A few days ago I went on an adventure down the Youghiogheny river with my Mom (Doodle), Dad (Pap), sister (Shelby) and my boyfriend (Morgan.) We call my parents Doodle and Pap because that is what my nephew Quincy started calling them as soon as he could talk.
Floating down the river on rafts is a fun past time that I have enjoyed with Morgan and our friends many times but my parents and my sister have never floated down the river until now. My dad grew up in a mountainous area of PA and spent most of his childhood playing outside, fishing and hunting. But, Doodle on the other hand is definitely a city slicker. Not that the small southwestern PA town she grew up in was anything like the nearby city of Pittsburgh. But it is safe to say she already had a million fears of bugs and snakes running through her mind just thinking about getting her toes in the water. And getting her toes in the water was just the first dilemma of the day.
She took one step into the water and screamed because the water was “freezing” on the 95 degree day. Then her flip flops wouldn’t stay on when she walked into the water so she had to take them off. And then the rocks were stabbing her unprotected feet. Maybe it was my fault for forgetting to mention how sharp the rocks can be but I guess I just figured she would think to bring some old shoes for walking in the water.
Actually, she did remember to bring some old shoes — my old shoes. Ya, they are old shoes but the shoes she happened to pick are one of my favorite old pairs of Sanuk flip flops that were bright orange (my favorite color) and miraculously still in decent shape even tho they are my go to shoes for outdoor adventures like this. But there is a big difference between me and Doodle.
I don’t lose things. Doodle loses and/or breaks EVERYTHING.
So when she finally mangaged to walk far enough out into the water to climb on her raft I warned her that if she wears those flip flops in her raft and puts her feet in the water they will get ripped right off. Of course she is the boss and as usual ignores my warning and does it her way.
We made it about 20 minutes down the river all tied together in our rafts before Doodle yelps, “O no! My shoe fell off! Morgan go get it!”
It was a sinker.
You probably also noticed in the above photo that her sun glasses are broken in half. Somehow while wearing her sunglasses and sitting perfectly still they just snapped in half. New sunglasses just broke for no reason at all. Well, that is Doodle for ya. Pap thinks they melted. We eventually pulled over for a little bit to eat some lunch. Any lunch Doo packs is a good lunch! Doodle can make a 5 course meal out of basically nothing and I have never met anyone that can cook like she does. What outdoorsy skills Doodle lacks she definitely makes up for in the kitchen! While on our little mini break my dad found treasure!
At first we thought it was a real gun but then when the handle broke off we decided it must just be someones old toy. Maybe someone will find my lost orange Sanuk flip flop one day.
The rest of the trip went pretty smooth except for a little rain that felt like needles stabbing my skin. It was only a 10% chance of rain that day but that is just typical for the Ways attempting an adventure. But really the whole day was pretty awesome! We had a lot of fun and we bought four new rafts and managed to make it down the river without snagging any holes.
The hardest part of any outdoor adventure is always the clean up.
Squeezing all of the air out of those big river rafts is harder than it looks when you don’t have the pump with you. It was so hard that Morgan even took a little tumble down the hill.
If you have never floated down the river I definitely suggest it! Aside from the initial purchase of the rafts it is totally free and a great way to just be lazy and enjoy some time with friends and family outdoors! Remember to be safe on the water and take your life jackets just in case!
Also I bought a disposable water proof camera just for this trip for $10 and then it cost and additional $14 just to develop it! I am looking into buying a digital waterproof camera for my future water adventures.
XOXO — Abbey