You know you’re dirty when your shins start sprouting zits.
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this past week, C and I led a parent-child canoe trip for the camp that we work with here in northwest Bufu. I knew it was going to be a hoot-and-holler good time when I woke up Monday morning to rain. This is going to be great, I thought to myself (only out loud, and with a whiny, nasally undertone).
We were gearing up to take a crew of ten on a canoe paddle – a trip that is truly a regional highlight, and full of opportunities for wildlife sightings and some moderately challenging whitewater. It is mostly fun and easy, with a river current that moves along at a nice clip and some pretty campsites on which to bask in the sun.
Except when it’s not. Easy, that is. With a low water level, it turns out that the river current closer resembles a mud puddle than a rushing stream, and those rapids that were supposed to be “a good time” have transformed into a shallow, rocky version of the t.v. show Wipeout, a television program that C ironically loves.
On top of all of this, I'm out trip-leading with a camping saint. Not only does he totally know how to handle stress in the wilderness, but he manages to be kind while he's doing it. While I'm mentally spewing things that might make your insides turn sour, he's smiling as he scrambles around on the razor-sharp river shale to manhandle a canoe through an impassable set of rapids.
Just an example:
C: I'm going to go portage 25 canoes. M, my love, could you go help them set up the tents?
Me: The tents? All of them? You're kidding. Way to take the easy job, boss-man.
C: I love you, beautiful camp angel. I know you're capable of more than you think. Go on - surprise yourself.
Yup, he's a river god. Go ahead, drool a little on your keyboard.
This is a very broad interpretation of the truth, but in short, C took the wicked hard job and in reality, the job I was tasked with is done by 12-year olds all summer in our camp program. This is at right about the correct skill level though, because I am a storm of fury and disarray when it comes to erecting tents. It would be like giving your dog a rubik's cube and expecting him to carve the Ten Commandments with it in 15 minutes or less. That's how absurd we're talking. Poor C was living an episode of Man vs. Wild vs. the Higgledy-Piggledy Co-pilot.
Fortunately for all of us, the weather cleared and we managed to make wild blueberry pancakes on the final morning.
Pancakes can fix anything. Even this.