I hadn't been in a canoe for a few years, but last weekend's trip down the Mohican River with my husband, brothers and sisters-in-law proved to be an interesting experience.
Instead of canoes, our six children chose to float down the river in tubes. They were a bit waterlogged by the time they had floated seven miles.
In the past, "canoeing" to me meant one of two things.
If we were with children ages 10-12, their main objective was to find out who tipped over first. That can be an entertaining way to spend a warm afternoon.
Or, my favorite times canoeing have been down peaceful stretches of the Mohican and Sandusky rivers.
My favorite canoeing memory was several years back (when bald eagles were a rare sight). We were floating down the Sandusky River and a bald eagle swooped down about 50 yards in front of us, plucking a fish out of the water. It was awesome!
But last Saturday's experience was neither of those. It was a huge floating party on the river. And it was fun!
But it wasn't peaceful.
It was a beautiful afternoon and almost everyone staying in the Mohican area seemed to have the same idea - to float down the river.
There were canoes, kayaks, large rafts such as those used in whitewater rafting, inflated round tubes and several other inflatable floating objects.
For us in canoes, it was an obstacle course. A fun obstacle course.
But I wouldn't have wanted to be a beginner canoeist on day like that. It took some skill to avoid the many potential entrapments.
We managed to navigate the choas - from people idly floating to people who thought is was a good idea to stop their canoes sideways in the middle of the river.
We who did not have beverages aboard were in a minority. Needless to say, there was plenty of laughing and comic activities to watch.
They must have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of canoeing on the Mohican.
So, feel free to enjoy the experience of a canoe trip down the Mohican in this anniversary year.
But don't expect a weekend trip to be peaceful.
If you want to enjoy nature in the peace and quiet, choose a much closer river - the Sandusky. We have our own Ridgway Canoe Livery on River Road (CR 33).
Or why not try both?
Vicki Johnson is the outdoors reporter for The Advertiser-Tribune.