The jon boat motor has been overhauled. Tim picked it up Saturday and it started on the first pull. That means we need to decide who needs to be on the Friday night cannonball run. Recommended maximum occupancy in the Green Mule is four, and three of those will probably have to be the out-of-towners (Ian, Pete and and Stuart) who don't arrive until Friday afternoon.
But before deciding who goes when and how, there are some issues with the where.
Last week we got a big fat middle finger from the landowner who we thought would let us take out at the mouth of the Piney River. That was not what we expected and is causing us to rethink our destination. We could still put in at Centerville - which is appealing because it was our take-out the last time we were on the Duck and an excellent public access point. However the first available take-out now would be 25 miles down, and it is neither public nor very excellent. It's not out of the question but we'd need to do probably 10 miles on Friday and about 12 on Saturday. Both more than we generally like to do and a very long way in the dark Friday for the jon boaters. Also, the current is going to be slow that far down river in November.
I am now thinking we should do one of the sections near where the Duck goes under I-40.
We can customize our distance (as little as 12 and up 17 total miles based on accesses) and we'll have fully public TWRA boat ramps at both ends. There are also some really interesting (and sort of ominous) sounding river features down there, like "whirls" and "eddys" and, you may notice, some absolutely first rate gravel bars.
"Wild Rice Eddy"
"Turney Center Industrial Prison"
Still don't know what this means about Friday departures, but it will take a lot of pressure off for the paddlers with daylight savings ending next week, and will be a breeze for the Mule. We will come back and do the Centerville section another year when we have a little more time to solve the access puzzle.