You’ve never seen four guys nicer than us when it comes to meeting park service rangers. Thank you’s, please’s, yes mam’s, we’ve got it all. After you put your boats in the water and rig them up, you meet with a ranger so they can make sure you have all the required safety devices like a satellite phone and lifejackets. This is all done the afternoon before your launch date, so the first night you really just row 300ft, tie up your boat and wait for the morning to leave. Waiting a year to get underway, mixed with the whole no-rowing-experience thing, makes for a fun 3 minute row. Actually, at this point, our biggest fear was getting in the boat, trying to row, and having the ranger cock his/her head and be like “Wait a minute. These can’t be the guys on the permit.” And then just yank us out of the water and flush our money down the drain. But nope, the ranger drove off and you know Thor didn’t give a shit, so we did our first stretch with cackling laughs. My first impression was that we were really movin’, but in hindsight I think we were barely going anywhere. It’s like the first time you ride a motorcycle and you think you’re breaking the sound barrier only to look down and see you’re going 55mph.
So, 300 ft down river we pulled up, jumped off, tied up our boats and I hear Heath belt out ” Day one down!” and slap Ben a high five. Everyone burst out laughing. In fact there’s a lot of laughing at ourselves on these trips, it’s half the fun to not take yourself so damn seriously all the time. Being able to be brand new at something with three of your friends is a blast, try it some time. But by all means, DO NOT do any of the things we do, I’d hate for you to get hurt and hold me responsible for encouraging you to be reckless.