Our first day in sunny, sweaty, Phoenix, Arizona, (that’s a lot of commas!) we decided to go tubing down Salt River. Mary, our lovely host and one of my bestest friends, is another Über Planner, and has provided us not only with a cozy place to stay, but also with a handmade Guide to Phoenix. The first item in this guide is the tubing adventure down Salt River, and we were sold right away – there’s nothing like leisurely floating down a river and watching the scenery pass by, as well as occasionally getting a thrill going through the rapids. It’s pretty much the best thing in the world.
May I just say that it is a whole other kind of hot down here. It’s dry, and heavy, and when you’re outside all you can think about is “find shade, find shade as quickly as possible.” So it may seem kind of odd that we were going to spend 4 hours baking out there in 105 degree (41 c) weather, but actually Salt River is pretty cold so we’d just splash water on ourselves to cool off.
*FYI for the parents (and Jenny) – we were wearing 50 SPF sunscreen and neither of us burned at all!
While we floated, we witnessed a couple of beavers munching on twigs (I’m guessing in the beaver world, twigs are a snack), we saw some giant fish gliding through the currents below us, and lots of different kinds of birds, including a mother duck with her ducklings. Mary mentioned that we might see some wild horses, but alas, we saw none.
Also while we floated, we discussed how wonderful a metaphor tubing is for life. Here is my philosophy on floating through the river of life:
1. Don’t fight the current. It will take you where you need to go, if you let it.
2. That being said, if the current sends you towards some trees, duck, so you don’t poke your eye out!
3. As you float, you will encounter people who make you smile, and people who make you frown. Slow down and enjoy the former; speed up past the latter.
4. Don’t litter in the river.
5. Practice being in awe. Listen to the birds and the trickle of the water, look at the way the horizon and the river meet, smell the flowers as you pass them, taste the fresh air, feel the cool water between your fingers and toes.
6. Don’t worry about what lies ahead, you can deal with it when you get to it.
7. Take care of your body. Eat well, drink lots of water, and as Kurt Vonnegut says, wear sunscreen.
8. And last but not least, remember to HAVE FUN!