Camping, Boat Ball & Stray Beer
Isn’t it a wonder that whether the camping trip is two nights or six, the amount of boxes, bags, and camping paraphernalia is the same. The tent, the sleeping pads and bags, the camp chairs and the ice chest always have to go. Sometimes we take bikes, sometimes we take kayaks and sometimes we take both. On this particular Friday afternoon our team loaded all the camp gear in the truck and hoisted the boats on top to serve as our colorful plastic sail as we traveled the hour to Lake Catherine and our campsite for the weekend.
The Arkansas Canoe Club’s annual Rendezvous was taking place and we traveled down to hang out and enjoy the camaraderie of this large and diverse group of folks who have in common their love for paddling rivers and streams, be they flat as glass or chopped with white cap.
As the skies darkened we heard calls of “boat ball!” from all corners of the camp. The brightly colored boats and their equally colorful captains began to gather at the patio along the edge of a small inlet in the lake. A long swinging bridge allowed spectators to look down upon the action. I never figured out the rules but it looked like a waterborne cross between water polo and wrestling the way the boats and people collided and rolled in the murky water in an intricate dance. With a lot of screaming.
As dusk carried on toward the kind of darkness only found in the isolation of rural fields, there were stories and beer, and stories about beer and the creation of new stories as a result of beer. And while the morning light still shimmered on the dew, there was a stray beer, it’s loneliness diminished by its bright pink perch.