Life of Scott

Imagination unleashed.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Boating to Shooters

Evan and I have good ideas once in a while. Other times, they are not so good.

This past Saturday, we decided to raft from about 12 miles from Valley View to the Flats, ending up at Shooters. We wanted to tie up my 9'-2" inflatable dinghy next to million-dollar yachts and get pictures of the whole thing.

It all started off so well. We packed 18 beers (dubbed "sports ale" because we were on an athletic journey), four apples, two foot-long hoagies, a radio, and a change of clothes. 7pm and all ready for our 4-hour expedition. Evan wore his blue, old-man hat; I wore my jackaroo hat. We were moving swiftly in the swollen river without paddling much, drinking, eating, and being merry in the warm summer evening.

It all went to hell when the river stopped moving three hours into the trip. I had to shift around to start paddling and kept spilling my beer. Now there is beer in the bottom of the raft (and all over my legs and shorts). We did not get twist-off bottles, so I had to pop the beers with the blade of my paddle. Now there is poopy Cuyahoga river water in the raft and in our beer.

Eventually, we had to pee. It is very difficult to maintain a stream while kneeling on the inflated sides of the raft, so we opted for peeing in bottles. Of course, I pee more than 12 ounces, so there were problems with overfilling before dumping into the river. Now there is piss mixed into the beer-and-poopy-river-water cocktail on the floor of the raft.

The damn raft had a slow leak, which meant Evan had to blow it up every half hour.

And then the freighter showed up. It was being unloaded when we noticed it. I thought it was an unusually huge building until we got right next to it and saw it was a freighter (the American Republic). Twenty minutes downstream, we heard a loud horn behind us as the American Republic is gaining on us. It was by the grace of God that we were on the West side of the river as it passed dangerously close to the East side. We would have been fish food so fast.

Another hour after that a barge shows up, but by this time, we were old hands at not getting chopped up by large boats.

By the time we pulled up next to Shooters (not even at the Shooters dock, but upstream of it), the time was 2:40am. We spent nearly EIGHT FUCKING HOURS on the river. The last five of them were solid paddling and complaining. We did see some beavers, which we promptly referred to with other outdated vagina names like "cunny" and "twat." We also saw some hillbilly fishermen campers and punk kids getting high. Eating a fish from that river is like finding the ham sandwich you dropped into the nuclear reactor core while changing the graphite rods and saying, "I guess I'll eat this since there is no visible gamma radiation on the bread." Which begs the question -- why did you have your ham sandwich in the core of a nuclear reactor in the first place?

Camper: Where you boys headed?
Scott: Shooters!
Camper: Why you takin a raft there?
Scott: This river is how I get around town. Saves on gas. God put it here, might as well use it! RIGHT?! RIGHT?!
Camper: Fuckin' A.

If anyone wants to buy a raft, I may be retiring my captain's hat after this trip.

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