Over the years, I remember taking canoe trips many times each summer. Many were family trips and some were just our family. Usually a whole group would go! Sometimes aunts and friends would ride in inter-tubes, some would take canoes, and the kids would get their own canoe.
We would get a chance to stop a few times throughout the trip and play on sandbars and usually had a collection of mussels to play with by the time we got done. I remember most though going on a trip with friends. We had decided to take a twinkie break every time we saw a rock. Someone would scream twinkie break and we would all stop and eat twinkies while our boat slammed into the twinkie. At one point our red canoe hit a rock hard enough to put a hole in the side. We had to stop at my cousin buddy’s house to try to patch the canoe….. For years after we would point the rock out, still marked with red paint from our canoe.
Years later I took friends while in college and remember my dad telling me ‘ don’t park that truck on the riverbank in the sand. He neglected to say don’t drive it down onto the sand. Needless to say I tore the 4 wheel drive out of the truck. Another time I was 8-9 months pregnant with my first and my husband and I decided to take his family canoeing. Keith parked the truck at the take out point and then took the keys back to my mothers and put them away. After canoeing we arrived and the truck to find we couldn’t get out. Keith and his brother George had to walk all the way back to my mothers and get keys and a vehicle…
My parents owned several spots on the river (still do)… We had spots we viewed as short trips, long trips, and medium, and my parents could tell you how long every put in and take out point would take and they could recognize every spot that you could find help along the way if something came up. The longest distance put in point is at the Ranch. A farm that my parents own with my dad’s first cousin Don. It was the location of a town known as Konky Town long ago. We would then go along the river to the place my kids called the dangerous bridge, the old bridge is gone now and has been replaced but there is still a spot to put in canoes. Going further was the bottom field, my parents have sold that field but they still are friendly with the owner and he would allow us to put in and take out there. (That’s the spot I tore out the 4 wheel drive and the spot that we were stuck with no keys!) Going further, if you want an all day trip, is Bailey’s Bottom. I am sure there are other spots that you can put a canoe in and take out canoes, but all these spots have tons of memories for me! Everything from swinging over the river on a rope to trying to find mussel shells in the river while our parents packed up the boats.
My kids haven’t been on a canoe trip in years (never for the little one). I keep thinking one day we’ll go again. Maybe a big family canoe trip, family reunion style!