Once or twice a year, a group of us have been canoeing down the Maquoketa River in Eastern Iowa. This year, we set a date and invited most of the regulars and had a couple out of towners (seriously we had one from Chicago and one from Denver!). When we tell people we are going canoeing, I think they get the wrong impression. I assure them we’re not at all outdoorsy people, it’s basically a floating bar party, as you will see in the photos.
We started off meeting at Subway in the early morning to pick up sammiches for lunch. We were a tad concerned when we saw the torrential downpour and the black thunder clouds rolling in, but Coach convinced us that it would blow over.
We rounded everyone up, once Belcher got there (she’ll never change), and hit the road. 30 seconds later, we were already down a car. TinyDancer and Marty had car trouble and had to get towed. We were all like, “So long, suckers!!!!” (I’m totally kidding, they told us to go one without them, and we did – which sucked because they’re super fun.) The rain was coming to a halt, thankfully!
We pulled into the parking lot next to the river and started unloading our gear. And by gear, I mean coolers full of beverages. The Anderson Canoe Rental people came and picked us up in nice air conditioned vans and took us to the launch point.
When we got out, these people helped us unload coolers and water guns and bags and such right near the canoes (the royal treatment compared to what we’ve had before). Then the people helped us put our canoes in the water and held the boats steady while we hopped in (again, the royal treatment). And for the final sprinkle of bacon on the cake, these canoes had MANY cup holders!!!!! It’s like they knew we were coming and would need these things.
I could go on and on how awesome this trip was, but I’ll give you some highlights:
• Coach standing up in the canoe brandishing his oar like a Tusken Raider (or sandpeople, for those people not in “the know”)
• Roachie lost his balance and dove out of his canoe so as not to drown his entire family by trying to save himself
• Waaaaay too much oar-guitar going on, though Pul-Chevy did bust out the double-oar-bass for his Spinal Tap solo
• TomB and Alley-Handra’s rubber duckie being towed by their canoe
• Pul-Chevy having to stop every 15 minutes to pee and then not even phased when we were all talking to him while he was trying to go. He did have some sweet moves though…
• ImposterChao and Nutmeg did not blow away this year like they did on a previous trip
• Coach broke edge and had a couple drinks. Oh wait, he wasn’t edge…
• Mr. Burns kept switching canoes, so we’d lose track of him every once in a while
• Callous-un’s head got in the way of a large ice-cube-grenade I threw and it scrambled her judgment a little. Then she motorboated a 5 year old boy. Don’t ask…
• Cthulu caved due to all of our harassment and took of his fanny pack
• PulChevy and Callous-un threading the needle everytime there was more than a 3 foot wide gap in the rocks. It’s even more hilarious that no one noticed or cared
• Mizinformation took a tennis ball to the face (compliments of OrrmanRyan) that broke her glasses
• A REALLY deep discussion about gay/straight men/women and who likes boobs the most. (The answer is ImposterChao does!)(read his shirt in the photo below)
• Toach’s ability to bust into ANY song we mentioned lyrics to within 1 second of hearing the line. Mambo #5 was the first, then some Til Tuesday, then it just got weird. She also missed the tops of her feet with the sunscreen – ouch ouch ouch
• Tree branch limbo
• Roachie tried to swing from this large vine hanging from a tree into the river. He didn’t make it.
• EyeHeartPizza asked Callous-un if she could borrow her bag of marshmallows. Then when she got them, she immediately began pelting people with them. Oh, and then she accidentally bounced the entire bag off of Raimie’s head and the bag went into the water.
• There were many (seriously MANY) beverages consumed on this trip. Despite the fact that I did not bring my patented Black Forest Cake beverage – and heard about it like 36 times that day – the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster seemed to be a success with this crowd.
• Easy cheese is the universe’s way of giving canoe trips the thumbs up
I know there are other stories, but you guys will get sick of not understanding my inside jokes with the canoe people. Suffice it to say, this was one of the best canoe trips ever. No one got belligerent. No one tipped their canoe (though it was close a couple of times). We all mixed and mingled canoeing positions. And we did next to ZERO actual paddling.
Top 5 things about the Canoe Trip in Maquoketa
1. I still have awesome friends in Illinois/Iowa. I would take a bullet for any of them, as long as that bullet were made of orange sherbet
2. Classy canoes with drink holders
3. Gallons and gallons of tasty beverages consumed on a river
4. The weather and river level cooperated unlike last year
5. I did NOT get sunburned this trip, like I have EVERY other time. Everytime PulChevy would pee, I’d reapply sunscreen (kidding)
Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd should have been on this trip, since the trip got flooded out last year. She would have hated and loved every minute of this trip
2. Kanoo and Mariesa and Tekmet and Sarah couldn’t make it this year. They’re charter members of the canoe crew
3. Mizinformation’s broken glasses
4. I have an aversion to sand, which I have to deal with every year when I do this. This year was particularly bad for some reason. Don’t ask.
5. Coach did not yell “merit badge” often enough. We drink when he talks about the canoeing merit badge he got in 1978. So it’s his fault if anyone got dehydrated. Rude.