The Delta Phi sorority went on their annual tradition of going on a canoe trip this past Saturday. The social chairs told us it was happening rain or shine, so all 79 girls piled into cars and began the trip to Grant, Michigan. There, we arrived at a canoe rental company called “River Rat Canoe.” As it turned out, the company was a kind elderly man, his house, his German Shepherds, and an ATV. We were in for a treat.
As two men piled the canoes onto a trailer, they told us to hop inside the bus. With the tires roughing up the gravel and the music blasting from the man’s iPod nano, we were on our way. We sang country music at the top of our lungs and before we knew it, we were seven miles away.
It was all fun and games until I realized how far away we were. Seven miles driving distance?! We asked Josh, the bus driver, how long it would take to go back to where we parked our cars. Nonchalantly, he replied, “Oh, just about four hours!”
79 girls. 4 hour canoe trip. No food, no water, no phone service and extremely dark clouds in the sky.
Hesitantly, I stepped out of the van. The men putting our canoes in the water didn’t seem to worry about the dark clouds, so I reluctantly sat down in the canoe. I took a deep breath, and finally wasn’t so worried about the approaching storm.
That is, until it hit us.
It was a light rain, and my canoe partner and I were in the middle of the pack, so we heard the girls warn us that rain was coming. Then, without warning, a torrential downpour began. Screaming, laughing and a few tears were shed in the twenty minutes that our bodies were pelted with freezing cold rain. But it was so, so fun.
Finally, as we approached the end of the trip, everyone was pleasantly surprised that no one had tipped out of their canoe. We could see the end in sight, and everyone was getting really excited. However, I looked to my right, and there was my best friend Taylor. Her canoe was all the way at the edge of the river and had gotten stuck under a tree. As she was trying to push herself out of the canoe, her body flung forward, and the canoe pushed out from behind her. You can imagine what happened next. Shrieking with laughter, Taylor rises from under the water while holding onto the very branch that she got herself stuck under. I laughed and laughed and we made it back to the dock a minute after she tipped over. Maybe this post should be called, “Tippecanoe and Taylor Too!” …but we’ll keep that to ourselves.
Muddy feet, soaked clothes, wet hair…You may be thinking that everyone would be in a terrible mood, right?
Not a chance. As I looked around, all I saw were smiles and laughter. They turned a potentially awful day, into one of the best ones during my time at Hope College.
And that is why I love my sisters.