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PostPosted: May 17th, 2020, 11:44 am 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1736
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
wotrock wrote:
Then again, why would we buy a book when we are getting the stories for free on here? Keep 'em a'comin!!


I could ask that you sit up and beg, “Good boy Wotrock, gooood boyeee!”, but that’s been done. It is great fun for me finding all of these, cleaning up the language and spelling (no spell check) and reading them again.

I will briefly segue to an advice topic. I heartily recommend keeping a trip journal and/or writing a trip report. Re-reading that stuff, especially from 30 or 40 years ago is a trip down memory lane that mere photographs cannot match. The best time to start keeping a trip journal/writing a trip report is years ago. The second best time is now.

More shuttle difficulties; we had a LOT of shuttle difficulties.

Is that bolt cutters or are you just happy to see me?

Yet another beautiful day to be on the river. Our paddling party meets at the take out to drop off shuttle vehicles only to discover a newly installed gate across the access road. Hmmm, that's interesting...there was never a gate here before. The area isn't posted and, look, there is a chain & padlock - but they're just loosely wrapped around the gate and not actually locked. Why then, I guess it’s OK, no worries, lets drop off the cars and head back upriver.

At day’s end we arrive at the take-out, rack boats and gear and drive the shuttle vehicles up to the gate. LOCKED IN.

OK, first let’s all perform the "vehicle-in-distress" drill, in other words mill about aimlessly for a while, and then we'll consider our options. Well, I have a pair of bolt cutters in the back of my truck at the put-in. Yup, right there on my anal-paddler’s vehicle checklist, between "ammo box" and "come-along"..."bolt cutters". I'll just hitchhike back, get my truck, nip that baby off and away we’ll go.

I catch the guaranteed ride all the way back to my truck, doing a mental color commentary as vehicles crest the hill coming towards me; "Young mother with toddler in a station wagon - nope" ..."Yuppie suit in a gleaming, late model SUV - No freakin' way"..."Old man in a rusty pickup truck - Hot damn, here comes my ride". I hear a few war stories, listen to some bitching about "Them damn lawyers down in Warshintin" (nodding affably) and get chauffeured straight to my truck door.

I fetch my truck and arrive back at the take-out to discover that another member of our party remembered passing a yard sale on the way in, grabbed some money and hitch hiked off in the opposite direction.

Fortunately, before commencing work on the lock, we spend a few minutes at the gate admiring each other’s implements of destruction and while we're jawing away ("H.K. Porter #5's, those are nice cutters", "$1.25?...man, you got a good deal on that hacksaw") the local farmer who - surprise - owns the gate, lock and chain, not to mention the access road, pulls up.

Trying to look innocent while holding a conversation with a local whom you need to favorably impress, while concealing bolt cutters hurriedly stuffed down your pant leg, is not easy. Well, maybe it wasn't that difficult; he probably figured, judging from my stiffened gait and awkward posture, that I paddled C1.

That calculation may have helped convince him that I was just a harmless, though muddle-headed, paddler and he produced the key and freed our cars. In fact, I suspect my apparently debilitated condition may have caused him to feel so sorry for us - "T’were a pitiful sight Martha, that young feller couldn't hardly stand up straight and hadda drag one leg along behind him...I s’pect he paddles on his knees" - that the farmer showed us where he lived and told us we could stop by to pick up the key in the future.

The moral of this story is: Speak softly and keep your bolt cutters in your pants.


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PostPosted: May 18th, 2020, 10:27 am 
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Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 5609
Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
Mike McCrea wrote:
wotrock wrote:
Then again, why would we buy a book when we are getting the stories for free on here? Keep 'em a'comin!!


I could ask that you sit up and beg, “Good boy Wotrock, gooood boyeee!”, but that’s been done. It is great fun for me finding all of these, cleaning up the language and spelling (no spell check) and reading them again.

I will briefly segue to an advice topic. I heartily recommend keeping a trip journal and/or writing a trip report. Re-reading that stuff, especially from 30 or 40 years ago is a trip down memory lane that mere photographs cannot match. The best time to start keeping a trip journal/writing a trip report is years ago. The second best time is now.

