Sharif and I spent most of Monday floating on inner tubes in the Shenandoah River. Really, it ended up being at least 5 hours. This was incredible. The day was warm, the water was perfect, the sky was clear, the scenery was lovely. The demands on us were minimal. We relaxed and floated and basically loved life. There was a heron, maybe, and a peregrine falcon, maybe, and cows, definitely. A very few times we went through tiny "rapids", where we held on tighter and said "whee!" I spent the most time on my stomach, watching the river bed pass underneath. Rocks, grasses, sometimes fish.
That's actually where the downside comes in. I did apply sunblock liberally before we started the trip, but 5+ hours in the sun combined with almost constant immersion in water does not make for the most lasting protective effects. And there was no good way for me to carry extra sunblock with me on the river. So my entire back and the backs of both knees are now hot pink and painful and very sensitive. rob greeted me yesterday with a normal-and-usually-welcome scratch on the back. I probably hollered. Even applying lotion hurts. I am making clothing choices based on whether I can wear a tank top underneath instead of a bra.
I'm still extremely glad we did the river trip. While it lasted, it was perfect. I just should have worn a t-shirt or something over my bathing suit. Thank god I was wearing shorts.