Voyage of the Damned Averted

For quite a while now I've wanted to take a kayak up onto the Yellow River and do some geocaching.

There are 7 caches placed along the river that you can only access by boat.

My Dad and another cacher friend of ours talked about going in August but I have to tell you that I know from experience that you see less snakes in the swamp in the winter time.

For someone who has an irrational fear of snakes that's important.

It's gotten chilly here now and I decided that Sunday would be the perfect time to make the trip.

The forecast called for sunny skies, 60 degrees and no wind.

Not too cold, not too hot - perfect.

I thought.

But my Dad and the Island King started talking about how cold we'd be if we got wet and then went into great detail about hypothermia.

I swear they acted like I was taking them into the Tundra and we'd be kayaking through ice.

There were even secret phone calls between the two of them - discussing how they could prevent my "adventure" from becoming a disaster for all involved.

The Island King started calling me the Captain of the SS Minnow and humming the Gilligan's Island song whenever we talked about the trip.

We told his friend about the trip and he immediately said "Can I go?" - which is a direct quote that should be noted later on in the story.

But then he and the Island King started talking about hypothermia and a "3 hour tour" and he got a little freaked out.

Suddenly, I was forcing him to go along on the expedition and he was as concerned about dying as the Island King and my Dad were.

I'm now instigating a Voyage of the Damned trip.

Now, I will admit that I've taken my family on several adventures that didn't work out so well.

But the great Book Swap saga is being talked about and the fact that I got lost in the woods was actually thrown in my face.

Neither of those things were my fault - well maybe the lost thing, but just a little.

But... WE'RE NOT GOING INTO THE TUNDRA! It's a seven mile paddle, downstream, on a cool but sunny day.

My Dad, the boys and I drove up there on Friday to do recon for where to put in and where to take out.

Does this look like the Tundra to you?

Neither does the place we've picked to pull out.

Friday night the Island King's friend called, again, to say that he's decided to bring his motorboat instead. For emergency purposes.

Which made me laugh at him and then accuse him of being scared of being in the canoe (he's a self proclaimed Master Canoer)

At which time the man actually said "You know the Donner party didn't know how things were going to turn out and they had to eat each other to stay alive!"

The Donner party?!!

I explained that we aren't going over a mountain. We're kayaking down a river. If there is trouble - at any point along the way - we can pull up to the bank and walk to a major hwy within 45 minutes.

I've gone from the Captain of the Minnow, to the instigator of the Voyage of the Damned, and am now the leader of the Donner party.

And I am quite offended.

The Island King is a firm believer in the old adage - If Momma ain't happy, nobody's happy - and knowing that messing up my trip will cause him great unhappiness he finally gets on board with the plan, stops making secret phone calls and proclaims "If you want to go - we're going"

But then Saturday came with a brand new forecast. Cloudy, high of 58 and winds out of the North at 15 to 20 mph.

Not the weather I was planning on.

Saturday also came with a FB message from our cacher friend who is going along.

She's been ready to go all along and feels secure in the knowledge that no one will need to be airlifted out of the river or die of hypothermia.

Until looking at the forecast on Saturday morning.

Which caused her to say that it doesn't look like Sunday will be a good day for the trip and that maybe we should just take the truck up into the woods and do some caching that way.


Common sense and the overwhelming desire to prove to certain men that this wasn't going to be a Donner party kind of trip battled in my head for half an hour.

Common sense won, I contacted all interested parties, and cancelled the trip.

Sunday morning came with an even more unpleasant forecast. High of 50, cloudy, 40% chance of rain, possible thunder and winds starting at 20mph.

Thank God that common sense prevailed!

If I had taken those 7 people up to the river and they were miserable all day (which we would have been) I would NEVER live it down.

My Dad sent me an email telling me "Good call, Captain" - which lends credibility to the fact that despite a few mishaps I am perfectly capable of taking people into the woods and returning successfully.

According to the Island King it just means that I know not to go in the rain lol

One day he'll see that he's wrong and will be eating crow for a week!