Saturday, June 14, 2014

Cornelius Falls Again

We had plans to get out of town this weekend and go backpacking.  Then a weird work thing came up and wrecked yesterday-not to mention it RAINED (again), so we opted to stay close to home for the weekend instead.  Better for the budget anyway. *sigh*

We decided what to do tomorrow for Father's Day (hiking, geocaching and cheese eating) and still had no ideas for today.  It's hot and it's been raining.  EVERY DADGUM DAY...other than Thursday.  For nearly 11 days running. So I got the bright idea to go tubing-recent rains plus hot sun equals good floatin'.  I started poking around and remembered there was a group float today on the Locust Fork that we had decided not to go on because we were going camping instead, so I did not save any of the info.  I started looking and found the group organizing the event.  I joined to get the e-mail of the leader and sent off a request to join, unsure if we could so last-minute.  Around dark, I heard back that we were good to go.  So we packed our inner tubes and pump and set the alarms for 7.

This organization has its own set of rules and guidelines, which the group today proceeded to mangle. People brought the exact floats they said not to, wore the very shoes that were listed as not good for the river and 2 people brought giant coolers, other people brought enough gear to live a week in the woods. One woman had a pack that had to weigh 35 pounds.  For a 2 mile float trip!  I was amazed, but not as amazed as I was at the walk out-it was up a fairly long hill.  More than coming out of our woods but less than say, Hurricane Creek.  And nothing compared to Cane Creek Canyon.

At the top, people were falling out on the ground, one woman said, "I never would have thought it!"  Which is Alabamaian for 'My goodness, that was unexpectedly hard.'  I did not think it was hard at all.  And I got bitten by fire ants while stopped waiting for the people ahead of me to walk.  It was, of course, through some hearty poison oak.  I swear, I will be immune just from repeat exposure this year.  I think my ab challenge is helping.  hahahaha!

Anyway, we had a blast, Matt said about halfway though, "Good call, Honey!"  Made my day, who doesn't want their idea to be a good one and for people to be happy they came along with you?

We met up around 9 and finally got in the river by 10, maybe a little after.  Mobilizing a group of 40 takes a while.

I have gotten our tubes from Dollar General for years.  That one Ben is on, I bought the year we moved back to Alabama, so in 2004.  10 YEARS ago!  The one Matt is on, I bought yesterday.  It is CRAP.  I bought 2 of them for $20 and they stretched and felt like they were going to pop the whole trip, it was like floating on trash bags.  I e-mailed the company for a refund, but I am not holding my breath.  After all these years of excellent tube float experiences-even the 2 tubes we had from last year are great-they have finally blown it, I no longer recommend Dollar General for buying tubes.  :(
Academy has some Intex brand river tubes for under $15 that have a mesh bottom and a seatback.  That's our budget-friendly pick for now.

We floated about an hour before arriving at Cornelius Falls.  I KNEW floating would be more fun than walking!

Can you see this photo above?  2 inflatable beds lashed together and another tube just for their cooler!

Above, today
Below, 2 weeks ago
Same spot

We brought a very light and simple lunch to keep from hauling so much stuff around, so while everyone was eating, we were done and I walked around exploring while Matt and the kids went swimming.

This is a photo of Matt and Ben.

Another shot of the beds!  hehehehe!  Lots of folks bought rectangle rafts from the trip leader and they seemed to work very well but I still prefer tubes for floating.  I like to sit up and see, even if my abs are KILLING me from the 4+ hour long crunch.  eee!

I really like the walls and bluffs along the river.  That was what drew me to this float was the description saying we'd pass limestone cliffs.  Those are sandstone, but that's not really an issue.

Lots of these little rapids, the flow was 450 cubic feet per second (cfs) today.  It was 900 cfs 3 days ago, eeee!

Matt and I had to swap with Ben and Chan for the last part of the float.  I did not think the bigger tubes were going to hold up!  They weigh about 50 pounds less than we do!

At the take-out, some 5 hours after we first put in, I had time to check out some mushrooms while the rest of the group made their way in off the river.


The trek out was steep and brand new!  No trail.  Matt and I could not believe someone owned a house on the river and had NO trail to the water!  What's the point!?

At the top!  The van was just over the hill and I had a wonderful surprise via our trip leader-ice cold lemonade!  I carried it for him in the van for everyone to have some at the end of the trip.

We ferried folks back to the starting point headed home to wash up.  Matt grilled last night and we had turkey sausage for dinner yesterday and he shredded the chicken that got cooked at the same time and I made chicken and cheese quesedillas with tomatoes, avocado, black beans, spinach, herbs from the garden and ice cold Coke Zero.  ;)  It was perfect to end our day with, so yummy.

I washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen super fast and changed out the laundry so all our poison oaky clothing isn't laying around.  We have another long day tomorrow and I am looking forward to a good rest tonight without looming housework.

The kids and I are working out a new summer schedule for their school stuff.  Just 2 subjects a day, but every day of the week.  So far it's been going really well, today it's writing and geography, so I let them get away with writing about the float trip and we are about to watch How the States Got Their Shapes on Netflix.  Pretty lame, but I'd rather go light than just not do anything today.  We fall out of habit 20 times faster than we fall into it around these parts!

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.