Nearly 20 years ago when I first moved here, I was talking to a girl named Lori who worked with me at IBM, and she asked, “Have you had a chance to ‘shoot the hooch‘ yet?” and I had no idea what that meant. But, a few days ago, when a neighbor on Craigslist put his used canoe on there, I wrote him a check. Last Sunday, I took 2 pool “noodles” and some cargo straps, attached the canoe to the roof of my bride’s Odyssey, and we drove up to Roswell to Don White Memorial Park, and dropped said canoe off by the river. Then, I drove a couple miles west to Azalea Park, parked the van, summoned an uber, and returned to my family. Then, we shoved off–all 5 of us in a single Old Town canoe.
Since the next day was to be the first day of school this year (and the first year all 3 are in the same school–meaning, the youngest is a kindergartner), my bride didn’t think we should spend several hours on our maiden voyage, so we chose a route that was about 1.5 miles down the river. I didn’t particularly like this idea, but I complied.
We placed the boy in the front, the youngest next, my bride behind her, me on the back bench, and the 9-year-old behind me. Only the 6-year-old boy and I had actual seats; the others were on life preservers or flotation cushions. The water was a cool 60-something degrees and had a steady current from the Buford dam’s release the night before. It was a relaxing and easy float down the river.
Right before azalea park, we saw a little island with some locals docking their kayaks. We pulled over to walk in the cold water, and I let the children take turns riding with me on one of the guys’ kayaks (we made friends quickly).
Just like we did at the drop off point, we relied upon locals to help with hoisting the canoe back on the roof of the minivan. One helpful observer said we could get a “T rack” online for $79 that fits on a trailer hitch and enables one to hoist a canoe onto the top of a minivan without looking like an idiot (the last phrase was implied, not vocalized), so I ordered one for our next voyage; you can get one here!
I haven’t opened the box the new carrier came in yet, but we’re totally planning to shoot the ‘hooch again either this coming weekend or the next (or both). It was good, relaxing fun, and cold water and e. coli build character! You should try it, too. At least until football season starts.