Sunday, July 1, 2007
alternative water opportunities
I took a break from kayaking to attend the 35th Annual Eau Claire River Float trip yesterday. This summer tradition began when me and some high school buddies, returning Vietnam vets, relatives, etc. decided to get a quarter barrel of Walters beer, throw it in a canoe, and float down the river in inner tubes on a hot summer afternoon. The concept got legs and we haven't missed a year since. The group had shrunk, grown, aged, become more youthful, and changed personality. Remarkably it has held together for 35 years on the last weekend of June . Oh there have been incidents. Pickup trucks have been rolled, restaurants have been disrupted, bodily parts have been exposed, people have been over served, and other untoward behavior has been evident. Its all good fun however.
My oldest sister and her friend (we'll call her FUSue) are the unofficial 'moral arbitrators' of the trip. One year a group of 4 folks held back and shortly came floating around a bend in the river dressed in surgical scrubs carrying an organ transplant cooler full of Dr McGillicuttys schnapps miniatures. These were administered orally to the many patients and the trip tended to get a lot more fun at that point. This incident, combined with some mooning and unsafe diving at a small rock outcropping called Red Rocks, and the poorly thought out invitation of some ladies from a rather sketchy local bar caused my sister, the 'moral arbitrator' to take action. She admonished a group of us that, "All you a**holes need to remember is No Doctor, No Red Rocks, and No Sluts!" This succinct quotation, of course, needed to be immortalized with a T-Shirt. This year my sister had to attend a wedding and could not float. My younger sister was ordered to 'keep an eye on Rick', my brother in law. As you can see from the photo and the duct tape alteration of the T-Shirt, she did a damn poor job.
It was however, as beautiful an afternoon as you could expect of a Wisconsin summer day. The entire route on the river has one power line and only two visible homes along it so you can pretend you're in the wildereness. Can't wait for the 45th annual!