Ok, the Fall Trip wasn't perfect. There were some beers spilled when people had to lunge for their sunscreen on Saturday. And the princess in the front of my canoe said the accordion in the Duluth pack felt like a big square pea under her mattress.
But it was pretty close: weather, water level, mollusk hunting, food, music, all of it. Even so, the best time to think about what we can improve is always right after a trip. So before we go into the off-season, here are some things we learned about what to do and not do for the next one.
DO: Keep the new personal cup system.
DON'T: Keep the small coffee pot system.
DO: Serve the hot soup for lunch. And when it's matzo ball, the Loaves and Fishes keep things ecumenical.
DON'T: Serve giant turkey legs.
DO: Use the Grizzly Spit again.
DON'T: Use the Grizzly Spit as a reason not to have a kitchen fire.
DO: Replace the wobbly-legged cooking grate.
DON'T: Replace the crosscut saw with a chainsaw. Packing an extra cooler for severed feet and fingers will just add to our space problem. And a chainsaw will be like an alarm going off for nearby landowners. Even the friendly ones won't be so friendly if they think someone is cutting down trees on their property. Plus a chainsaw is just plain cheating. By the next trip, we promise to either have the Two Man Crosscut sharpened by a real expert, or get a new one, or both. Also, it looks like we should be using a saw lubricant (they sell special cutting oils, or we could use kerosene like the old timers, or Tim's Vagisil) and a wedge, both of which sound like things that might help a lot. Remember, there have been times when the crosscut saw worked great.
Read about lubricants:
Read about wedges:
DO: Learn more gospel and cajun songs.
DON'T: Pretend you don't know "Blind Willie McTell."
DO: Bring the music stand.
DON'T: Forget the capo on the accordion songs.
DO: Appoint a special sub-committee on crap reduction to save space in the canoes.
DON'T: Save space on beer or tents. If you paddle a solo canoe, you deserve a solo tent if you want it. Consider eliminating bulky earplugs instead.
DO: Find the slow leaks in the jon boat. And a solution to the tilt release problem on the motor.
DON'T: Change a thing about the boat lights. The late night guys could see everything they needed on the ride down, and she was a gorgeous sight coming around the bend like the Electric Horseman.
DO: Use the buddy system for the jon boat. Two people is both the minimum and the maximum for the Green Mule.
DON'T: Use the buddy system for anything else.
DO: Bring the satellite radio again
DON'T: Jump off-sides on 4th and inches.
DO: Try to finish the last 100 yards without turning over.
DON'T: Bring up the construction on your street's water main just for something to say.
DO: Plan the Fall Trips the same weekend as the time change.
DON'T: Plan on going anywhere but the Duck River for awhile.