Holy baloney, it’s hot!

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This weekend we’re working on Operation Backyard. And dagnamit, it’s clocking 100F degrees. As I sweat profusely, dig holes, prune bushes, assemble veggie boxes …

… all I can think about is the cool and refreshing fun of last weekend’s annual Fun, Fun, Fun! rafting trip.

Every summer a big group of friends takes a Fun, Fun, Fun! weekend rafting trip down Cache Creek. For those of us who normally prefer to camp and commune with nature in total isolation, we forgo the peace and quiet once a year in order to commune with several hundred of our closest friends. No kidding. Hundreds of people float this river in the summer. It’s not quiet. It’s not peaceful.

Let us be clear: this is a party float.

And once a year, it’s a ton of fun.

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Our sweet friend Hector has been arranging the Fun, Fun, Fun! rafting trip for the past 19 years. It’s a great weekend to catch up with friends whom you might see only once a year. Folks come from all over—Seattle, Colorado Springs, Los Angeles—to raft, laugh, shoot each other with water guns and reconnect. In between rafting trips folks get married, have kids, go back to school (that’s me), travel the world … it’s fun to hear what everyone’s been up to.

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Here’s Erika, my fave rafting mate, and me. Erika captained the ship while I was in charge of the cooler. Yes, I realize that technically our little raft is not a “ship”, but go with me here. Go on, have a beer.

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Libations are critical on a party float. It’s a big responsibility. We could dehydrate. That would be bad.

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Water guns are also critical on a party float. The bigger the gun, the better.

When your boat flips over, as it surely will at least once when the rapids are really hustling, grab the cooler and your gun. Forget the paddle, man. Grab the cooler and your gun!

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Here’s Dougy and Cindy. Cindy’s holding onto Doug so he won’t slip on the rocks. It’s good to have friends who will take care of you. Party floats create good bonding moments.

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One of our favorite places to stop is a little spot we’ve named Hector’s Rock. That’s Hector there on the left.

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It’s the perfect rock to jump off and do canon balls and splash unsuspecting innocents who are rafting by.

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After a hard day of rafting it’s all about the grub. This long ol’ table is our group. We’re a fun bunch. A wee rowdy, but fun.

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My baked potato was so large Erika took a photo of it. Honestly, these potatoes are the size of small footballs. I have no idea where they get these suckers, but they’re scary huge. I brought my own toppings including fresh herbs from my garden. Yes, I’m just that crazy.

All in all …

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… a good time was had by all.

Sigh. And frankly, I think it’s a better way to spend a 100F degree day. Don’t you?

P.S. Big thanks to my BFF, Erika, for driving up from LA so that we could continue our grand tradition as raft mates. You da best!
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