As I was longing for warm weather, I remembered what fun my family had last summer.
It was late in the year when my siblings and I decided to float the river. We wanted to start at the closest bridge and float all the way to Bridger where Mom could pick us up. So we did.
Ivan and I claimed the air mattress and the others took inner-tubes. The river was low and gentle. The only disturbance was caused by us.
Melody tried to tip Jimmy into the river. Lori and Emily raced to the next rock, and water flew. Ivan threatened to roll me off the mattress. A dog from one of the houses on the bank swam over to say ’hello’.
Once one of us hollered, “Rapids!” We all clung to our various rides as we approached the ripples. Ivan and I reached them first. I could see the rocks just under the surface of the river. Then our mattress dipped gently and we were over. It was kind of a let down.
After being on the river for an hour, we began to wonder how far we were from our destination. “It’s got to be just around that bend,” we decided.
It seemed the river kept getting slower and slower. Finally we rounded the bend. We had not reached our destination. Instead we saw a dam and the last of our river vanish into an irrigation ditch.
Surely there must be some river left below the dam, we reasoned. We all picked up our inner-tubes, and scrambled over the dam. Below, there was a bit of stagnant water sitting among the rocks. I wrinkled my nose at the stench.
We still could not believe that the entire river had been taken for irrigation. How were we supposed to make it to Bridger with no river? Carefully we picked our way over the rocks. Around the next bend there should be water.
If there would have been fewer bends in the river, we would have given up much sooner. As it was, we continued to follow the river bed. Every pool of stinking water brought new hope.
The rocks were slippery and rough at the same time. We were all staggering, but some of us kept a sense of humor. Who else floats a river, just to have it stolen out from under them?
My sister, Melody, never saw the humor. “It’s not funny!” she said. “My feet are killing me. I think I just broke both little toes. We are never going to get to Bridger, and I’m starving.”
Ivan finally gave up on finding the river. When we came to the next house, he climbed up the bank and asked for a ride. The man there thought it was funny, but he was very nice. He loaded us all in the back of his truck and took us to Bridger.
The truck was almost as fun as the river. We all sat on a giant pile of inner-tubes, with the air mattress on the bottom. Every time the truck bounced, we flew into the air, and then sank down among our inner-tubes. Even Melody laughed.
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