We always arrive to the campsite friday night where there's no towns or lights. It literally never ceases to amaze me how many stars you can see when there's no lights to mess with your view. Then we build a camp fire, which is always my favorite part of camping (I believe I did a post about it a year or two back). And for the first time, a few people and myself decided to sleep out on a tarp instead of in tents. It was a great decision because it's one thing looking at the ceiling of your room and seeing those stick on stars (yes, I use to have those when I was little) and looking up and being amazed at actual stars that are part of the universe.
Usually I'd choose a kayak instead of a canoe, but the company only provides canoes for us. But either way this particular time was the most fun I've had on an RUF float trip. Mainly because we did significantly more exploring/playing around than usual. About an hour into the trip we stopped by a spot to cliff dive. Only about 9 of the 35ish people wanted to do it. It's a shame more people didn't do it because it's easily the most fun I've had in years. The "cliffs" were only about 15 feet, but it's still high enough to get that stomach drop feeling. It only added to the fun that in order to get to the cliff you had to climb up the cliff. It was a really easy climb with platform-like areas every 3ish feet, but that made it all the more exciting.
here's the smaller of the two cliffs. I think I'm the one hanging onto the rope at the bottom. I know it doesn't look high up from this angle, but it sure did when you were up there
A little while later we stopped for lunch at a cool water spring. I don't know if you've ever seen a cool water spring but they're really cold and really pretty. After lunch a few of us adventurous types (pretty much the same ones that went cliff diving) decided to cross where the spring was coming out to the other side where there was an old, falling apart, building that was built into the side of the cliff/cave. The current was extremely strong and actually swept a few people off their feet and down the rocks (don't worry they're perfectly fine now). It was maybe only 25 feet across, but i've never had that much difficulty crossing a stream. So after we got across we made a very vertical climb up the cliff face, past the building, and onto a ledge above the spring. I honestly thought we were gonna die on the way up and down because it was so vertical. But that's what makes life so fun.
here's us crossing the spring back. I'm the one in the orange hat almost falling over
this one shows a bit better the struggle to get across. A few of us had to stand in a line-ish thing to help people across
After we passed the spring the whole river was BEAUTIFUL. It got really calm and the water was a crisp blue. There was lime green alge-like stuff on the rocks and little minnows everywhere. It was gorgeous. Again if somebody took a picture I'll post it. So to sum up the whole trip: nature is amazing. God really knew what he was doing when he put it all together.