The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

My First Day Off Continues: A River Trip With Spiff and More May 27, 2015

Hello, all!  Finally!  Here I am to share with you the second half of my first day off.  (It was pretty much a necessity that I get this done today, because tomorrow is my second day off, and I hope to have more awesome adventures to share.)  So here we go:

When we left off, I was sitting at a little coffee place called Conscious Coffee, waiting for my tour to start.  Soon, it was time, and I walked back over to the tour place and began chatting with the guy who was clearly to be the tour guide.  One of his jobs was to help guests on with their mud boots, and let me tell ya- I felt a bit like an Ugly Stepsister.  The boot didn’t want to go over my shoe, and he ended up having me slip a grocery bag over my sneaker so I could get the boot on.  My fashion sense (HA!) was highly insulted, but at least there was no way I was coming away with wet feet:

My boot, she ees tres beeyootiful, no? :)

My boot, she ees tres beeyootiful, no? 🙂

*

A bit earlier when I first checked in for the trip, the girl at the counter had said, “Your guide, Spiff, will be with you in just a minute.”  I had wondered at the time if I had heard her right, and it turned out I had.  Spiff was a fun-loving, somewhat scrawny, outdoor enthusiast who also appeared to enjoy entertaining, as evidenced by his donning a bald eagle mask and posing for pictures for my kids.

See?  Isn't he cute?

See? Isn’t he cute?

This was his

This was his “cool dude” pose.

*

So while Spiff the Marvelous River Guide was helping me get my lovely boots on, his partners in crime were getting the boats ready.  They had a trailer with three of those rafts piled on top of it.  They aren’t nearly as big as they look from a distance.

Kind of reminds me of something out of Dr. Seuss- just don't ask me to come up with a creative Seuss-y  name for it.

Kind of reminds me of something out of Dr. Seuss- just don’t ask me to come up with a creative “Seuss-y” name for it.

*

We loaded into a van- myself, Spiff, our young driver, and the only other guests on the trip, an older couple named Katherine and George.  It was about a ten minute ride to the launch point.  Spiff and his driver partner dragged the boats off the trailer, stashed two of them off to the side, and positioned one close to the water ready for launch.  They were cinching down the little framework where the guide’s seat was, the part that held the paddles in place, and some part of it was broken somehow, so they quickly switched out the boats.  They distributed life jackets (PFDs) and helped us get them on.  After a quick and humorous safety demonstration, Spiff got ready to help us into the boat.  Fortunately I didn’t need any help, something I had been quite concerned about, being the physical presence that I am… but it was very easy.  We sat down on the outside edge of the boat, swung our legs (hideous boots and all) over the edge into the boat, and “scooched” to our assigned places.  Finally we were off!

*

It was a beautiful day- sunny, partly cloudy, not too cool.  There was a lot more breeze out on the water than there had been in town.  We drifted swiftly down the river, Spiff expertly guiding us around this way and that in order to point out interesting sights.  We saw a cabin with a porch that could be raised and lowered to keep bears from getting on it.  We saw a HUGE beaver dam, an eagle’s nest, and the favored spot of a musician who likes to sit by the river and play the banjo for raft trippers.  (I know what you’re thinking.  Don’t say it! 🙂 )

Super clever idea!

Super clever idea!

The amount of work those critters can do is amazing!

The amount of work those critters can do is amazing!

These nests really are huge.

These nests really are huge.

The guy who sits here and plays for tourists is apparently very well-known.

The guy who sits here and plays for tourists is apparently very well-known.

*

During the trip, Spiff also showed us something called ‘watermelon berry’ which smells like neither a watermelon nor a berry, but a cucumber.  He took pictures for us at some points.  I’ll be honest- I felt that none of my pictures really lived up to the hype of my initial post that day, promising “amazing” pictures. In fact, sometimes I think my photography style is a bit reminiscent of Rainman’s.  But I took pictures of things that interested me, like pics of the water rushing around trees and bushes lodged in the river, the railroad bridge, with one of the country’s last “flag stops” (where you can stand at the tracks and wave a cloth at the train and they will stop and pick you up) and the calm reflection of a little side creek called a ‘wiggle.’

image

This is a “wiggle.”

*

Finally the trip was at an end.  Spiff guided the raft out of the current and pulled us up to a sandy place like a small beach, and we hopped out of the raft.  Well, ok.  “Hopped” might be a bit of an overstatement.  What we did could probably be described more accurately as a stiff-legged, half crippled “hobble” during which we hoped desperately not to lose our balance on our sound-asleep legs and fall over!

*

After we had ditched our PFDs, we took a short walk back to the tour place, removed our stylish footwear, and made our way on to other adventures.  I gave Spiff a tip and wished him well in all his adventures.  He had told us during the trip that he has been a bit of a wanderer his whole life, working as an ocean guide, taking people spear fishing, free diving, and a variety of other things.  During the coming winter he will be in Guam, of all places.

A Spiff-y Selfie!

A Spiff-y Selfie!

*

So I continued on with my day, deciding on lunch at a favorite local spot called Denali Brewing Company.  I ordered Fish and Chips, and it was just amazing.  I’m pretty sure the server thought I was a bit of a hick when I asked what the wonderful sauce was, and he said, “It’s tartar sauce.”  It was definitely better than any tartar sauce I have ever tried.  I don’t even like tartar sauce, but this stuff was delicious!

Yum!!

Yum!!

*

After stopping in at a gift shop and buying a couple of the things I had wanted from my first visit to town, (the quilted-look cross body bag and the tie-dye hoodie with the moose in hipster glasses) I wandered back to the shuttle stop and it became apparent that I was in for a long wait.  The guests have first priority on the shuttle buses, and if they are full, employees have to wait for the next one.  I waited through the next couple of buses and met another employee who was waiting to return to the lodge.  We decided to walk back across the street and have some ice cream from Shirley’s, and I tried Alaska Wildberry.  On the way back to the bus stop, I took this picture of one of the trains:

image

*

After very nearly getting asked to get off the bus that we finally managed to board, we were finally heading back to the lodge.  I took a couple of pictures of myself that were meant to demonstrate my “tired but happy, sunkissed, adventure face.”  I’ll spare you those.  None of them turned out that well.  I checked my mail when I got back to the lodge and was happy to find my first package from home.  Mom had sent me several needed items, and I was tickled pink.  I spent the rest of the evening blogging and resting, and feeling most satisfied with my day.

*

As I mentioned at the beginning, my second day off is tomorrow.  I already have a call in to the jet boat tour place to keep me updated if the tour I want for tomorrow fills up.  If not, I will hopefully have another awesome adventure to share with you tomorrow.

*

Until next time,

D.

 

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