Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Tubing on the Apple River Story

So, back when I was being Jesucated myself, instead of Jesucating others, I (as you may have heard) was living in a really super duper small town and went to a really super duper small church. Small meaning there were about 10 people on a Sunday, and 80% of them were over 60*. The "Confirmation Class" was me, my sister and my friend Barb talkin' 'bout Jesus with my mom and my piano teacher.

It was also the three of us joining up with other Jesus folk to go tubing on the Apple River. Occasionally I find out that things that I thought were totally normal are not normal, so I'm going to go ahead and explain what that means. That means you get in an inner tube (like the tube inside a tire, only much, much bigger) and float down a river. In this case, a river that runs through the suburbs of the Twin Cities. It's mostly about getting a tan and drinking beer. Except we were 12 and 14 years old, so there was no beer. Except for the chaperones. Who had coolers and coolers of beer.

Anyway, we were told before takeoff that there would be two sets of rapids, a little one and then a big one. We could get off after the little one if we were big pussies and just wanted to get to the hot dog cookout. We were not big pussies, we were tough rural kids and definitely wanted all the suburbanites around to know it.

Oh, also, that year there had been a lot of snow and then a lot of rain during the spring. No big deal. That will just come in later.

Anyway, so me and my sister and my friend Barb and my other friend Lisa, who I invited along to get Jesufied via a tan and some muddy water, all strapped our inner tubes together and hopped into the river. We floated on down, feeling good, but not as good as the chaperones, who were stinking drunk by the time we reached the rapids, which were boring as shit, and we let everyone know it. "Boooooo!" We said. "These little rapids are BORING!" Then we saw just about everyone get out after them and we LAUGHED. "Suburbanites!" We cried, "What pussies!"

We continued on to the second set of rapids. "Oh dear," we whispered to each other, "These are a bit much. Lisa, grab that low hanging tree branch, we'll bail out and go back to the hot dog cookout." So, Lisa grabs the branch, rips a layer of skin off her arms and winds up hanging over the river as the rest of us float downstream without her. Oops. With much effort, we're able to get her back to the inner tube raft, but now we're too far in the rapids to go back and there's too much underbrush to walk around them, especially since I managed to lose my shoes, so we decide to just keep going to the second check point.

Which we figured will be coming up any moment now.

Aaaaaaaaaany moment now.

Yup. Just around this curve. Or that one. See, the thing is that the river must double back on itself. Or maybe that big field up there is where everyone is waiting. Hm. Those signs with the big red danger symbols on them can't be good.

About three hours later, we finally see a house over looking the river. Atop a 50 foot cliff. So, we scramble up the cliff and knock on the glass doors of the dreaded suburbanite who doesn't even ask us if we're on drugs before calling the organizers of the field trip, who inform my father that we totally ditched on purpose because we are evil bad children to the core and not even Jesus can save us**.

I proceed to dream about bear attacks and hot dog cookouts for about a week.

*Smart people may notice that the math there doesn't make sense, unless either me, my sister or my friend Barb were also over 60. Well screw you and your math. God is not about math.

** Which may or may not be true, but the actual problem was that spring flooding obscured the first rapids and made the second set seem "small" to us bad asses. Also, the drunken adults didn't help.


  1. i haven't gone tubing since i was 10, and now that i know its really about how much beer can you can drink in a given length of river, i want to go again badly. supposedly there is a place near here that has targets nailed to trees above garbage cans for your empties.

  2. They tried to ban beer on the Guadalupe, but I'm not sure if they were successful.

    I wanna go tubing, but not without beer.

  3. Jeff: Where is this river? It sounds AWESOME!

    Shine: Banning beer from waterways is just cruel.

  4. on a totally unrelated note Antelope, this is what xkcd stands for ;-)


  5. Wisconsin silly, where everything comes with a beer chaser.

  6. Can you tell us more about the Jesucators and their beer drinking. They seem like a racy bunch. What kind of beer do they drink?

  7. Pretty much whatever is cheap/free. Schlitz probably?