Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Well, hard to see how we could improve on that trip.  Thank you, Pete, for the amazing Saturday night meal.   Phil has already signed up for that spot this Fall.  My evil plan to make everyone think they want to be head cook seems to be working. 

Josh, rumor has it that we are set up for PayPal to collect dues.  Is this true?   If so, please send instructions to everyone on the trip.   Tim, Rob, Skip, Jim M., Jim M., Vernon, Phil, Kirk, Pete. Myers can forward it to Andy.  Between the shashimi-grade tuna and the damage to the trailer tongue we're going to need it.

I'll post all of the Spring pictures as soon as everyone sends in their $150.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Time to Wok and Roll

The Friday night campground is:

"Buffalo Canoeing and Campground"
702 Gaither Hinson Rd.
Waynesboro, TN  38485
(800) 339-5596

GPS should get you there, but be careful because there are several places on the river with close variations on that name.  So either use the address or here are directions the old fashioned way:

Go to Hohenwald.
Take Hwy 99 south out of town 20 miles.
You're there. 

Friday Rivermen:  right now there are four of us paddling the upper section.  Josh, Phil, Skip and Vernon.  It's an easy six mile float and an easy shuttle, too.   It will be nice to travel light for once with just two empty canoes.   Except for the beer coolers, of course.   And the tripod and mini-keg which we will definitely need.  And lunch.  If we're doing a proper lunch we'll want to take Big Daddy and basic kitchen gear.  And tables and chairs.  Rain gear and the pop-up tent.  Maybe a couple of guitars.  Also life jackets, camera, garbage bags, binoculars, matches, sunscreen, maps,  and ready-rolls.   And we should see if Floyd wants to go.  Otherwise completely empty.

Friday night at the campground will be the only time we will have everyone in the same place at the same time since Josh and Cronin are leaving Saturday morning.  Mullowney is bringing firewood.  Myers is cooking brats.  Should be a good music night, too.   We will now have two shuttles to run (retrieve the upstream car, run the Saturday shuttle).  We'll have lots of drivers available, though, and we can do them both simultaneously.  

Saturday should pretty much run itself.   This is kind of like jinxing a no-hitter by talking about it, but have you seen the new and improved weather forecast?    It gets better by the minute.

Cooks:  for planning purposes, the final numbers are 12 Friday night and 10 on the river Saturday (Saturday lunch and dinner, Sunday breakfast).

We'll see everybody at BC&C tomorrow.   

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The Buffalo Plan

The votes are in and we (Josh, myself) have unanimously selected Option C - paddle the upstream section - for the Friday activity.   We consulted with Jim and that smoker is built to cook an entire cow or pig and sort of sounded like a big pain in the ass.  Plus Josh has to do an Irish exit on Saturday morning so Friday is his only chance to get on the river.

We didn't realize this earlier, but the best place to start the section upstream is EXACTLY where we took out at the end of the Spring 2010 trip (from David Fox's place).  You may recall the low water bridge there.  The locals were enjoying a Sunday afternoon luncheon/auto repair session.

Of course, it goes without saying we love the fact that Friday and Saturday will be a seamless continuation of the river sections we've previously done.  We may accidentally paddle the whole Buffalo before we finish the Duck.

We're not too concerned about all of this rain because the Buffalo doesn't flood too badly.  At least not like the Duck.  It's a little worrisome that they are calling for a lot of rain on Friday since the ground is already saturated.   But there is no real back up plan like the Piney near the Buffalo, so we'll probably just do it even if the water is high (so long as not flood stage).  The closest smaller stream is Big Swan Creek, so there's that...

In the meantime, Vernon hosted another small rendezvous at Abiff's Pub in Dickson County for the trailer exchange.

