No Shoes, No Shirts & Not Any Type of Service

So…we decided to take a little break from the daily grind and head to the great outdoors!  We found a place that rents canoes about 45 minutes from Nashville. Jill has had many experiences with canoeing (mostly in New Hampshire), but it was Kate’s first time canoeing on a river. We signed up for the 4 hour trip…packed lunches and were looking forward to some nice time in the sun…relaxing in nature 🙂

Upon arriving to literally this tiny “shack” that rents canoes, a seventeen year old “Zac Efron wanna-be” took our money and drove us in an old, beat up van with canoes attached, down to the drop site. Kate kept asking him for instruction/insight or any useful tools for canoeing. All he replied was “If you wanna go right, paddle left. If you wanna go left, paddle right.” (Imagine that being said in a really ‘Southern’ accent.) He put our canoe in the water, handed us the paddles and waved goodbye. Guess we were good to go…?

So, there we were floating down the river and all of a sudden these little rapids started popping up. Nothing major, but we would paddle pretty hard and the current still would pull our little canoe whichever way it wanted. We bumped into a tree once, which freaked out Kate to a severe degree, but we continued on our way. There were a lot of trees and debris in the river due to the floods awhile back and there were also areas of total calm water…very peaceful for the most part.

We stopped on a sand/rock bank and ate the lunch we had packed. The best decision all day was to a) bring the cooler and not just throw lunch in a plastic bag and b) to put our keys, wallets and cell phone in a zip-lock bag and put that inside the cooler.

So far so good…right? Keep reading…

When we had been out for about three and a half hours, we were approaching a curve in the river with a huge tree tipped over in the middle. We debated which way to pass and decided it would be best to go on the right…we started paddling hard, but alas, the current was too strong for us. It took us and slammed us into the tree, then scooped us sideways. We tried pushing off of the tree, but the current was too strong underneath us and our canoe flipped right over.

PAUSE: OUR CANOE FLIPPED OVER AND IN 0.5 SECONDS, JILL AND KATE WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RIVER. The current was SO strong that it sort of pinned us to the canoe and we watched out shoes, shirts and towels float away. Kate was hanging onto the boat for dear life and Jill was determined to get the cooler which was wedged under the boat. We needed our keys, wallets, and phone after all!  We were both freaking out a decent amount, but Jill calmly kept wrestling to get the cooler out and Kate just kept saying that we were gonna be okay and that standing in the middle of the river really wasn’t so bad. Neither of us had planned on getting in the water because of the slight chance that a water snake would want to be friends…so not freaking out about being stuck in the water was huge people, HUGE.

After about ten minutes, Jill got the cooler unlodged (woop woop)…we both hung onto it and floated in the current to the shore. We looked helplessly at our canoe jammed into the tree in the middle of the river. Kate’s cell phone was damp, but working…but unfortunately, there was NO SERVICE. So there we were, no shoes, no shirts (thankfully we still had our swim suits) and not any type of service.

After about 5 more minutes another canoe came along with two brothers and their dog inside. They decided to go to the left of the tree. We were waving them down and they didn’t seem to be paying any attention to us. Jill got a little perturbed until all of a sudden she realized that they TOO were flipping over! Their dog was scrambling and getting sucked away with the current…one of the brothers grabbed him by the tail and saved him!  We helped them get their canoe to the side–theirs luckily didn’t get stuck–and then they tried to help us get our canoe out. One of the brothers was able to get it unlodged a bit but then it just got stuck in a different spot even more!

The kind brothers Sheldon and Marshall took us in their canoe with their dog down the rest of the river to safety! We never thought we’d ever really have to play the damsel in distress card so much–but man…these two boys totally came to our rescue!

We don’t have any pictures of our canoe adventure because we didn’t want to use the cell phone for anything besides getting us to safety.

It was super scary, frightening and we probably wont be canoeing on a river anytime soon.

Be safe and stay away from canoes.


29 Responses to “No Shoes, No Shirts & Not Any Type of Service”

  1. Riana Says:

    Wow…m glad u guys r okay but wot an adventure!

  2. Selena Says:

    Whoa! You poor girls! Clearly, that wasn’t the relaxing in nature you had in mind, but a rather stressful, sort of scary one instead. 😦 It sounds like you two handled the situation pretty calmly though, so kudos! Obviously, I wish you’d had a much better canoeing experience, but I’m glad you were rescued and that at least your most important carry-ons (wallets, keys, phones) were safely recovered. If nothing else, you got a good story out of the adventure! Thanks for sharing and beware the boats!

  3. Jaclyn Says:

    This is why I don’t canoe….even though there’s a river and rentals literally 5 minutes from my house. It’s scary. I almost drowned in the Gulf of Mexico last year though so I generally stick to pools these days.

  4. jacinta Says:

    Hahaha! That was so funny! Maybe it was God’s way of introducing you to Sheldon & Marshall.

    Kate, you are too funny: “Kate just kept saying that we were gonna be okay and that standing in the middle of the river really wasn’t so bad.”
    Ever the positive one! 🙂

  5. mytwobrowneggs Says:

    holy cannolis ladies!!! soooo freaking glad you girls are ok and safe and sound!!! at least you guys are smart chicks who didn’t panic…ok you tried your best to NOT panic…but that is awesome and woop woop to the boys who helped ya’ll out!

