mud·lark  [muhd-lahrk]
1. Chiefly British . a person who gains a livelihood by searching for iron, coal, old ropes, etc., in mud or low tide.
2. Chiefly British Informal . a street urchin.
3. either of two black and white birds, Grallina cyanoleuca, of Australia, or G. bruijni, of New Guinea, that builds a large, mud nest.
v. (used without object)
4. to grub or play in mud.[Origin: 1790–1800; mud + lark]
It seems like just about every female blogger is currently talking about BlogHer but I didn’t go this year so all I have to talk about is what I did instead of the conference – white water rafting.
And by white water rafting I mean we floated down a rather still creek/river/thing. We left the kids with Mom and got to Chris and Alana’s right on time. After a few harrowing turns around unfamiliar corners and a rock that seemed to have an appointment with Alana’s right ear [ the thing left a deep dent in her windshield] we finally got to the shack where we were supposed to pick up the canoes.
The local folk at the canoe shack reminded me of the guys in Deliverance with their tobacco juice stained shirts and the random pile of used up chewing tobacco on the chat under the metal carport that covered a wooden picnic table – basically the only shade other than inside the grease coated shack.
A hulk of a red and blue van – red from the rust – that was as hot as an oven and vaguely reminded me of church camp was our mode of transportation to the river. The seats were naugahyde and the doors didn’t close all the way and the roof of the thing kinda sagged. All in all, it was exactly what you would expect from a canoe rental place.
We got to where we were to put in and from the start I was pretty certain the whole thing was going to be an adventure tosay the least. Alana and Danny had an interesting way of navigating and by interesting I mean they turned the canoe sideways and had a habit of running into us and trees and sand bars [which were actually made out of rocks instead of sand].
Comic relief was provided in scores.
Around the halfway point, Alana suggested we come back the next day for another run and at the time, it sounded like a brilliant idea. Until we got to the end. At the end, we were more than ready to go home. Hell, I was more than ready to crawl into a hole and stay there for a few years.
After hours on the river, I was sunburned, hot, sweaty and damp and though I had put on a long sleeved shirt, I didn’t put on any shorts – I was wearing my swimsuit bottom so don’t think I was all naked and stuff. But when we went into the shack to get something to drink, you would have thought I was wearing a neon sign above my head that said something along the lines of “I eat babies.” or maybe “I kick dogs.”
You could say I was a bit uncomfortable but of course that would be an understatement.
By the time we made it home, my back looked something like a tomato and the cool water that poured over my back quickly turned warm. Surely you’ve been there.
In the end, that’s what I did instead of BlogHer. Less stress, less drama, less money and more tan.
-  “mudlark.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 09 Aug. 2010. ↩