More shuttle difficulties; we had a LOT of shuttle difficulties.

Is that bolt cutters or are you just happy to see me?

Yet another beautiful day to be on the river. Our paddling party meets at the take out to drop off shuttle vehicles only to discover a newly installed gate across the access road. Hmmm, that's interesting...there was never a gate here before. The area isn't posted and, look, there is a chain & padlock - but they're just loosely wrapped around the gate and not actually locked. Why then, I guess it’s OK, no worries, lets drop off the cars and head back upriver.

At day’s end we arrive at the take-out, rack boats and gear and drive the shuttle vehicles up to the gate. LOCKED IN.

OK, first let’s all perform the "vehicle-in-distress" drill, in other words mill about aimlessly for a while, and then we'll consider our options. Well, I have a pair of bolt cutters in the back of my truck at the put-in. Yup, right there on my anal-paddler’s vehicle checklist, between "ammo box" and "come-along"..."bolt cutters". I'll just hitchhike back, get my truck, nip that baby off and away we’ll go.

I catch the guaranteed ride all the way back to my truck, doing a mental color commentary as vehicles crest the hill coming towards me; "Young mother with toddler in a station wagon - nope" ..."Yuppie suit in a gleaming, late model SUV - No freakin' way"..."Old man in a rusty pickup truck - Hot damn, here comes my ride". I hear a few war stories, listen to some bitching about "Them damn lawyers down in Warshintin" (nodding affably) and get chauffeured straight to my truck door.

I fetch my truck and arrive back at the take-out to discover that another member of our party remembered passing a yard sale on the way in, grabbed some money and hitch hiked off in the opposite direction.

Fortunately, before commencing work on the lock, we spend a few minutes at the gate admiring each other’s implements of destruction and while we're jawing away ("H.K. Porter #5's, those are nice cutters", "$1.25?...man, you got a good deal on that hacksaw") the local farmer who - surprise - owns the gate, lock and chain, not to mention the access road, pulls up.

Trying to look innocent while holding a conversation with a local whom you need to favorably impress, while concealing bolt cutters hurriedly stuffed down your pant leg, is not easy. Well, maybe it wasn't that difficult; he probably figured, judging from my stiffened gait and awkward posture, that I paddled C1.

That calculation may have helped convince him that I was just a harmless, though muddle-headed, paddler and he produced the key and freed our cars. In fact, I suspect my apparently debilitated condition may have caused him to feel so sorry for us - "T’were a pitiful sight Martha, that young feller couldn't hardly stand up straight and hadda drag one leg along behind him...I s’pect he paddles on his knees" - that the farmer showed us where he lived and told us we could stop by to pick up the key in the future.

The moral of this story is: Speak softly and keep your bolt cutters in your pants.


Good one, but if I'm gonna do 'dog' I might pee where you don't want me to!!

_________________

Old canoeists never die---they just smell that way.



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PostPosted: May 21st, 2020, 1:51 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1736
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
wotrock wrote:
Good one, but if I'm gonna do 'dog' I might pee where you don't want me to!!


Wotrock, I’ll take dog pee over cat piss every time.


This one is a little horrifying. If you are Entomophobic best stop reading now


M’Zuubb, M’Zubbb - More shuttle problems


After yet another paddling trip in Texas I headed "home" to my desert base of operations, a half finished cabin in the Chiricahua Mountains in SE Arizona. I'd made it a habit to stop by the cabin between trips, do a little carpentry, gather some stone from the hills for the fireplace & chimney and consume mass quantities of chicken fried steak and iced tea in the Portal Store café.

I drove up the long, bad dirt road from Portal to Paradise. Really, that's the name of the place - so called because back in the silver mining days it really was paradise, with a dozen bars and nearly that many whorehouses. Looking at the remaining foundations you can tell which was a bar and which was a whorehouse simply by their location. The bars were along the road; the whorehouses were on the hillsides. Theory is, no one would walk that far for just a drink.