  6. 1wildegirl Says:

    Scary! Y’all are ready for your own show, “Woman vs Wild!”

    Jill’s the “good woman in a storm.” Awesome.

    Glad y’all are both safe after this. Made for an entertaining story.

    Yay for Sheldon and Marshall.

  7. Jamie Says:

    My cousin and I wrecked in a canoe in South Carolina. He’s a marine, so I wrongly assumed I would be safe and it would be ok to take my backpack. I lost two cameras, an iPod, and my phone. It was pretty awesome. The guy who sold us the “trip” had said it was all calm water. Then when we came back and said what happened the guy said that he hadn’t actually gone down the river since the previous fall. There. It is rare that I have a reason to tell my tale of canoeing peril, but clearly I have not recovered yet. I don’t think I’ll ever do it again.

  8. Monica Says:

    Well, it’s good to know that my mom is canoeing in NH this weekend, haha. I passed up that invitation.

    Thankfully you all are safe, including the dog!

  9. gypsygies Says:

    My gods you two balance each other so perfectly it’s astounding. I swear God itself decided to pair you both together in life. Kate’s the brave savior in social situations, Jill’s the braver one in other situations. You both amaze me.

    I’m so thankful that those brothers (& their dog) passing were kind, cool guys that this worked out where you ALL are safe (the dog!!).

    Wow. What a hellava day.

  10. Chelle Says:

    =) this was a very entertaining blog. i can almost picture it in my head…haha glad to hear you guys are alright! you’re next adventure should be white water rafting!

  11. Elaine Says:

    Scary stuff ladies 😦 Been upside down & trapped under kayaks before so I know it’s not remotely fun. Glad you had some white knights to come to your rescue though 🙂

  12. Lindsay Says:

    Oh…my…goodness. Haha.

    I had 3 friends (all of whom were visiting the week of Ashley/Shane/Rachel/Your show) that I took canoeing on the Harpeth here in Nashville.

    I’d place a bet that one of our canoes (holding the friends that had never canoed before) tipped in the EXACT same spot you did.

    Colleen and I (the other canoe) paddled up and down the river collecting all of the floating debris. The only loss (well, not only) was an old iPod and some dignity.

    Hilarious, though. Thanks for sharing! : )

    • Lindsay Says:

      So I may have posted half-way through reading your blog and realized that maybe the adventure wasn’t so funny to you because it turned out to be way more scary then what happened to me and my friends.


      Glad you guys are okay. And, I promise, canoeing is fun. Hope you guys try it again sometime : )

  13. Amanda Says:

    Aw! That sounds pretty disastrous. I’m glad you two lived to tell the tale!

    Were Sheldon and Marshall single!?! Hahaha. It would be a good story to tell the grandchildren, I’m just sayin’.

    Also, I hope Kate will give canoeing another chance! It can be really, really fun, just maybe in calmer waters someday!

  14. randy Says:

    Glad you’ll came outta that adventure ok!Did the brothers find out they helped save the famous Jill&Kate?Im sure that would have tripped them out.Take care.

  15. erin Says:

    wow. that sounds like something that would happen to me. im glad you all are okay. and how lucky you that those two fine young men came by. i was supposed to go canoeing a couple weeks ago, but after a big rain, the illinois rivers current was unreal. so we just went up the river and floated down to the cabin on inner tubes…with some alcoholic beverages. good times were had by all. you should try that next time. safer and less work.

  16. chrissy Says:

    It’s ALL about the “raft” ladies! Really mo skills, talent, or any form of coordination required. Many of drunken float trips were had with a raft…….NO canoe 🙂

  17. anakellya Says:

    Jeez, sounds scary! Glad you two are fine!! But also, am i the only one who thinks this’d make a good hallmark movie?! Haha.

    P.S. Thank God for people like Sheldon & Marshall! 😉 I hope you two walked past the ‘Zac Efron wanna-be’ afterwards and gave him “the look” lmao!

  18. Boston_Holly Says:

    Glad you two are okay! Canoeing is NOT as easy as it looks. I did it once and couldn’t keep a straight line if my life depended on it! I can only imagine trying to steer in rapids! Sounds like you two were resourceful under not the best of circumstances and yay for Sheldon and Marshall! It’s okay to play the damsel in distress card in a situation like that!!!

  19. Danielle Says:

    Tip-A-Canoe? Okay, so I attempted to go canoeing last year around the 4th of July down the Harpeth… notsomuch. We had an uneven number, so I ended up having to sit IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CANOE. We got not 20 feet away from the go in point, and we nearly tipped over… I told my friends “I’M OUT” and jumped out of the canoe and walked to the side of the river where we first went in. I had no intentions of getting tipped over, so I definitely passed. I ended up meeting 2 really cool guys too! They were waiting for their friends (they didn’t want to go canoeing- they just wanted to drink and eat chicken… very strange) too. I ended up talking to them and we hung out- it was very good, too, because I didn’t have any money, water, or keys for the cars we drove!

