I’m back now. But, for a couple of days this week I was in Columbus, Georgia for a meeting of the District Attorneys in Georgia.
I worked a full day on Wednesday, so it was around 10 p.m. when I arrived.
My mother was raised in Columbus, so you would think I might know my way around town.
I don’t. So, I was lost. I was tired. It was dark and there were no street lights in this part of town.
Suddenly I started crossing railroad tracks. There were at least ten tracks side-by-side.
And I could hear a train. No crossing guard lights. No gate to stop cars from crossing. Just me trying to cross ten railroad tracks and the sound of a train.
I made it across the tracks and heaved a sigh of relief. Then I saw the train. It was coming straight at me. For some reason, in Columbus the trains travel on the road with the traffic. Seriously, there are tracks taking up one lane of the road and big freight trains speed alongside the cars.
Somehow I got out of the way (that’s how I’m able to write about it). I found the hotel and settled in.
There were Anglican priests all over the place. They are here for a conference, too. In my harried condition, I found their presence sort of soothing.
The next day was packed with meetings. Finally they ended and we all headed to the Chattahoochee River. Most of the DAs in Georgia were about to go whitewater rafting. I figured it couldn’t be worse than drag racing with trains in the dead of night.
If you didn’t know, Columbus hired some engineers to create rapids on the river. We were about to tame the wild water as only a bunch of district attorneys can.
I must say I looked pretty dashing with my blue helmet and undersized life jacket. It took three rafts to hold all of us. One of the guides wore a helmet with a sticker on it that read, “Paddle fast. I hear banjos playing.” I chose a different raft. Our guide wore a helmet with a sticker on it that looked like a marijuana leaf. But, cut the guy some slack. He lives in a town where trains jump out from nowhere.
Pretty soon we were on the river. Our raft was the last one in, but the first to head toward the rapids. We circled around some whitewater (which was kind of brown, actually) and paddled upstream toward the rapids. The guide wanted to “surf”. That involves positioning the raft so that it is stationary over some rapids and bumping around a lot.
Ploop. The DA from Houston County went overboard. Before I could laugh at him, the DA from the Griffin Circuit went in. That would be me. Somehow we got back in and continued our adventure. I’m pretty glad the priests weren’t around to hear things that were said.
By now, we were pros. We conquered class two rapids. Class 3 rapids. It was bumpy, but we immerged from the spray surrounding class four rapids still in the boat.
That was when I turned around and saw an upside down raft flying in the air. It was strangely devoid of district attorneys. They were bobbing like corks in the river. Now I know why they call it “cussing like sailors.”
Once we were back at the hotel, I dried off, got comfortable and went to sleep.
Until a train rushed past the hotel.
It sure is good to be home!