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The Gearboat Chronicles

Day Trippin’

Big tour on the Grande Ronde with runners from the Pendleton cross-country team.

Water fights? It was more of a floating street brawl. Madness. Water in the nose. Ears. I think I got water inside my eyebrows.

My nephew Little Joe rode along. That’s him in the photo showing off some of the mad kayaking skills he’s picked up over the years as an expedition kayaker, sponsored by Osk Kosh B’Gosh and National Geographic Explorer.

Morgan pulled off a wheelie to downside-up tail slide, which is fancy talk for pulling on a rope and flipping his boat on purpose. Because after all, it’s fun, it’s good swimming weather, and, really, why not.

But the trouble started when Morgan said something to the effect that he prefers track and field events that aren’t quite so long as this “cross country” he’s been hearing about. Give him a good 100-yard dash. Yeah. Now that’s a race . . . and then the kid went for his throat, which is what you see here. I hope you’ve learned a valuable lesson, Mojo. Do not cross a cross-country runner.

And the other picture is a big birdie we saw. I’m not much of an ornithologist, so that’s either a merganser, a black-winged redbird, or a really really big hummingbird. Whatever it was, it was kind of cute.

Day tripping’s good stuff. Taco salad. Paddling kayaks. Kung fu waterfights if you’re into that kind of thing. Sun. Swimming. To say nothing of the Boggan’s Oasis milkshake at the end of the run.