i hope this post doesn't come off as one of the sweet journal entries i used to embarrass myself with back in high school/college, but i wanted to note my first experience tubing down the delaware as a paraplegic. i'll try to keep it short but i ramble, so...
i've been wanting to try tubing for a few years now, but i was terrified to try with no idea of what to expect (especially since we went only a week after shark week and i don't care how dumb that sounds). duel family tubing! with my family and tim's family, how adorable. as usual, i had a lot of piggy backing to expect, but i had bus rides, steep hills, tubes, and bathrooms to figure out. after waiting in line for the bus, i was carried on and my wheelchair was left in the hands of a bunch of clueless teenagers for the entire day. it's always fun to be so trusting to leave my only form of transportation to the unknown. from the bus, i had to be carried down some dirt hills and down some steep man-made "steps" into the river. from my point of view, and i don't know if i was being crazy, it was straight down and all that kept running through my mind was tim slipping and snapping my neck. the best part of all this is no one even knows i'm in a wheelchair at this point, and will see me being carried and babied the rest of the way with no clue as to what's going on
now i'm finally in the tube, and let me tell you. it is not easy to adjust and get comfortable in these things when you can't move half your body. my sweet size-too-small black and purple shorts continuously fell down and i was nearly useless for paddling, but we made our way for 4-5 hours down the warm river, and it was fantastic. i hopped out of the tube to swim around like a frantic puppy, but getting back in wasn't so easy. i needed not one, but several people to try and lift my deadweight body up and back into the tube, of course at points where they couldn't even touch the ground. we get to the hot dog man, with dirt and stones, tables in the water, and a confused kc who has no idea where to go or how to sit up and eat. we made a little fort of the tubes, stacked up with me on top where i ate my burger and delicious "frozen" snickers bar within seconds. mmm. this was after i was carried by my dear fellow family, still in the tube, up and over the water onto land. i was a princess. this was one of those awkward moments that no one knows i can't walk, and just sees my tube and me being carried like lazy royalty.
we finished the river and it was glorious. loved the water, the sun, the mini "rapids", and the feeling of floating for what could be forever. we finish, take the bus back, etc and so on. and now it's bathroom time. my favorite kind of bathroom, the porta potty. not even the handicap ones that i can fit in by myself. i'm sure no one needs or wants to hear about my peeing escapades, but it's probably the biggest issue i run into, everywhere, and most people really don't realize how frustrating and difficult it usually makes things. obviously i needed to be carried into the disease-infested, gross, tiny box. and the absolute worst part my mom came in with me (yes that's two people in one) and had to help me, considering it would have been nearly impossible to deal with the horrible suction of my drenched clothes beneath me without having lower body movement. truly an embarrassing and frustrating moment.
but an overall fun-filled day! and i can't wait to do it again