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Tom sawyer day - on the brink down the river - in the open air


There were four of us on that first Tom Sawyer Day. I promised my contacts an adventure-disaster, sure to get them wet and cold. Three of them took the bait. In a small daypack, we took snacks, water, a hatchet, a small saw, and anything scraps of rope we could find.

We parked and hiked up the Manistee river a few miles. The plan was to build a raft, using dead trees and scraps of rope. Then we'd get on it and go river rafting back to the car.

It later became a much anticipated event among an ever-changing group of participants. Since it was evenly fun AND dangerous, we didn't bring beer. Even sober it was a challenge to keep a thousand-pound pile of logs, with four ancestors on it, from going where it sought to go. Where it hunted to go by and large caught up pain and cold water, but with each trip we erudite a little, and every now and then even stayed dry.

River Rafting Geometry

Roland and I were bitter and haulage logs to the river for the first raft, while Cathy and Leslie cooked hotdogs over a fire. We did geometry on a piece of birchbark, annoying to be included how many logs were needed, allowing for the deceit of the women's avowed weights.

"Dry cedar weighs 37 pounds per cubic foot," I told Roland, "which grass a lifting ability of 27 pounds, since water is 64 pounds per cubic foot. " The girls were laughing for some reason. "The book of a cylindrical be against is pi times the radius squared, times the length," Roland added. We careful and counted logs and began to build a raft. Soon we had a hanging pile of old rotten logs moving two adventurers and two frightened women.

Getting Wet

Cathy and Leslie sat in the central of the raft. Roland and I stood ready to fend off the river banks and incomplete trees with our poles. We were booming for ten minutes. Then, when a horizontal tree refused to move, Roland's true insignia came out. He short of the other three of us off, to regain his balance. When we couldn't find the floor of the river, we swam after the raft. Splashing and cursing at Roland, we climbed back on.

This first trip was in April, when the water was like ice. Sunshine warmed us, but our feet were about continually in the water. The raft didn't float very high off the water, and even worse, it began to adjust shape ahead of our eyes and under our feet.

"It's a square. No wait! It's a parallelagram. Now it's a balance again. " The girls certain there's too much geometry in river rafting. We let the raft drift close to shore, where they stepped into the shallow water.

The water, unfortunately, wasn't shallow. When the girls reappeared from the depths and climbed up the sandy bank, we waved goodbye. The trail went to and from the river as they headed for the car. Leslie was mountain climbing in her wet bra and panties on our next sighting. This part of the story was crucial to recruiting young men for forthcoming Tom Sawyer Days.


Thirty action later, Cathy and Leslie saw the raft on the brink empty down the river. Then they saw Roland and I consecutively along the contradictory side, annoying to catch up. There had been a tree that stuck out from the bank, low to the water. Even with our admirable rafting skills, we were not capable to avoid it. We brain wave we'd jump over it as the raft approved underneath. It seemed acceptable at the time. It didn't seem so when Roland was almost my face into the tree while climbing over me to get to shore.

The raft traveled on as we ran all through swamp and woods, pretending this was part of the plan when the girls saw us. It floated near the riverbank just as we fixed up to it. We leapt on it, and were back in control. Well, more or less.

"How do we get off?" Roland asked me, as we neared the car. We certain to just get close to shore and jump. As I ongoing up the big hill to the car, I crooked to see Roland still execution over the river from a tree. Tom Sawyer Day went a hardly smoother the next time.

Steve Gillman is a long-time backpacker, and advocate of nonthreatening person backpacking. His counsel and stories can be found at http://www. TheUltralightBackpackingSite. com


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