Don’t Hold the Garlic My Dear

Good Friends Good Friends[/caption]

Fun on the River!

Fun on the River!

I use my bucketlist as an ongoing outline for things I just must do at some point in my life. People ask me all the time “What’s next on your list?” and thankfully, I never run out of crazy things that I want to do, especially because as I do one bucketlist item I usually discover another two that I want to do hat I never even knew existed! This keeps it simple and fun and I never run out of ideas!

Booking our adventures for our recent vacation, my friend Mike learned about a river float called Garlic Mike’s that came highly recommended by our outfitter Three Rivers. Intrigued, Mike asked more questions immediately. Upon learning it was a recreational river float down the Gunnison River led by a guide who does all the work, ending at Garlic Mike’s Restaurant for excellent Italian Fine Dining on the river, my friend Mike did the only intelligent thing. He signed us up! A new bucketlist adventure was born!

The day of the float we showed up at 3:15 pm and Three Rivers Outfitters followed us the 15 miles down the road to Garlic Mike’s where we left our vehicle and clean dry clothes. They shuttled us back to the Outfitter base where we met up with our EMT, college boy, river guide friend Nick and loaded our cooler of beverages into the all-familiar blue river raft.

This time however, Nick did all the work, we enjoyed the river scenery and good company and sipped on beverages for the next two and a half hours while we floated to Garlic Mikes Restaurant in grand style!

Nick made it look exceptionally easy as he smoothly worked the two extra long oars and smoothly spun river tales and maneuvered us downstream.

When he offered to let me give it a try after hearing about my passion for new adventures I jumped at the chance.

Assuming my post on the center bench I grabbed the oars and pulled, expecting a familiar tug based upon my experience a few days before white water rafting and stand up paddle boarding.

I was as surprised as everyone on the boat when a loud grunt escaped my mouth in a very unladylike fashion.

The two oars had barely moved. Both shoulders screamed in protest. We went nowhere fast.

Looking back over my shoulder at a grinning “Nick The River Guide”, he replied, “It’s hard isn’t it?”

“No kidding!” I came back at him.

“This is soooooo hard!” I complained as I pulled with all my might and maybe moved us an inch or two in the right direction.

Humbled by my 3 minute go as a river guide I let that career idea float away and readily returned the long oars to my able bodied friend Nick and conceded I was not ready for prime time yet!

Finally at Garlic Mike’s we settled in for a delicious meal and good company perusing the menu for our favorite Italian fare.

I realize Italians love garlic and the place was called Garlic Mike’s, but I was still surprised when Robin pointed out her favorite menu item had two asterisks beside it noting it had extra garlic in the ingredients.

After a little bit of marital maneuvering and skillful negotiating, dear friends Robin and Mike came to an agreement. Neither would hold the garlic and they’d just hope they cancelled each other out if the aftershocks were too overwhelming!

I chuckled but realized I was in the presence of true love and had just witnessed the skilled and careful marital maneuvering of a veteran couple.

I got to experience an unexpected adventure that I didn’t even have on my list or know existed, celebrated with friends, realized I couldn’t cut it as a river guide, even in my dreams, and watched as two friends loved each other enough to not hold the garlic!!

I think these two will make it to 50 years!

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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