    When they left, I headed back to where we rented our canoes and hung out with them.. they were very nice, even if they were a little hillbilly. 😉

    I like to call this sport caNOeing. haha – But seriously, white water rafting is SO much better because you have a guide who knows their way! Or just tubing.. that’s a good time too. Glad you’re safe, though!!

  20. Elle Says:

    eeeep scary stuff ladies. Definitely not the first time experience Kate wanted!

  21. Emzy Says:

    Ok so first off im so glad youre both alrite, could have been a pretty nasty situation. You are both strong ladies, you can handle a little water 😉
    I have always wanted to do that, but yeh u kinda put me off, im not the best swimmer, so the thought of being tipped upside down does alarm me slightly lmao.
    I love your stories, you really do have the craziest lives, thankgod again that youre both fine.
    ps. i ordered my ‘I pick JK’ shirt earlier in the week, cant wait for it to arrive, ive wanted one for so long 🙂 Thanks for putting them for sale so the internationals could get a hold of one 🙂
    Much love xx

  22. RomanticComedyFan Says:

    Having the romantic leads on a romantic comedy tip over in a boat together is just so overused and cliche, but romantic comedies are all about putting new twists on old cliches, and this adventure seems like an especially good twist.

    Like, say, the guy driving you there is the male romantic lead (Southern, cute as hell, unrealistic as hell — you know, standard movie stuff) and one of the two women friends renting the canoe (both from the North, newly transplanted to the South) is the female romantic lead, and (don’t take this personally, either of you, because it’s just business) the other friend is the obnoxious but lovable/funny sidekick who goes on and on about being an expert at canoeing and tells our apparently more inexperienced leading lady all sorts of technical details about canoeing, etc, but then the sidekick is the first to panic like a mad woman when the boat tips, while our leading lady is of course calm and collected, etc.

    The two rescue guys are the fraternal twin younger brothers of the romantic lead guy, and they are running a scam to pick up chicks, i.e., when they spot two hot chicks renting a canoe (with binoculars), they drive ahead and strategically place a tree in the middle of the river that is sure to make anybody tip, and then they have this set scene they play out after the hot chicks tip over — pretty much as you described, including the dog (who is really good at this and offers all sorts of opportunity for comic relief in the movie later).

    So female sidekick, who hasn’t had a date in forever, convinces our reluctant leading lady to go out with our two cute scammers (leading lady clashed a bit in the car with our leading guy, of course, but you can tell she’s thinking about him and prolly would rather go out with him, maybe).

    So leading lady and sidekick have no idea leading guy is the older brother of the scammers. The ladies demand the scammers to take them back to leading guy and then they really give it to leading guy for not telling them about the hazard, especially leading lady who was already having a clash with leading guy even before all this, and as much as leading guy hates it when his brothers pull this scam, mostly because he is the one who always gets the heat and is always stuck rescuing the canoe, he reluctantly takes the heat (while his brothers are begging and pleading in the background for him not to tell on them), and leading guy lets his brothers have their hard-earned date — leading guy really doesn’t like either of these two girls anyway, right? Especially the one who is chewing him out so eloquently. LOL

    Okay. End of Act I. LOL

    I promise to post Act II if Jill and Kate post a Part II first. For inspiration. 🙂

  23. RomanticComedyFan Says:

    “Oh, Captain, you’re home!”

    Name that movie and scene. Hint: I think it was mentioned before as the favorite movie of somebody whom shall remain nameless. *cough* Jill *cough*. LOL

    I was trying to find a YouTube version of that scene to post here, and I found this interesting piece of movie trivia instead — apparently the actress playing the littlest von Trappe girl had a bit too much adventure while filming that scene and almost drowned…

    “Sound of Music Tour, Salzburg: at the lake scene”

  24. sally Says:

    WOWWWWWW! shake,rattle and roll….

  25. Melissa Says:

    Please, please tell me you didn’t rent from Tip-A-Canoe haha. If it was one of the two to the west of Nashville, shoulda went ziplining. Couple more miles up the road…Jus sayin.

    And now I am also glad we chose ziplining when we were in Nashville instead of the canoeing.

  26. Jennifer Says:

    That’s kinda scary! I’ve yet to have a bad experience with canoeing or anything similar.
    Kudos to whoever decided on the ziplock bag in the cooler, I always put my keys etc in a Ziplock bag and then put them in a zipped up pocket on my trousers.
    Last year I found a pretty nifty tiny waterproof bag with a drawstring…meant I attached it to my arm/over my shoulder/my ankle whichever felt most comfortable and it worked, perfectly dry phone etc.

    Glad you’re both ok though, I’m guessing you won’t be going canoeing any time soon.

  27. Randomly Here Says:

    I just love that the brothers were named Marshall and Sheldon.

    Awe. Seriously you guys. How cute.

  28. The Great Outdoors « JillandKate's Blog Says:

    […] A stroll around a park. A walk on the beach. A hike. A boat ride on a lake or the ocean (not a CANOE). Sitting on a bench outside somewhere. Something about fresh air and sunshine or a brisk cool […]

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