time we end up getting burned anyway. We always straggle out of the river at the bridge where we end our ride, dragging our tubes behind us, soaking wet, red, sore, and dehydrated, usually missing some article of clothing that we went in with.
It is one of the most fun things we do all year.
We always get into the Chattahoochee up near where we live in Northeast Georgia, where the river is clean, long before where it gets near Atlanta and is . . . not so clean anymore. Once on the river we occasionally see kayakers going by, but most of the time we are all alone in our little group. We’ll see houses sometimes, high on the banks, cabins isolated from the rest of the world. It is quiet and peaceful and tranquil. It feels like it is some part of nature untouched from the rest of the world and it’s our luck to be able to enjoy it. It’s several hours of the kind of fun you have when you’re a kid, just a thrill to be moving fast with the sun on your face, laughing until your sides hurt. It just makes me feel alive.
Now, it’s nearly fall, and the river will quickly get cold. And another year until the next river ride.