Now we just need to figure out the boat/trailer situation.  Here's the first cut:

Josh  - own canoe/on the trailer
Rob H. - Blue Dagger/on the trailer
Skip - Old Town/on the trailer
Vernon - Grumman/on the trailer
Tim - own canoe/on the trailer
Mike Cronin - own canoe/on the trailer
Jim Mullowney - own canoe/will bring
Jim Myers - own canoe/ (?)
Kirly - ride tandem
Pete - ride tandem
Phil - ride tandem

Let me know if this needs changing.  One more on-the-trailer canoe and we'll need to add the 10-place extensions.  Fortunately, Josh had the foresight to leave his canoe in my driveway since the Fall trip thereby skipping the whole wasteful step of delivering it again in the Spring.  

Sunday, April 05, 2015

The Wok of Life

Several newsy things to cover today.

First, when we approached Pete about being head chef for the Saturday night meal, we told him he could get any new kitchen equipment he needed.  After giving it some thought, he said he could use a really big wok for the stir fry side dish.

"Really big" means different things to different people.  Here is what it means to the RRCC:

We're not taking the jon boat on this trip, so somebody's gonna have to paddle this thing down the river.   What it lacks in speed, it makes up for by turning on a dime.

Second, Vernon has been absolutely on the ball with advance trip support .  He's delivered both the canoe trailer and some really good scouting news.    After an on-site, bank-side visit earlier this week he reports that that the unnamed bridge we saw on the map has excellent access and truck and trailer parking. Here's a picture:

That makes everything fall into place nicely.  We'll have perfect paddling distances both days on a really pretty part of the Buffalo.   Please use only the french pronunciation of Vernon's name on this trip in honor of the true voyageur that he is.  

Now for some bad news.  

Myers unfortunately has had a very legitimate and important conflict come up on Friday afternoon (a funeral).   He'll still coming on the trip, but it means our chief BBQer is unavailable and Rob and Pete won't arrive until late afternoon either.

So we're going to have to adapt.  Here are our choices.

Option A.   We can still bring the big smoker and someone else can take the lead cooking all day.  I will happily pull it to the river Friday morning and I'm good at all the related grilling tasks previously mentioned (fishing, drinking, smoking).  But cooking is not in my contract and I have no idea how to operate those things anyway.  

Option B.  We could all arrive at the campground Friday afternoon or on whatever relaxed schedule we choose.   There's no point in changing the trip or the put-in...people are arriving at different times so we still need to car camp the first night.

Option C.    Those of us who were planning to come early on Friday could still come early, but instead of slaving in the kitchen all day we could do a bonus float on the section just above the campground.   We would start at the first bridge upstream and fish, drink and smoke our way down to the campground where everyone arriving by land or by sea will meet up.  A rendezvous with VernĂ³n. In which case we'll just cook with Ol Smokey, or maybe feature the new wok on Friday instead of Saturday.

Think about what you want to do and we'll make a plan.  There are no wrong answers.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Meals


Friday is reserved for smoking an animal of some kind by the river at the campground and running the shuttle.  There will be no canoeing.  This means that people can arrive any time, day or night, but we need some interns to help Jim Myers with the smoker during the day.  Applicants must be willing to sit on their asses all day drinking, fishing, occasionally lifting the lid and commenting about how good it smells, and adding a piece of hickory when Jim's voice moves you.   


Pete Feldman is cooking the fucking dinner on the river the second night.  Here's his report, verbatim:

Presuming I can find an adequate fish monger in the Music City the morning of April 10th, our dinner menu the following day could be as follows:

An appetizer will be served to the river men at sunset of Tuna or Red Snapper crudo, wetted with ginger vinegarette and good Guinea oil, then plated with small cubes of avocado, blood orange, baby basil leaves, slivers of jalapeno and barely dusted with sea salt.

An hour or 4 later, the main course will be served with good red wine:   a 18.5 pound whole beef ribeye roast, rotisseried by water, man or kitchendog...

...accompanied simply, but elegantly, with either turnip greens, spinach, rapini, string beans or what have you that is most fresh; said vegetable shall be stir-fried in the style of the Celestial. A Yorkshire pudding will serve as the starch.  Dessert shall be a good hunk of blue veined cheese, port and perhaps a berry cobbler.

Rob:  we either need the battery powered rotisserie or you better let Floyd ride in the canoe on Saturday.  

Tim:  you picked a bad time to become a vegetarian.