River and Buffalo Cove by
wasn't going to say anything but Woody made mention so I had to
It would appear that the club has turned a corner and will no longer
do those wimpy trips some have done in the past. The trips listed
above were REAL TRIPS. They included all the elements that combine
to produce my kind of trip - rain, extreme cold weather, and upstream
paddling. All the elements, which in turn lead to dissention and
danger for the trip leader. For a change it was so comforting to
hear phrases of "Hang Harry" and "Bash Bill" rather than "Maul Mike".
must give credit where credit is due. Harry and Bill are somewhat
novices at this kind of trip. However, each did a magnificent job.
Harry somehow picked a day in which the area had been rained upon
for weeks and was sure of one hundred percent rain on the day of
the trip. (Ask about the parked car that slid down the levee.) He
started with an easy paddle up the river to ease the wary paddler.
Then he turned upstream into a waterway just wide enough to allow
a kayaker to clear both sides with double blades. The turns and
twists were many and the trees in the turns were strategically placed.
As if that were not enough, he arranged for huge clumps of Water
Hyacinth to come down with the flow. Then the ultimate - after fighting
our way up to the lake the way was blocked by Water Hyacinth that
were being packed into place by wind and water flow. After attempting
to paddle and then pole my way thru I realized the easiest way was
to step out onto the mass and portage across the Hyacinth. Then
upon reaching open water, float your craft, re-enter and off you
eighteen assorted boats rafted up and we administered a simple mental
test and all the sane ones left - or so I thought at the time. Upon
reaching the take out/put in I realized how crafty Harry had become.
The group of mentally deficient paddlers we had left behind suddenly
transformed into a highly paid security force designed to protect
Harry. He so craftily planned this trip down to the last detail.
He knew that if he stayed out a while longer most of the dissenters
would grow weary of awaiting his return and leave. He also knew
that any that were inclined to stay and wait would be frozen solid
in short order. Just in case those at the take out climbed into
their vehicles and stayed he had his clique of bodyguards close
at hand. (Why didn't I think of that a long time ago?) Anyway
Harry, I am proud of you and look forward to the next venture.
I can only say you left nothing to chance. Your knee deep upstream
mud portage easily offset the beautiful weather and the last 2.7
miles upstream on an oil canal was a wonderful touch. I was very
impressed with your brash appearance at the takeout as the group
was a little surly at that time. However, my admiration of your
bravado ceased as I realized you had Ann there and you SURE backpaddled
once she stepped on shore. I have to admit your purchase of supper
for everyone was a nice touch.
really have much more to say but I get so choked up remembering
those two trips and thinking of what the future may hold. What a
year to paddle!
you both, Mike.