The trip did not start well. First of all, we brought Gunther along. For those of you who don't know us personally, Gunther is Kevin's black lab. Gunther would not stay in the canoe the way he had on our previous canoe trip. Instead, he was jumping in and out of the canoe, soaking both of us with river water. So, Kevin tied Gunther's leash to the inside of the canoe in order to keep him from jumping out. Unfortunately, Gunther decided that since he couldn't get out of the canoe, he should ride in the front of the canoe...which so happened to be right where I was sitting. Now I had a wet, stinky dog panting on me and barking in my ear while trying to take my seat in the canoe. I couldn't take it. So, Kevin and I decided to switch spots. Kevin informed me that if I was in the back of the canoe, I would be steering the canoe. He asked me if I could steer a canoe. I told him I could figure it out. Unfortunately, I didn't figure it out. In addition to getting the canoe stuck in the bank several times, we hit about every rock, stick, fallen tree, low-hanging branch, etc. in the river. Kevin decided it would be best if I just relaxed and enjoyed the ride while he took care of all of the paddling and steering.
The trip was taking longer than we had anticipated and it started getting dark. Rivers can become pretty eerie places in the dark. We were both getting a little jumpy. Suddenly, a fish jumped up out of the water on the right side of the canoe. The fish jumped across the canoe, hitting Kevin in the chest, and landing in the water on the left side of the canoe. Kevin freaked out. I know it is hard to believe it happened, but I swear it did. We laugh about it now, but it really had us both pretty spooked.
Farther down the river, we startled a bunch of herons nesting in trees. The herons started screeching at us. It was like a scene from a horror movie! Additionally, it had gotten so dark, we couldn't even tell if we were going the right way on the river. Kevin and I both were ready to get off the river and be done with this canoe fiasco.
We FINALLY got to the end of our trip where we had left my car . We were exhausted and so relieved to see my car. That is when Kevin asked me to hand him the keys. I just looked at him and said, "UH-OH." You should have seen the look on his face. He said, "What do you mean, UH-OH?" Of course, I giggled a little and told him that I left my keys in his car, back at our starting spot. So there we are, in the dark, wet and tired, smelling like river water, with a stinking wet dog, and WITH NO CELL PHONE and no keys. Kevin was not happy with me to say the least.
Since we were not near any houses, we trudged along the road until we arrived at a nearby country club. As embarrassed as we were, we had no choice but to go in and ask to use the phone. There was no way I was going to step foot inside looking the way I did, and besides...someone had to stay outside with Gunther. So, I sent Kevin in. He called my brother to come and pick us up... and all was well.
It definitely wasn't the most romantic of evenings, but memorable none the less. As an added FYI...Kevin and I got engaged about 3 weeks later. So, he must not have been that upset with me. Ironically,we had our wedding reception at the same country club where we walked that night to make our phone call.
Even though it has been 10 years since that crazy night, we have not been on a canoe trip since.