More of “The Good Old Days”– There’s Sand in My Sandwich!
Way back then, lunch wasn’t quite the production it is today. We’d stop at a grocery store on the way to the river, grab some packaged lunch meat and cheese, a jar of peanut butter and some jelly, a couple of loaves of bread, a head of lettuce, some tomatoes, mayonnaise and mustard and a cantaloupe. We’d stop for lunch on the river, open up everything and make sandwiches. Nothing fancy, just a sandwich or two and some cantaloupe for dessert. The lettuce and tomatoes weren’t washed, there might have been a little sand in the sandwich from using a river knife to spread the mayo, and we may have sometimes run out of food, but nobody complained, and to my knowledge nobody got sick.
What was really bad was losing the cooler with all the lunches in it. Have you ever seen a cooler go whitewater rafting without a guide? It’s quite impressive, especially if you’re really hungry and you’re watching your lunch disappear from sight.
My mother was an integral part of business the first couple of years on the Nolichucky. She actually loaned Jerry some money to buy a couple of rafts. For our second season, Jerry found a piece of property right on the river to use as a base camp – this meant we didn’t have to meet our guests in a parking lot in Erwin, and we had a base from which to work.
Good old mom stepped in again to help me prepare homemade lunches for the trips. She and I would spend hours boiling potatoes for potato salad, slicing canned ham on a home slicer for the sandwiches, slicing tomatoes – whatever needed to be done. We had a guide who was a chef for the Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon, Virginia, who created delicious homemade tomato bread.
They weren’t quite the hot grilled lunches ACE Adventure Resort serves now on their New River and Gauley River trips, but to us we had come a long way!
What do you all think of our lunch on the river? Got a tragic lunch tale? Leave a comment and tell us a story!