I tubed down the Apple River today… here is the play-by-play.
I hopped in my car at 8:20 AM and began my drive from Hermantown (near Duluth, MN) to Somerset, Wisconsin (east of the Twin Cities). According to the National Weather Service, the forecast for Somerset was morning clouds and fog then partly cloudy and warm. As I got on the road, it was bright and sunny. Within 2 miles, I was in 1/2 mile visibility fog. I stayed in the fog and clouds all the way down to Somerset… some 160 miles away. On the way there, I dropped by my sisters place to check the latest satellite image. Sure enough, the fog and stratus clouds were being eaten away by daytime heating. So I left a message on my friends cell phone, letting him know this info, then I continued my journey.
I found the gang easily at the Apple River Campgrounds. They didn’t seem to be in hurry to get in the water. It was still cloudy with temperature in the 60s. This was at 11:30 AM. I told them that clouds were being eaten away and we should see sun “soon”. To show my confidence, I began gooping my body with sun block. We got our tubes and hopped on the bus. Once I boarded the bus, I looked out the window and saw my first patch of blue sky. While traveling to the launch site, we saw the sun break out for the first time. By the time we had our tubes tied together, there was only high clouds in the sky – no low clouds in site. We had constant sunshine (albeit somewhat filtered by the high clouds) the rest of the day.
The water was cold, I’m guess around 70 degrees… maybe. The beer started flowing amongst our group of six, I even had a couple (I originally said I wouldn’t have any, so I lied). We stopped at a few sand bars. The Mardi gras beads were being exchanged and boobs were being flashed. I saw a few beer bongs as well. I didn’t see any fights this time down. Last year, during the fourth of July weekend, I saw 2 or three fights during the weekend.
I only saw 2 kids floating down the river this day. Parents are slowly coming around that the weekends belong to the party gangs. The weekdays are more family oriented.
At the Hideaway, one third of the way down, we were able to pick up some junk food. I didn’t play any volleyball this year. Last year when I played, I pulled a muscle in my leg. This was a bad muscle pull. This was a bummer because it happened early in the afternoon, and I had to limp for the rest of the afternoon into the evening (we did two runs last year). I couldn’t walk without a limp for a week and I couldn’t resume jogging for two weeks. Meahwhile today was injury free.
Even though I gooped myself with sunblock, I still managed to get sunburned. My belly and shoulders got the worst of it. I’m hoping it is gone by morning. If it isn’t, that will be a sign that I will peel. Yuck.
Well we only did one run this time around. We didn’t get out of the water until 4:30 PM. If we did a second run, we wouldn’t of got out of the water until after 8 PM. The river is entirely in shadow by this time, which makes it damn cold. Not fun at all. So instead of second run, we went out for dinner.
After dinner in Stillwater, and oggling the St. Croix River, I took off for Hermantown at 7 PM. I was back at my house by 9:30 PM. A successful day.