After a few hours of hiking at Lonely Mountain Park, the group went straight into the next activity of the afternoon, punting. Punting is a term used to describe pushing a small shallow boat with a pole along a shallow body of water like a lake or river. In our case, the term “boat” should be applied loosely because really we were given wooden rafts.
Punting is much harder than it looks, and no one shared techniques before we were released onto the raging (ok hardly moving) river. So everyone had to develop their own method, and partners definitely had to learn to work and communicate together to go anywhere.
One memorable moment was when a bunch of Chinese teenagers camping out along side of the river started trying to spray members of our group with a squirt gun of sorts. Russ, the Assistant Principal, and his wife, the music teacher, immediately “charged them” using their punt (ok it took a couple minutes to get there). Using his pole, Russ began to splash at the kids. Given that the kids always had to refill before firing back, Russ easily won the battle as well as the respect of our group.
The whole punting experience was very comical and, because of the slow-motion nature of every movement, a bit absurd. At times I was reminded of the Austin Powers scene where the victim can’t escape the slow moving steam roller he sees coming from far away. A few of us joked that punting would make a great setting for a kung fu fight. Picture the fighters jumping from raft to raft, innocent bystanders getting tossed into the water, poles being used for fighting and vaulting. Really the possibilities are endless. Hollywood, if you’re reading, feel free to take that idea. Just run our names in the credits.