I don't ALWAYS ride my bike. Sometimes, I play in the water. Remember when I went paddleboarding? And remember that we have a big ol' lake 10 minutes away?
One Saturday in June, I sent Brian off to ride Deer Park in Crested Butte with our friend, Tim, and stole Tim's wife, Sarita, and her daughter, Olivia, for some water fun.
Our first attempt at lakeside relaxation was a big fat FAIL once the winds picked up. Cue us running up and down the beach, eating and breathing sand while attempting to catch beach towels, sand toys and life jackets while also trying to keep kids calm and not lose our own sanity.
We survived. Sort of. I was cleaning sand out of my various orifices for at least two weeks after this.
Once we got everything together and hopped in my completely sand-filled Subaru, we spent the next hour driving around, searching for that elusive perfect beach spot.
We found it, thanks to Sarita's keen eyes. And thus commenced beach relaxation.
Someone please tell me. Why are baby life jackets so freaking ridiculous?? Because, really? My baby is supposed to hang out for an extended period of time in one of these things?
Hazel braved THIS MUCH of the water.
Sarita supervising. In her life jacket. Safety is no accident, folks.
The lake is so awesome that you can drive right up to the shore. True story. Heck, I could drive IN TO the lake if I really wanted to.
Sailors. Not to worry, freaker-outers. We were in a small lagoon type thing. They weren't going anywhere.
So then. The next day. We went rafting down the Gunnison River with the Meeuwsens. All of them except for Russell, their 9-month-old. He stayed home with Tygh because, while the river was safe enough for both babies, no baby wants to wear a life jacket for 5 straight hours. See post above.
To be honest, I am a complete river novice and when Anna said, "Sure, I can pilot (is that even the right term?) a raft down the river with 4 adults and 3 kids ages 5, 4, and 3" I was just a teeny tiny bit skeptical. She did assure me that she is a former rafting guide. And to be fair, she is currently a doctor, with thousands of hours of emergency room experience. And her own kids would be on the board. So I agreed.
And you guys. It was the most ridiculous, most crazy, most fun rafting trip EVER. Anna proved to be competent and cool in the water, even asking us if we wanted to row. I? I am not competent and cool in the water, as evidenced by the fact that I steered the boat in to a thicket within 3 minutes of taking over the oars. Everyone on the boat had to take cover lest their heads be completely taken off. Oops.
We also rented a ducky, which is kind like an inflatable kayak. THAT was super fun. Brian was a pro at riding a ducky. Not that it's difficult to be good at. But I mean, c'mon. Just look at him.
This was prior to poor Cameron and her mother getting dunked when Michael took the oars aaaaaaand hit a rock. Oops. Fortunately, the river is Class I or less and you know. Life jackets save lives, people.
Brian took the oars and did a much better job than I did. Have you ever piloted an oar boat down a river? It's not easy.
Other fun times on a raft included: almost taking the raft down a diversion dam, having to carry said raft over the rocks to avoid the diversion damn, running in to a bridge, Hazel's head being thiiiiiiiiiis close to hitting the concrete bridge, hitting a much higher class rapid and really just hoping we wouldn't flip because my lunch was on that raft and it wasn't tied down.
It was, without a doubt, the best raft trip I have ever been on.
That was one of the best weekends I have had in a long time. And considering that I have a damn good time on all of my weekends, that's saying something. I love being on the water with my family and friends. I love going on adventures that may or may not turn out but will undoubtedly cause me to want a margarita (either in celebration or defeat). I love that my kids spent more time slathered in sunscreen than not and now Hazel makes up rafting stories when she plays with her Little People.
All that said, I was completely and utterly exhausted on Monday. I meant to make the next week a big riding weekend but I could barely move. I. just. wanted. to. sleep.
No regrets here though. Would YOU have given up fun times on the water for more time on the bike?
Yeah, I didn't think so.