The plan was to be on the road no later than 8 am, leaving plenty of time for getting lost or traffic on the turnpike, but not both. We left the house closer to 8:30. I remained relatively calm thanks to a low dosage of morning caffeine and the knowledge that the traffic to the Poconos on a Saturday would be nothing like the logjam on a Friday afternoon headed toward the shore.
I printed out the directions the night before and we had three smart phones and a Garmin in the car; but I was still apprehensive when all three of my potential navigators fell asleep as soon as we passed through the first toll booth. Thankfully I remembered the right exit and Katie woke up and quickly re-calibrated me just before I went south instead of north on US-209.
We made it almost without incident, but the directions from all of our devices ended seven miles from the final destination. I’m still trying to figure that one out.
There may be nothing more annoying or amusing than four people who have no idea where they are debating what the next move should be and why. In the end, we called for directions and made it in plenty of time to order lunch, rent water guns, get fitted for life jackets, and have a snack with time to spare – or so we thought.
Christian handed out the water guns while Katie waited for the snacks. Jeff and I watched for the signal that it was time to round up everyone with a red card, aka the boarding pass for the bus and the ticket for our equipment.
Jeff tapped me on the shoulder and pointed across the picnic area, “Mom, I think those people lined up by those buses all have red cards.”
“I didn’t hear an announcement,” I replied.
He shrugged and said, “I didn’t either, but I think we better go.”
It’s a good thing he noticed or we would have missed not only the bus, but the ‘boat’ as well. We threw on our life jackets, juggled the chicken strips, fries, three out of four rented water guns, and made it just in time to grab the paddles and squeeze onto the yellow school bus.
Thirty minutes later we were headed for the rapids or as luck would have it, the ripples. The original reservation was for a trip through the Lehigh River Gorge, but Mother Nature had other plans and we were diverted to a somewhat lazier stretch of water.
It was only a matter of moments until the water guns were unholstered and the the bail bucket became a weapon of defense, or were we the instigators? The water in my eyes must have blurred my perception and my memory.
We not only managed to beach our raft and avoid going over the waterfall, we made it on the first bus back to dry clothes and changing rooms. It was a glorious day.