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Floatin’ Down the River

by Meghann on May 27, 2012

Where did I leave off from yesterday? Oh, yes, we had just completed the Crystal River Triathlon, my teammates had all kicked butt in their age groups (hello first and second place trophies!), and we were hot, tired, and ready to relax…. what better way to do that than floating down the river?


I vote we float down the river after every race from now on. mmmkay? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rainbow River is a popular spring-fed river just south of Ocala. I’d been once years ago with Derek and the fact that we were planning on going there after the triathlon was my main bribing tool to get Derek to come to the race. Who doesn’t want to spend a couple of hours floating down the river? ๐Ÿ˜‰


We had picked up a few river-related supplies on the way to our launch site, including floats, sunscreen, Twizzlers (very important!)


And Publix subs (enjoyed on dry land ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).


All set and ready to relax.


The spring-fed water was amazing. It was slightly chilly, very refreshing, and perfect for two hours of floating.


We had brought a cooler full of drinks and fruit for the ride. Our original plan was to put the cooler in the extra kid’s float, but Derek was paranoid that the cooler would sink the float, so he floated the whole way with the cooler on his belly. I kept asking if it bothered him, but he didn’t mind a bit. I think he actually preferred the ample access to the beer, he was set for the afternoon.


Post-race bliss.


Stephanie had brought some Lime-A-Ritas, which tasted like fizzy margaritas. They actually weren’t bad and sorta went with the setting.   



Can you tell I was floating with a bunch of swimmers? They all wore their goggles! Nerds. ๐Ÿ˜‰



At one point we found a rope that people were jumping off of.


Obviously we couldn’t pass it up.


You know that saying “If everyone else jumped off of the bridge, would you jump too?” Well, if they all survived with a smile… I probably would. ๐Ÿ˜‰


The rope was one of those things that didn’t look bad from a far, but the second you get up to the tree and start climbing, you begin to second guess your decision to follow everyone else.


haha. I look terrified!

But all it took was a few words of encouragement and I was all smiles again.


Here goes nothing!!!


Worth it. Totally worth it!

And I promise it wasn’t that scary in the end. If it was, we wouldn’t have spent a full 30 minutes taking turns jumping.


How perfect is this shot?!


Alright, enough jumping. More floating.




Remember this photo. It’s rare to see our fearless leader, Felipe, so worn out.


After a mile or so of floating, we had reached the end.




So much fun ladies!


We deflated the tires and start the hour or so drive back to Tampa. I had an apple and stopped for an iced coffee on the way home for a little caffeine boost (I was wiped!).


Derek and I were both not in the mood to cook anything. I let him pick where to get take-out from and he chose a local BBQ place.


Not the best bbq I’ve ever had, but it worked.

Then we both fell asleep at 9:00pm. It was awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

1 Selene Thompson May 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I used to float down rivers all the time as a child in Honduras, and have always wanted to take my husband to try it. Where exactly did you park at the start? I’d love to get some friends together and go out there this summer. Thanks for any additional information you can send me ๐Ÿ™‚

2 Jenn May 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Ah that looks like so much fun! The water looks so nice and clear too.
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3 Army Amy* May 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Fun! I floated the river in San Antonio with my friends once. It was really crowded and mostly just about drinking, but it was fun, too.*
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4 Kailey May 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I have always wanted to jump from one of those swings like in The Notebook ๐Ÿ™‚ Looks like you had a nice relaxing afternoon !
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5 Sloane @ Life Food and Beer May 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Tubing down the river looks like so much fun!!
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6 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama May 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I haven’t been tubing in years! We would always get a big group and just float and of course, drink. ๐Ÿ™‚ That sounds like the perfect post race party to me!
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7 Meghan May 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I used to float down the river in PA all the time, but a few years ago my friends and I did here in Florida at Ginny Springs. We used inflatable pools and had like 6 of us in each, great for the cooler too.
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8 Danielle @ Long May You Run May 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Sounds like an awesome day! We used to float down the Ichetucknee river all the time in college (or as a few people called it- the “Itch Me Touch Me” river). We’d just tie our drinks to the back of the tubes and let them float through the water- the river was cold enough that they stayed pretty chilled! Ah… makes me long to live in Florida again ๐Ÿ˜‰
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9 Alli May 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

You need to put your drinks in a mesh bag and hang them from your raft into the water. The water keeps them cold enough, no cooler needed:)

10 Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana May 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm

That looks like the perfect post race activity…so relaxing ๐Ÿ™‚ We used to jump off this huge rock in Waimea Bay, and I would have those same thoughts as soon as I got up there…should I really do this?? And then after I jumped, I’d be the first one climbing the rock to do it again ๐Ÿ™‚
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11 MrsSwan May 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Ahh.. you the the 2 hour one I have never done. We always start at the KP Hole and do the 4 hour trip. If I am not mistaken you all could have done the 2 hour one again if you wanted.

PLEASE tell me no one in your group complained!!! Every single time we go out the girls that are always eager to go start complaining in the first hour. ANNOYING!
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12 Meghann May 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

We were on a time limit, which is why we went the shorter route. ๐Ÿ™‚ And no one complained – everyone had a blast! I think we just complained that it was over too soon, but some of the group had places they needed to be.

13 Christina @ Food.Fitness.Fun. May 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I wish we had a lazy river like that here, looks awesome!
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14 Kathy May 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Fun..lucky…oh to be young and free!!

You guys look great and look like you had a blast! ๐Ÿ˜‰

15 Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Fun day!! My husband and I were just saying that we want to do a lazy river float sometime soon!! It always looks like a great time. ๐Ÿ™‚
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16 Caroline Calcote May 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Looks like a blast…perfect way to beat the heat and celebrate the triathlon!
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17 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm

So jealous! I floated rivers a few times when I went to school in Charleston, it was so much fun! I miss it!
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18 rachel May 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm

awesome piccies!! jealous!
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19 Annette @FitnessPerks May 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Ahhhh I LOVE floating down rivers! That looks like the perfect Sat activity ๐Ÿ™‚
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20 Steph @ 321delish May 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Great post! I had so much fun!
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21 Heather May 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm

that sounds so fun and relaxing, perfect reward for a hard race.

22 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More May 27, 2012 at 10:07 pm

One of my friends has done one of those river float things – looks so fun and relaxing and just amazing!!
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23 Lynn May 27, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Have you been to Blue Spring State Park? I went there when I was in Orlando for a bachelorette party. It’s amazing! And I heard that in the winter there are manatees. I would highly recommend it!

24 Reenie May 28, 2012 at 1:17 am

Oh ya…. Derek’s my kind of guy. I would have had my tube hooked to his since he was packing the beer!! HA!! Try the Bud Light ~ Lime-A-Ritas ~ in your blender and add a lil ice ~ put them in margarita glasses ~ soooo good ๐Ÿ™‚

25 Amy May 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm

You were brave to jump of that rope! If I wore a strapless top, I’d be afraid I’d flash everyone!

26 Kelsey June 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Twizzlers are always a good call.

27 joe June 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

not to ask a stupid question, but how did you manage to bring beer and cans onto the river?

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