Friday night I left Wichita and drove to mikey's house in KC. There were a bunch of us there talking and watching movies and I fell asleep on a couch. Later I was offered a bed (Mike said he'd take the couch, he's nice like that) so I moved there and slept.
Woke up around 6 and since no one else was even close to being awake, I went out and prepped my car for more road tripping. I was driving JL down so I wanted to make room for him and his stuff, which wasn't terribly hard. Everyone showed up and we all took off and drove the 5-6 hours or whatever it is to the Huzzah river valley near Rolla, Missouri.
As soon as we got there I went into the bunkhouse and laid down and slept. I knew everyone else was going swimming but I couldn't handle it... I hadn't been sleepy at all on the drive down, I'd just talked with JL the whole time which is always cool. But for some reason as soon as we got there I was dead. I woke up two hours later and then I went swimming. There's a cool spot about a three minute walk from our bunkhouse where everybody swims... there's a rope swing and good sandbars and it gets deep enough that I can't touch. Very fun. After that I came back, took a shower, ate some dinner, and played ultimate frizbee until the sun went down. Then everyone went in to play cards, but I was kind of tired so I just laid down and went to sleep, again.
I didn't wake up until morning. We all gathered stuff up to get on a bus, which took us to a spot in the Meramec where we'd raft. Usually we do the Huzzah but it was just too low, so we opted for the Meramec which is shorter (four miles, compared to our usual six) but deep enough that we wouldn't have to take out and drag every hundred feet. I got all sunscreened up, since my skin is still peeling off from last weekend, and picked a spot near the center to avoid having to do much paddling. We hardly paddled at all anyway... if you want to make a day out of a four mile trip, you basically have to paddle backwards. We just drifted and floated and drank. Eventually we swam, too... the day wasn't too hot but the water was the perfect temperature and felt awesome. And in the afternoon I slept some more, out in the sun drapped over one section of raft. I put a t-shirt over me because I could feel the sun stinging my skin even with the sunscreen on and just laid there feeling my feet in the water while we drifted.
We got back and had to wait to get our cabin unlocked, because the person with the key had fallen behind. I think there was some anger about that but I really didn't feel it too much; I sat down in a chair in the shade and slept. I woke up later to find that not only was the cabin unlocked, but the shower was now open so I was good to go, and that was fortunate because the shower felt really freaking good. I washed my hair like three times to get the river nastiness out of it.
Then it was time to eat, so we ate again, and after dinner I felt sleepy, so I slept again. Yeah, that would be nap #3 for Sunday. I'm not sure how much time I spent awake, but I'm thinking the ratios weren't great there. I guess I needed some rest and relaxation this weekend... I got it! Luckily I woke up right as the sun was going down and told everyone that I'd just had a "pre-party" nap. Someone had made a campfire. I went with Sarah to find girly drinks, which ended up being a major, hour-long expedition into the excitement that is missouri convenience stores, but in the end we won and had good conversation along the way. We came back and made s'mores. I had like four. It was great. Then we put out the fire and went to sleep.
I woke up around 7, gathered my stuff, and got the hell out. I have this arrangement set up with everyone that if I have to drive seven hours to go on this trip every year I get to leave early and don't have to clean up. I mean, I clean up after myself, and try not to forget shit (I'm sure I did though... will find out more later I'm sure), but I don't wait around for the all clear to bail. I just drive. Across Missouri, through Rolla, Springfield, and then sometimes I take 96 straight over to 400 but this time I missed the 96 exit (lost all my maps, not sure where those are) and ended up in Joplin, where I missed the 71 exit too, so I had to drive through the middle of the damn town up to Webb City where I caught 171 to 400 by some miracle and headed home. It's a long drive, but I like it. I've actually been looking forward to it. It's nice to be alone in a car with your thoughts sometimes. I roll down the windows and listen to punk rock and think about the people living in all the little downs I'm blowing through. I have little mini internal celebrations, like when I see an "Entering Kansas" sign after so many hours of driving questionable routes to get there.
So all in all it was an excellent float trip and I'm glad to be home, and hope everybody else got home okay too. I'll post pictures when I get them.