As I’m going to be married in less than a week my friends threw me a bachelor party yesterday. We had quite a good time but nobody got any photos so for the record, I’ll talk about it here. I was already a bit hungover before it even started, so N and I went to the gym (!?) to work out some of the previous night’s alcohol…oddly enough, the strategy worked and I felt a lot better. I’m even thinking about applying it again today. S was at my house shirtless when we got back, “letting the sunscreen soak in,” and put a slick straw hat atop of my head as we approached. I implored him to allow me a quick shower before we went, which I got, as well time to put together an overnight bag and to grab a bagel dog (onion). We got to D’s at 12:30, and had a coupla beers while people showed up…me, SS, the albatross, BB, WB, RB, DD, and A-train. R’d rented a monster van, so we loaded that up and piled into it with inner tubes and many pumps and headed off to Washougal for a nice day rafting, B driving the dropoff vehicle. We listened to Blackalicious because T wouldn’t have any of that Maiden crap.
We could see from the road that the water in the Washougal was very low, and that we’d likely have to walk some sections, but we went for it anyway. At the put-in spot, we unloaded, had some beer, smeared sunblock over our Oregon-tanned physiques, and inflated the tubes. The water was fantastic, refreshing and cool. But not very fast, which was alright because we just needed to get down before we ran out of beer. We frolicked, splashing and tossing a coupla footballs feebly between tubes, but the strategy quickly became one of getting the ball to land just short and out of reach of the person for maximal splash-quotient since nobody could catch the ball one-handed while laying on their back anyway, though both A and T showed sporadic acumen, and D surprised me with some decent spirals. It was a very fun trip down, and a lot of PBR was consumed. There was a rope swing at a bend in the river that was pretty wide, slow, and deep. A very nice rope swing, cobbled together from several different pieces of rope that looke to have been there different amounts of time, which was a bit worrisome. T blazed the trail to the swing, and tested it for us. Looked good, so a few more of us gave it a go, even braving the sun-bleached platform that creaked and swayed under my weight. Most of us took several jumps before W raised the bar with a jacknife. I decided to do a flip, but chickened out on the next jump. I’d succeeded in the past, even at a double front, so I decided that I really needed to now. So my last swing I did, and actually pulled it off cleanly (no flop, not no splash).
Back on the river after the aside, and efforts to get the wet lighter to work (too many wet thumbs) eventually succeeeded, we went through the last set of rapids (pretty rocky with the water this low). The tricky part for me was my portage. The boys had given me Annie, an inflatable love you ewe, which they roped to me. At the river we had to daisy chain the beer cooler and Annie onto my wrist, so I had to assure the safe arrival of my charges, and was popular quite often when one grew thirsty. Just for the record, a cooler full of cans of beer and ice will float just fine. If you think about it, an empty cooler floats, ice floats, and cans of beer float. So putting two floating things into one floating thing will result in a floating thing. Bottles may or may not work, depending on quantity, but using glass for such events is questionable due to the breakage factor…just be responsible.
The final stetch was beautiful. The sun was just starting to get a bit low, and the air was cooling down, but not too much. Some nice girls on the shore identified the bachelor party through Annie, and said some sweet things, like if we needed strippers for that evening. We got back to shore and struggled up the path to the car with full hands. R got stuck carrying the cooler up. I should’ve helped, but I didn’t, and he didn’t ask, but R’s that kinda fellow. B and R took B’s car up to get the mega van. I believe that the measued the road distance between spots to be 1.6 miles. The rest of us stayed behind and deflated tubes and peed into the bushes, even A-train with his stage fright, I believe. We ran by Freddy’s on the way home for food and more beer, and I wanted to stop by the fancy cigarettes store (next to Horse Brass) for some Shepherd Hotels or Nat Sherman Lights, neither of which did they carry so I got Galouis and Natty regular kings.
This was a great frickin trip, and a really nice way to start a great day. Thanks to everyone who came, I think y’all are great! btw, for anyone who actually read to the end of this, as clarity of different events changes I may add a bit more material just for the historical record. There will probably be two more parts to the tale, as that seems the best way to split it up. cheers.