I’ve been sick, sick, sick. But the Arkansas Canoe Club’s big annual camp out and get-together was this past weekend, and Bryan and Mandy wanted to go.

Rendezvous is held every year at Camp Couchdale, the state FFA organization’s big event center on Lake Catherine. The facilities are pretty nice (though bathrooms seem a little slim) and there are bunkhouses for those who want them, and there’s plenty of room to camp between buildings. I arrived first and chose a campsite between the buildings and the very edge of the lake, sure that it would be dark and quiet.

When Bryan arrived he pointed out that the giant generator+light trailer parked nearby was no doubt to light up the nighttime game of boatball on the schedule for that evening. So much for my quiet campsite. But it turned out all right – we enjoyed watching the boatball game, and Bryan even played, while Mandy and I sat on the concrete wall nearby and had a nice visit with our friends Joe and Lisa.

On Saturday, there were workshops and games. Mandy participated in something called a “Rescue Rodeo” and we all went down to watch the “Hometown Throwdown” contest at the ledge. Bryan made some dutch oven beans for the potluck, and he and Mandy enjoyed eating with the big group of paddlers and watching the giveaways and raffle announcements while I took a nap in the truck.

Later, I ventured out again to find Mandy teaching a sort of ragtag unicycling lesson to a handful of people in the dark. I sat in the Arkansas Outside tent and watched a game of glow-bocce pass by.

The rain started midmorning on Sunday. It seemed cruel that, after such a dry summer, the annual paddling campout was cut short by a rainstorm. Instead of going to Rockport to play, we just headed home. I hope that next year’s Rendezvous will see a healthier Aly and drier weather.

(We didn’t take any photos at Rendezvous, Arkansas Outside did – you can click HERE and HERE┬áto read their posts about the event.)