Pushing off, the hull portioned the river into two distinct halves, our oars plunging into and tearing at the silk ripples of the two divergent personalities flowing calmly and silently on either side of us. The river's two faces began competing for our attention.
Up ahead was a group of 13 or more canoes, held together by a network of hands, floating, bows and sterns in all directions. A hundred yards behind us, tied loosely to each other, a barge of rafts and beach type floaties hurled drunken woo-hoos and splashing around.
"What the fuck did we get ourselves into?" We looked at one another. All we could do was dig our torsos into the river up ahead. This is where our thin keel and kevlight hull became our friend.
We passed group after group, all friendly, all saying hi as we tracked passed them at what seemed like effortless high speeds. We were told back at the crowded outfitters office that because we were leaving early enough, if we paddled hard we could pass the lazy vacationers, pass the beaches they were most likely to camp on and find relative quite away from the crowds.
We did. We found a perfect spot on a bend in the river with no other campsites in sight. We were exhilarated. We were camping.