This photograph is one of the coolest photographs I’ve ever been in. I laugh and smile every time I see it. READY?
It was taken last week, in Springfield, Illinois. We were tubing on Lake Springfield. My cousin Camille took the photo, on her father’s fancy camera. Her father, my uncle Philip, was driving the boat we were tubing behind.
That’s me, getting flung off the raft. I was probably airborne for a second or two, but Camille managed to get multiple photos. This one is the best, but the others are pretty sweet, too. Like this one, where the entire raft is more airborne…
…and this one, just after I had lost my grip.
Also on the raft are, from left to right, my 10-year-old nephew Sam, my sister Sarah, and my cousin Olivia. They all managed to hold on. Clearly, I didn’t. It was so much fun!
My Uncle Philip and Aunt Mary live right on Lake Springfield, and my cousins (Olivia, Camille, and Isabel) grew up on the water. The girls are experienced tubers, but I haven’t done it since I was a kid. You sit in this particular raft like you would on a lounge chair, and there are a bunch of handles to hold on to.
The handles, though, don’t provide much assistance during Philip’s favorite maneuver, which he calls a “death circle.” First he makes a tight, fast turn, which whips the raft out of the boat’s wake, and after making a complete circle, he plows through the wake he made seconds before. Then the older wake and the new wake cross paths, making enormous, violent waves… and oh shit, we’re headed right for them!
A few minutes before getting tossed into the water, we hit another big wave that made the whole raft go nearly vertical…
…but we all managed to stay on. That time. A little while later, we weren’t so lucky, and all four riders tumbled into the water.
I spent about an hour total on that raft, and I got tossed off it about five times. I loved every second.
I have a couple more photos to share, too. I made a new friend in Springfield. His name is Owen, and he’s a dachshund/pug mix. Last year Isabel, who was volunteering at an animal shelter, brought him home when he was only a few weeks old, because he needed a foster family. They were only planning on keeping him for a few weeks, but they fell in love, and now Owen is a part of the family.
Owen slept with me both nights I was in Springfield, and he’s the first dog I’ve met that likes burrowing under the covers.
And since I started this post with some water activities, it seemed fitting to share a few photos from another water activity I did recently: kayaking!
You’d never guess it from that photo, but I’m actually in the Chicago River, in the middle of the city. My two sisters and I took a kayak architecture tour. It started 2.5 miles downstream from the Loop, so in total, it was 5 miles of kayaking. A great upper body exercise!
It was a tremendous feeling gliding between all those tall buildings on the water.
I try to incorporate some sort of inspirational component to all my posts, but this particular post really is all about the photos. So here’s the final photo – a sign in my aunt and uncle’s kitchen, hanging from a row of Barefoot Contessa and Pioneer Woman cookbooks:
I like it, and dammit, it certainly applies to me!
Keep it up, David!