My dad, my brother, and I went on a three-day kayaking trip down the Suwanee River in Florida last weekend. I think the man at the kayak rental place has a loose interpretation of the word “kayak” since I was given what was clearly a canoe or at the very least, a canuyak. Still, I decided to make the best of it and enjoy my constant struggle to keep with up with J and Dad for 35 miles.
Ten minutes into launching our boats, we saw an alligator. J saw it first and yelled “ALLIGATOR!!!!” at the top of his lungs, which caused our four-legged friend to fling itself into the water right in our direction. Holy shiznit, I have never paddled so hard in my life. For the rest of the trip everything my paddle touched under water was an alligator waiting to roll me over and have his way with me. As J and Dad pontificated about how the alligator has been on our great earth for millions of years , I kept asking myself: How strong is the mandibular jaw of an alligator? What do alligators eat? What would Bear Grylls do if he was attacked by one? I made a mental note to look up the answers to these very important questions as soon as I got back to Atlanta.
Speaking of eating, what didn’t I eat over our three day trip? For one, I ate half a can of Cashews. I hate Cashews, but that is what happens when you paddle non-stop for 6 hours and you start to hallucinate that it is very possible for your arms to actually dislodge themselves from their sockets and fall into the water: you can’t stop eating. My dad was put in charge of provisions. HUGE mistake. Have you ever eaten a Freeze Dried Meal? Have you ever eaten Freeze Dried Chicken Curry? Oh yeah, nothing I like better when I sit around the campfire than hot Indian curry. J and I are still not sure how dad managed to pick out the curry from a selection of meals that include such heavenly delights as lasagna and macaroni and cheese. Luckily I had secretly stashed two dark Snickers bars to get me through the tough times.
My favorite part of the trip occurred the first day when J was pulled over for doing 25 in a 15 in a state park. The state trooper gave him a lecture about speeding and failed to realize that there was a flask in between the driver’s and passenger’s seat, a gun in one of our camping bags, and an opened bottle of the most disgusting vodka ever purchased in the driver’s side compartment. And as a true testament to the trooper’s mental agility, he gave my brother a printed warning and made the warning out to a man named Donald who lives in Florida. The trooper had been given all of my brother’s information. Had supposedly looked him up on his computer doo-hickey. My brother’s name is not even remotely close to “Donald.”
But I sure liked calling him that for the rest of the trip.
Despite the fact that I had the slowest water vessel ever constructed, I had a great time on the trip. I loved spending time with my brother and my dad. Two men I know will always stand in the way of me becoming some hungry alligator’s lunch.