Monday, July 19, 2010
People like to do different things in rivers. Some people like to fish in them, some people like to race down them in kayaks and some people like to dump toxic chemicals in them. Me? I like to float in them. Slowly. Languorously. Fortunately, there's no better place in the world to do what I like to do than on the Deschutes River as it passes through Bend, Oregon. The Deschutes is a long, beautiful river with many personalities but in downtown Bend it widens, shallows and slows to a perfect crawl. Then, when the temperature hits about 90 degrees, an inflatable armada shows up with anything in the garage that will float and takes to the river for a cooling 1 1/2 hour tour. You might see a giant duck float by or a swan. Friends will tie 10 floats together and catch up. Young girls and guys will position themselves perfectly to show off their tanned bodies to each other. I even looked once. Trailer trash will show up in their 'I'm with stupid' t-shirts and burn their flabby bodies to a bright red lobster color. Obama supporters will embrace Palin supporters. Dogs will sleep with cats. And life will be perfect for a brief, intoxicating moment. It's all true. Join me some time and I'll show you.