Monday, June 14, 2010

Bear Creek Canoeing and Dismal's Canyon

Saturday was our long awaited trip to canoe on Bear Creek and to finally see the Dismalites. We headed out in late in the morning toward Russelville and Bear Creek Canoe Run. After arriving and meeting up with the Crawfords we spent a lot of time waiting... in the heat. Ugh.

If we look hot it is because we had been sitting there for over an hour in the 105* heat index. The kids were melting. Okay, Lou and I were melting too!

Lou and Austin, who looks just thrilled to be alive. He was like this until he got dunked, but that is a story for further down the blog...

Carson and Griffin

After floating down the river at a leisurely pace we stopped with a few other families to swim at a sandy bank. The water was icy cold with Lou snapped a candid of me that I kind of like.

After another slow plod down the river we stopped at a beautiful double waterfall. Both sides were just stunning.

The top of the falls was lovely...

and the falls just got prettier as you climbed up!

We found out that that was the half way point of the trip and we had the option to continue or take the steps across the river and end the trip there. Since it was only 3:30 and we had nothing to do until the Dismals tour at 7:30, the Crawford and Woods families headed down the river again! Griffin decided that his chances of paddling were better with Daddy since Austin was wimping out, so he ditched Carson and I.

We took off at a faster pace to try to finish the second half of our trip on time. Carson was helpful in the "rapids" but he gave out in the strait stretches so I was on my own trying to keep up with Lou. Oy! After about an hour and a half  Lou and Austin pulled in front of us and headed down a rapid. Since Carson and I had spent the better part of every rapid area in the shallows or in a tree I was happy to let them go first. This time was not so smooth though. A low hanging limb under cover of some branches capsized Lou's boat. We heard the boat hit and I could see Austin hanging onto the tree. But where were Lou and G? I panicked for a couple of seconds while back paddling before I heard G yell out, "Save me Daddy!" I told Austin to let go so we wouldn't hit him and head down stream and asked Lou if we should try to help or stay out of the way. He said he had it handled and just to go around, so Carson and I stayed out of the limbs, skirted a boulder... and smacked into the brush on the other side. LOL! We stayed upright and headed down stream to pick up all the things that had fallen out of the other canoe. I wasn't tired or sore until after all that paddling up and down stream after shoes, hats and water bottles. It turned out that the boat had filled with water and G had been trapped under it. Lou had ground his knees into several boulders to stay with him and the boat and pulled him out. The whole thing was very quick, just a few seconds, but scary non the less! Griffin has told everyone that his "Daddy saved my life!" There is quite a bit of hero worship going on around here! Poor Lou's knee is bruised and swollen for the second time in a year.

A few hundred feet down the river we saw the end point and pulled off. We found out that we had canoed NINE miles! WOW! Fresh Air Family provided the best hot dogs and chips I have ever eaten. LOL! It is amazing how good food taste when you are REALLY hungry! We were the next to the last people off the river at 6:30 so we hurried to shower, eat and head to Dismal's Canyon for the second half of the trip.

I don't think we have ever waited so much in our lives. Not since Disney! When we arrived we were one of the last families to the tour and ended up in group 4 with the Crawfords again. We waited 45 minutes before the tour start time. Then we waited another 45 minutes for our turn to see the Dismalites.

Esther waiting in the glow of the red flashlights.

Austin and Jake trying to be patient.

Was all that waiting worth it? TOTALLY! My only complaint is that my camera did not take a single shot of the glow worms. Ugh. I will have to go back and try again one day. Here is a shot from the web site. We saw about 1/3 of this amount, but they were SO beautiful! Now that was an awesome day!

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