A Visit with My Sister and Rafting on the Delaware River (Again!)

After we left Long Island we drove the short distance to my sister’s house in northern New Jersey where she lives with her husband Kurt and kids McKenzie and Gabe. We had the pleasure of staying with them for a few days, mostly relaxing and chatting, though Tina and Kurt arranged some time off to take a rafting trip on the Delaware River. I got to go with them last year in July and it was ridiculously fun; this year was arguably even better since we had more people (Tom plus McKenzie’s friend Dakota) and thus two boats. Upon arriving at the put-in we divided into a boys boat and a girl boat and the war ensued: we had had some splashing fights the previous year but with two rafts and de facto teams it was definitely more fun.

Other than the occasional splash fights, our rafting trip was really relaxing. The river on this stretch is very tame – I think there’s only one spot of Class II rapids – so it’s possible to just float often and not have to navigate which makes for a very chill activity. Us girls didn’t even bother to avoid some of the boulders in the rapid areas since it was just as easy for me to climb out onto the rocks and push us off. No danger of flipping of getting stuck here.

Fairly soon after our launch we beached on a ledge protruding from the shore and ate lunch, watching other boats float downriver. It was a delightfully sunny August day, and the light filtering through the leaves and reflecting off the water was beautiful – and a marked contrast to last year when the river was brown with mud. After taking some pictures we reboarded our rafts and continued our way downstream, alternating paddling and floating. Near the end I jumped in to pick up some shells off the river bottom and cool off, but mostly we just lazed and took goofy photos.

The boy's boat: Kurt, Gabe, and Tom, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

The boy’s boat: Kurt, Gabe, and Tom, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Water fight, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Water fight, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Other rafters on the Delaware, Pennsylvania/New York

Other rafters on the Delaware, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina, McKenzie, and friend Dakota, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina, McKenzie, and friend Dakota, Pennsylvania/New York

Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Lunch spot on the Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Lunch spot on the Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina and Kurt, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina and Kurt, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina, Gabe, and I, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina, Gabe, and I, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

McKenzie, Dakota, and I, Delaware River   Yes, I'm aware I look crazy in this picture. Pennsylvania/New York

McKenzie, Dakota, and I, Delaware River Yes, I’m aware I look crazy in this picture. Pennsylvania/New York

My beautiful sister, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

My beautiful sister, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Floatin', Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Floatin’, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Boys catching up with us, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Boys catching up with us, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Electric green sea grass underwater, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Electric green sea grass underwater, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina and I, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina and I, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Kurt, Gabe, and Tom paddling, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Kurt, Gabe, and Tom paddling, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Kurt, Gabe and Tom navigating some baby rapids on the Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Kurt, Gabe and Tom navigating some baby rapids on the Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

McKenzie and Dakota in bow, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

McKenzie and Dakota in bow, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Kurt and Tina also hosted an impromptu backyard barbecue while we were there, inviting some of their close friends and neighbors. I had the chance to catch up with two of their former neighbors that I had met last year, chat with one of the guys they work with, and meet another neighbor and also a good friend of Tina’s. I would like to say that I have photos of this event – or any photos of any of us at all during the remainder of our visit – but I had another fail and am left with only the rafting pictures. This is not indicative of our visit being anything less than awesome however; as usual I had a fantastic time at Tina and Kurt’s and loved getting to spend time with the family again. It was also nice that Tom and I had another chance to enjoy good company and hang around with more easy-going people, particularly since they can handle our sarcasm.