My Big Redneck Labor Day Adventure

I spent my Labor Day on an adventure I have been wanting to take for some time now. Unless you live in Fayette or Lamar County, you probably are not familiar with what is known as “the channel.”

The Luxapalila Creek runs out of the Tombigbee River from Lowndes County, Mississippi, all the way to Lamar County, Alabama. There are several spots in Fayette, Alabama, with easy access to swimming holes or wading. Many of these spots become a hangout for people on the weekends in the summer months. Young people camp by the creek and ride four-wheelers through the water.

Some people even float the channel on inner tubes or in a canoe or flat-bottom boat. This is what I have wanted to do and finally got a chance to last Monday. My husband made one call to a cousin of his who is an experienced channel floater, and the whole event was planned in a matter of days.

We met that day around 1 p.m. and ate hot dogs and cookies before the journey began. There were about 17 of us ranging in age from 4 to 50ish. Luckily, we managed to round up enough boats for nobody to have to float in an inner tube, which saved all our butts. (Literally when it came to the rocks!)

My husband and I had borrowed a flat-bottom boat from a friend of his who seemed like the type of guy you would expect to have a boat fit for the occasion. For instance, he took a gun out with us to shoot while we were in the field getting the boat. He probably would have enjoyed our adventure himself.

The weather was beautiful. Overcast enough to keep you from sweating, but not too cool to keep you from jumping in the water now and then. A couple of guys even brought their fishing poles. Along the way we picked up and dropped off a couple of people, but the majority of us floated for about five hours.

I ultimately ended up steering a canoe with two 12-year-old girls, which was an adventure in itself. Our strategy quickly became having the smallest girl sit at the front, not paddling, but instead using her paddle to push us away from any logs and rocks we were headed into. Still, I had to jump out a few times and unwedge our boat. Sure, everyone laughed at us, but not once did we flip.

Probably the highlight of the whole trip was watching my husband’s cousin (the professional floater) do a cannon ball off the bank wearing nothing but khaki shorts and a pair of camouflage toe shoes. At least that’s my vote. Most would argue it was shooting the copperhead snake we ran up on.

My husband had a gun and another guy had a machete, so they ran up to the snake and blew it in half. Then they picked it up with the machete, only to discover it had about three baby snakes inside. Let’s just say that’s where the machete came in handy. If we were on Naked and Afraid, they sure picked the right survival tools. (Though some on our trip would more than likely opt for a cooler or fishing pole.)

Despite the snake with extra snakes inside, I would do it all again ASAP. The scenery was beautiful, and it made for a relaxing day (except for pulling the girls out of rocks). If a cameraman had have gone with us we would be giving Uncle Si a run (or float) for his money right now.

About Kaci Lane Hindman

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