Let’s finish this summer out with a bang, shall we? Labor Day weekend was an exciting one, to say the least. We headed up north to our friend’s cabin in Island Park, Idaho.
It was about 20 degrees cooler than Utah, and we were chased inside multiple times by some mighty rain and thunderstorms. But we managed to have fun, nonetheless! Hiking, motorcycling, and canoeing were all on the menu. Idaho ain’t half bad.
These little suckers got up to a speedy 30 MPH! Maybe even 35. We tried our best to ditch those muddy potholes, but it was fun to get a bit dirty.
The real adventure began when we decided to chance a break in the storm and hit the river for a two-hour excursion. (Can’t help but think of the ‘3-hour tour’ part in the Gilligan’s Island song, because we were in for it). Here we are, happy and pleasant. And unassuming-
I’ll admit, in retrospect, the ‘Aloha’ hat was a bit of wishful thinking. Not 30 minutes into the excursion, it began to rain. The rain promptly turned into hail. The hail grew in size, and soon we were being pelted with marbles of ice. At this point, we were still a bit amused at the whole situation, laughing to each other about our misfortunes. But then the lightning came. That’s when things got a bit scary.
We pulled off onto shore after a bolt of lightning struck less than a mile away. A few people from our group (including a cute but terrified three-year old) decided to brave the bear/moose-infested forest in attempts to find our car that was parked at the starting point. The rest of us huddled under the raft to find relief from the persistent hail. At this point, there wasn’t much of a plan. We were hoping to get dry and maybe wait out the storm, but it was showing no sign of stopping.
We received a call (somewhat miraculously, as Jordan initially planned to leave his phone in the car, because service had been spotty all weekend) from our car-seekers, who had finally made it to the parking lot, one hitch-hike and 45 minutes later. We discussed our options. Carry the raft, kayaks, and metal canoes through the field/thick shrubbery and risk an animal attack AND being struck by lightning, OR finish our river excursion in the storm, thus eliminating the risk of animal attacks. But maybe increase the risk of a lightning strike. The canoes were metal, after all.
We chose the latter, and after a quick and desperate prayer, we braved the chilly river. Our rowing became almost mechanical, each stroke bringing us deeper into the storm, but closer to the end of the river run. In the mean time (and unbeknownst to us due to lack of cell service), our friends in the car were texting us to ditch the boats and head for cover. We pushed on, frozen and soaked from the incessant rain (hey, at least it wasn’t hail anymore!) The lightning seemed closer with every strike. Finally, we came to some cabins on the shore, a sure sign that the road was close by. We pulled off and took shelter under a random, uninhabited cabin porch. Jordan took off to find the main road and cell service, and to get in touch with our ride.
Thankfully, we were able to meet up with them pretty soon after. We hastily loaded the canoes on top of the suburban, piled in the car, and, with a huge sigh of relief (and some nervous laughter), headed back to the cabin.
The best part? Before we had left for our river adventure, we put in two frozen Stouffer’s lasagnas into the oven, and timed it just so it would finish when we returned. Despite not going quite to plan, the duration of our excursion was about what we estimated, so those lasagnas were hot and ready. We devoured them both. I dare say that was the best meal I have ever eaten.
Until next time, Idaho. :)