We took turns paddling the kayaks and canoe; and, although we didn't encounter white water, we did navigate some challenging "riffles" that tipped my younger son right out of his kayak and caused my husband and I to ram the bow of the canoe into a rocky outcropping.
Despite those mishaps, we were having fun on our "Fun Float."
Halfway through the trip, we docked our boats on a pebbly beach, unloaded our small cooler, and sat down to drink some water and eat a few snacks.
An unusual rock caught my eye. It was a chunk of limestone with a neat hole bored right through it. I picked up the rock and showed it off to my husband and sons.
"It's a seeing stone!" I exclaimed. I knocked a clod of dirt off the edge of the rock and held the hole in front of my eye."These are supposed to help you see into magical realms!"
I looked the exact opposite of magical...soaked shorts, frizzled hair, mismatched bathing suit, bulky life vest (still fastened even though I was on shore), and a sunburned nose.
Joey and the boys were too kind to take a picture of me; but I'm sure I looked half crazy wandering around the beach, staring through my new limestone monocle.
"I guess this is caused by moving water," I speculated, still scavenging around on the beach. By now, I was mainly talking to myself since my husband and sons were repacking the cooler and clambering back onto the boats.
"I hope it's okay if I take it as a souvenir," I said to no one in particular. "I mean...my seventh graders will love this. It's like in the Arthur trilogy or Spiderwick Chronicles! I can put it on the bookshelf; and the kids can look through it like I am right now and...ohmygosh!"
I interrupted my own enthusiastic rambling when, through the seeing stone, I saw two more rocks with perfect holes.
"This is awesome!" I shrieked, scooping up my two new seeing stones. Now I was really beginning to wonder if I had stumbled into a magical realm. I glanced nervously over my shoulder to make sure my family was still there. They were there alright, waiting impatiently for me to get into the canoe so we could finish our trip.
"Can you believe this?!" I asked, awkwardly climbing into the canoe, my three rocks clutched to my life jacket.
"They are cool looking," one of my sons conceded.
"Yes!" I said. "They are really cool looking; but why are there so many? I don't think these could all be caused by running water..."
I tucked the rocks into the bottom of the cooler, grabbed an oar, and helped paddle down to the take-out point. For the rest of our journey, I wondered about my seeing stones.
Back home, I booted up the laptop and set to work, determined to learn something about my new collection. Hours of research later, I realized the science behind the strange rocks was more magical than I could have imagined...
(Stop by Galley Street next Tuesday to find out what made the holes in the seeing stones!)
Two of my three seeing stones. I lost the third; but I found it a few days after taking the picture.