The Hooch

Not long ago, country singer Alan Jackson had a song that mentioned the Chattahoochee River. Because I have extreme dislike of Mr. Jackson’s music, I am almost inclined to skip mentioning our float trip on the Chattahoochee, but I talk about it anyway

We had been planning this trip for some time with Julie’s cousin, Jim, and his family. June was too busy for them and July was too busy for us. And when we finally decided on a date, it rained that day on our way over and we decided to reschedule. This was wise as we also moved it to the morning instead of the afternoon.

The place we picked was 45 minutes away for us, but cheaper than going to a closer tubing facility ($10 vs. $25 per person). Even though we weren’t meeting until about 11am, everyone was a bit grumpy about getting up earlier on a Saturday morning. But when we arrived, there was hardly anyone there.

When I picked up the tubes, I was asked if we wanted to upgrade what we purchased online to a “closed bottom” tube. The reason I was asked is because the water was only 54 degrees. Yikes! Could I bear it? And what about everyone else? Jim told me that with the exception of him, everyone has a closed tube. He told me I should get an open one and that I would get used to it. Julie decided on an open as well. Guess she wanted to be one of the guys.

We were the only group taking along a big cooler, and I wondered how it would do. As it turns out, it floated very nicely between Julie and I’s tubes. As with any float trip, someone always gets ahead and someone is always behind. The good part about this is the river had little to no rapids so I knew it was never going to be a big issue. I was wrong.

Within the first 30 minutes, Jim’s son, Will, fell off his tube and went into a panic. That sent his parents into a panic, who were with us further upstream. He climbed back on, but recall the water was VERY cold and they were worried about hyporthermia. As far as I could tell, he recovered quickly.

Grace and Roman were doing OK, getting behind every now and then. The kids weren’t staying together as I had hoped. And then I saw it – an area that I knew Grace and Roman were going to get hung up. I should mention that Jim’s kids both had paddles, but I tried them and they were hard to use on a tube. Since Grace and Roman were lagging behind, I kept telling them to try and steer their boats more towards the center of the river as there was a spot coming up they would get stuck behind a big log. They did little to nothing and sure enough wound up behind it. We got further and further in front of them and I had to yell to them to give instructions. But they didn’t like me “yelling” and would not listen to what I had to say. It took quite a long time, but they finally freed themselves. One reason I was upset with them getting stuck was there was a family that had stopped to smoke who were with us for some of the trip, stinking it up. I was really hoping we would get far ahead of them. Plus, it was getting hot. The day started in the low 80’s, but it was climbing to the 90’s.

After this incident, it was never the same. There was no relaxation. Grace wanted to float on her own without being hitched to another tube (except for Roman’s) and I was against that. She said Jim’s kids didn’t want them attached, but I wasn’t getting that vibe. May be true. I knew she would get stuck again, and she did, and though I told Julie she was to get her, it was up to me again.

Max and Mitchell complained about having to go from the start and though they seemed more relaxed than anyone else, they complained at the end too. Oh well…..we did it, it should have been fun, but I am not going back anytime soon.

This is written so poorly because my head hurts right now. Really bad headache.

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