The post-trip meeting will be next Thursday, November 12. We'll gather at the bar at the Sportsman's Lodge in Cool Springs at 6:30 p.m., dinner will be at 7:00 in front of their awesome, RRCC-worthy fireplace.
After that we'll go across the Interstate to Phil's magical, messy warehouse where the real meeting will begin. Which will involve real work.
We've been on at least a dozen official Rebel Rivers canoe trips over a period of six years without ever bothering to repair or maintain any of our gear. Most of which is high quality and expensive. So after dinner next Thursday we'll be conducting a maintenance clinic to get everything back in good shape and ready for Spring.
Kirly will direct all equipment repair projects so you have to do exactly what he says. No grab-ass, towel snapping or goofing around. We have things to accomplish, like fixing the bent latches on the trailer cargo boxes, replacing the broken safety chains and S-hooks, and some additional trailer improvements and add-ons. The washtub bass, which was used as a sawhorse last trip, needs to be banged out. It didn't look good on the river and it looks a lot worse back in the city by the light of day. Roy's going to put a whole new set of strings on Old Glory and Rob and Jim have a long list of kitchen equipment that needs fixing.
Also, bring your canoes. We'll have sandpaper and Watco oil for those of you who have neglected your wood gunwales - you know who you are - and it will be a perfect time to install a couple of Drink-A-Longs. The only way to know where to hang a Drink-A-Long is to sit in your canoe with a paddle making a drinking motion and practice repeatedly returning the can to the holder (back straight, arm extended but relaxed). There will be plenty of wareshouse space and leftover Camo Busch cans to get it just right next Thursday. Phil probably even has a water tank to simulate river beer drinking conditions.
And if we finish all our work in time...then, and only then, will we watch the Yellow Creek slide show.
I stopped there in the middle of a quiet bright afternoon and made a solid camp on flat gravel under willows, eight feet above the water but only a few nearly vertical steps from the canoe. I was tired and my gear needed tending, and it looked like the kind of place I'd been waiting for to spend a couple of nights and to loaf through a little of what the abstractly alliterative military schedules used to call "matériel maintenance."
. . .
The swing and the chocking bite of the ax were pleasant; the pup chased chips as they flew, and I kept cutting until I had twice as many billets as I would need. Then I stacked them for later hauling and went to camp to use up the afternoon puttering with broken tent loops and ripped tarps and sprung hinges on boxes, throwing sticks for the passenger, looking in a book for the differences among small streaked finches, airing my bed, sweeping with a willow branch the sandy gravel all through a camp I'd leave the next day. . . .
Goodbye to a River, pp. 149-50.