Monday, June 15, 2009

Canoeing on the Brandywine River

On Saturday, the 13th we took a trip with our friends, the Moyer family and went to the Brandywine River for a 2 1/2 hour canoe trip on the river. It started out as a beautiful day, although there were some threatening clouds. Nevertheless, with anxious little boys, we loaded up and headed to the drop off point.

Things were going swimmingly (well, not yet) for awhile. Mike and I had a couple spats - inevitable when trying to navigate along a slow moving shallow river. Audrey Moyer warned us that they fight when they are on the river, but I don't think they were prepared for the Fairchild's. As we rode along the river, our first occasions with obstacles did not go very smooth. We ran into trees, rocks, anything that we were trying to avoid we seemed to hit.

Then, according to our boys, the worst happened. A half submerged tree limb became our next stopping point. I was in the front and behind me I heard screams of terror as our boat tilted dangerously to one side. I looked back and beheld my two little boys screaming, completely hysterical and tightly gripping the edges of the boat. Water streaming in around their waists. I didn't realize it until then but we were sinking and the boys were going down with it.

So, Mike was out of the boat trying to stabalize it and I stepped out (the water was only about 2 1/2 feet deep) and took the boys to safety on the shore. Soaking wet and terrified they stood on the banks while Mike and I emptied the boat of the water. Finally we got back in and reassured the boys many times that it was ok and we promised not to run into any trees or rocks (we mostly kept our promise). At that point it started to rain. For about 15 minutes we endured moans and whines from the two little munchkins - "I'm cold, I'm tired, I'm hungry, I want to go home." Gabe told me that he lost his house and wanted it back. We still had an hour and a half to go.

Fortunately the sun came out and we were able to get the boys out in the shallow water to throw rocks and wade around.

According to Ben the story goes like this: We were canoeing, Mommy and Daddy were fighting and we hit a tree. Water was coming in the boat and we were screaming because we were so scared. Then later we got out in the water and walked around and it was so FUN!"

We plan to do it again, just to terrorize our children and teach them that there is nothing to be scared of - canoeing is fun, right?

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