Friday, May 05, 2006

Report From the Tiki Bar

This is the picture of a man who knows how to throw an organizational meeting.

Rob checked the pressure on the lantern.
Bluebell checked the pressure on Rob.

The only thing we'll say here is "don't Google this drink".
What a great surprise.

And we got lots of business done, believe it or not....

First, the river's still hanging tight at just under 6 feet after peaking at 7.5.

We reserved the Vanderbilt trailer. There was some debate about the canoe capacity. This picture from a previous trip shows that it's six.

Plus cargo...

It looks like the final head count is going to be 14 members. We will need at least eight canoes, probably nine, to carry all of our gear. Paging Dr. do need to bring a canoe instead of a kayak. That way we can have a couple of solos to create extra space and maybe pull one mule canoe. Which we'll need because the 3-Gallon Big Mother Oven only held the record for 10 days. Yesterday, just before the meeting, we found the new 5-Gallon, Who-Knows-How-Much-It-Weighs Big Motherfucker Dutch Oven at Friedman's just by accident. If we can't find a stove big enough to cure the Big M'rF'r (a real possibility) we'll submerge it for an artificial reef habitat.

By my count we have at least six canoes just among the members going (Skip 2 or 3, Tim 1, Jim M. 1, Josh 1 Chris 1). We could rent more from Vanderbilt with the trailer, but an alert Member observed that for the price of renting two canoes we could buy a Club mandolin. We'll scrape up a few more ourselves.

Also established at the meeting...

Departure time: 6:30 am.

Breakfast: Keysburg Store.

Lunch: Tim.

Beer: Jim, Bob.

Coffee: Skip.

Fags: Josh.

Magic Wand: Mike.

Dinner & Sunday Breakfast: Rob.

Guitars: Rob, Roy....

.....Rob Roy was the name of the canoe (and now a style of canoe) used by John MacGregor who wrote the classic "A Thousand Miles in the Rob Roy Canoe Through the Rivers and Lakes of Europe" in 1866. MacGregor was a lawyer, with a degree in mathematics and a passion for canoeing. He basically invented recreational paddling, especially canoe trekking. The RRCC still draws inspiration from his style: "After taking on supplies at Gravesend, I shoved off into the tide, and lit a cigar, and now I felt we had fairly started."

MacGregor was a man who appreciated his canoe:

At Lagny, where we meant to breakfast, I left the Rob Roy with a nice old gentleman, who was fishing in a nightcap and spectacles, and he assured me he would stop there two hours. But when I scrambled back to it through the mill (startling the miller's men among their wholesome dusty sacks), the disconsolate canoe was found all alone, the first time she had been left in a town an "unprotected female."

He also knew why a canoe is the best way to travel:

As the canoe voyager sits in his little bark, he looks forward, and not backward. He sees all his course, and the scenery besides. With one sweep of his paddle he can turn aside when only a foot from destruction. He can steer within an inch in a narrow place, and can easily pass through reeds and weeds, or branches and grass; can work his sail without changing his seat; can shove with his paddle when aground, and can jump out in good time to prevent a bad smash. He can wade and haul his craft over shallows, or drag it on dry ground, through fields and hedges, over dykes, barriers, and walls; can carry it by hand up ladders and stairs, and can transport his canoe over high mountains and broad plains in a cart drawn by a man, a horse, or a cow.

ou can lie at full length in the canoe, with a sail as an awning for the sun, or a shelter for rain, and you can sleep at night under its cover, or inside it when made for that purpose, with at least as much room for turning in your bed as sufficed for the great Duke of Wellington; or, if you are tired of the water for a time, you can leave your boat at an inn--where it will not he "eating its head off," like a horse; or you can send it home, or sell it, and take to the road yourself, or sink back again into the lazy cushions of a first-class carriage, and dream you are seeing the world.

it may well be asked from one who thus praises the paddle, "Has he travelled in other ways, so as to know their several pleasures? Has he climbed glaciers and volcanoes, dived into caves and catacombs, trotted in the Norway carriole, ambled on an Arab, and galloped on the Russian steppes? Does he know the charms of a Nile boat, or a Trinity Eight, or a Yankee steamer, or a sail in the Ægean, or a mule in Spain? Has he swung upon a camel, or glided in a sleigh, or sailed a yacht, or trundled in a Bantoone?"

Yes, he has thoroughly enjoyed these and other modes of locomotion, fast and slow. And now having used the canoe in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, he finds the pleasure of the paddle is the best of them all.

such advantages, then, and with good weather and good health, the canoe voyage about to be described was truly delightful.


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