I drove up into Paradise and bedded down under the cap in the back of my truck. I had the reading lights on and was finishing up some small-town newspaper I'd pick up along the way in Texas (headline: Betty Joe Williams named Prom Queen) when an insect began to annoy me by flying tight circles around my head. I tried to reason with him, saying, "Look, if you don't cut that out I'm gonna smack yer ass with this newspaper". But he didn't stop, so I rolled up the paper and prepared to swat him.

And he promptly flew right in my ear. On a direct line, zing…nothing but net. Yowza! This was a fair to middlin' sized oblong beetle-like bug, in my ear, still buzzing. So I did the naturally stupid thing - I stuck my little finger in my ear. And just managed to touch his buggy little butt, sending him scurrying even deeper into my ear, still buzzing somehow.

His buzzing began getting more feeble. . . . .M'zubbbb, M'zubbb. And even deeper inside my ear, even more feeble, faintly vibrating M'zubbb. . . . .m'zubb. And then the buzzing stopped.

Oh man! I don't wanna have to drive down off the mountain to the hospital. I'm not even sure where the nearest hospital is, Benson maybe, or Wilcox; like a hundred miles away. And why did I ever see that damn Star Trek movie with the bug in Chekov's ear? What if it's a female, looking to lay eggs? What if I start hearing M'zubbb, M'Zubbb in my other ear?

After managing to thoroughly freak myself out with ideas like these, I finally fished out a clean Jerry-tube, melted the end down to a semi-conical point, filled it with water, sealed the end and used it to repeatedly flush my ear.

That “seemed” to work, although I never saw any buggy remains flush out on the tailgate, and had more than a tinge of recurring M'zubbb…M'zubbb concerns for weeks after. 30+ years ago, it still makes me shudder.

Denouement to that episode – To this day I carry a bulb syringe in the big first aid kit.

There were a couple freaky Chiricahua shuttle episodes. That “sky island” range is wonderfully unique-in-the-US, with peculiar flora and fauna to match.


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PostPosted: May 21st, 2020, 7:03 pm 
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Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 5609
Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
Paradise,eh? But not the one in Muhlenburg County<

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Old canoeists never die---they just smell that way.



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PostPosted: May 22nd, 2020, 3:58 pm 
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Joined: March 21st, 2013, 11:30 am
Posts: 128
Location: Minden, NV USA
Problems have come from two areas. The worse are rookie whining paddlers, people that don't take direction and don't consider safety. I no longer like big groups like 8 people.

The other problems have come from paddling with rivers at flood stage or really terrible weather, like endless wind driven rain.

Some trips are the worst, but really memorable. Paddling the John Day River in Oregon in flood stage was one of the those trips. The trip was planned way ahead of time. It was early May with lots of rain on the snow pack. We camped next to the river for a couple of days, closely watching the stage. It started to fall, so we pushed off at 6,600 cfs. The Class II rapids were enormous. The wave trains were the biggest I have ever paddled. There was no way to line the boats in the rock canyons. For one of them my brother and my dog walked around the rapid which took 45 minutes. I moved the load to the center, and knelt in the rear. The waves seemed like they were five feet.

On one rapid my brother and I paddled ashore with the boat upright, but totally swamped. About the third day my friend paddling solo, sunk his old fiberglass boat on the bottom of the river. We emptied out our canoe and did an upstream ferry to get across. From the shore I could reach him with a throw rope. We hauled in the equipment that did not float away. Finally we got his canoe on land. We literally pounded it with rocks until the form was mostly returned to look like a canoe. After a roll of duct tape he was able to paddle it. We found some items from his canoe for the next 2 days by eddy shopping.

Unfortunately we had a pair of pretty green paddlers on this trip. We gave them plenty of notice about when to pull ashore above rapids by keeping them well behind. I felt responsible for their safety, and would never expose people like that again. Except for about 5 bad rapids and the wet weather it was a very memorable trip and one worth talking about around a campfire.


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PostPosted: Today, 7:10 am 
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Joined: June 3rd, 2004, 10:51 am
Posts: 281
Location: Aurora (Borealis)
Fellow Adventurers:

Here's a story I just ran across on CNN:

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/trap ... index.html

No canoeing involved, but being trapped naked on a German fire escape and not speaking German seems to qualify as a bad trip.

Best Regards,

- JF -


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