Carleton Admissions will ask you a lot of questions: What classes did you take your junior year? Have you ever visited the town of cows, colleges, and contentment? Why Carleton? But have they ever asked you if you would mind spending a Saturday afternoon with your friends fighting to stay afloat and un-beached on the snaking Cannon River? I think not. Floating on the Cannon, however, is essential to a Northfield summer.
Armed with our rafts (ranging in comfort and floating capabilities) we set out late Saturday afternoon to escape a bustling Northfield which was filled with vintage bands and their audiences. Entering the slowly winding river just behind the football stadium, we spent the next three hours enjoying the sun, companionship, and views of the blossoming river banks. During the school year when academics are in full swing and all of our extracurricular activities take up many of those supposedly free hours of the day, a morning jog in the Arb is as close to nature as we’ll get. Right now we don’t have those same responsibilities. We have time to spare - to meet new friends, to try new things, and to have no responsibilities to keep us away from these activities.
Even though the time on the Cannon should be that peaceful respite, and most of the time it is, occasionally the Cannon shows its strength. There are mosquitos that have an unimaginably large appetite for innocent floaters. When the river runs at the appropriate pace for floating the rocky bottom is sometimes dangerously close to the underside of your floating device. And who’s to say that your raft floats and, what’s more, will stay afloat? Michael had to take at least two pit stops to manually blow his raft back up before he could continue. Isaac had a complete separation of the bottom and side of his tube and barely was able to grab hold of the torn region in time to crawl to safety. Holly tried to create a multi-tube raft that ultimately failed. Karen was all around successful minus a painful sunburn.
Overall, it was definitely an awesome day on the river. We came, we floated, we conquered. During that time we enjoyed each other’s company and the river’s, even as we battled against the voracious mosquitoes. Our days with little-to-no academic and extracurricular responsibilities are coming to a close in just a few short weeks and there are certainly more activities on the way. But before then, there is always time to relax with friends until you start sinking into the water and need to blow your tube back up.