Friday, September 30, 2016

Much has happened since we last posted and we need to report.

We had the pre-trip meeting at Brown's which was well attended and productive.  

On the agenda:

Roster and Canoes:  

We think we have 13 solids right now.  Roy Desha and David Fox showed up and are, respectively, "definitely going" and "probably going."  We also drunk dialed Ian at the end of the meeting and he went from "not going" before the call, to "twenty-five percent chance going" during the call to "greater than twenty-five going" by the end of it.  So everyone keep working on him.  

We probably are going to need to round up some more canoes.  Maybe quite a few more depending on whether we take the jon boat or not.  See below about destination.


There was much debate and gnashing of teeth about whether and which premium coolers we can justify buying since we will be out for three nights for the first time.    It probably won't be a Yeti, and if it is nobody is allowed to put a sticker in the back of their SUV or wear any Yeti gear.  The real issue is whether we can get one that is big enough on the interior to justify the really large exteriors of those things.   The dream kitchen cooler would be this one:

It has a lot of volume but a small footprint because it's tall.  And the cooks love the divider thingy inside.  Even though we can tell by the measurements that it will fit in a canoe (at least in the Grumman), the question is what will it really look like.  And the second question is how will it ride.  So we built a mock-up and took it for a test paddle at Brown's.


The answer to first question is:  really big!   We won't know the answer to the second question unless we buy it and paddle it down an actual river.  So that's what we're probably going to do.

Airport Run

This was assigned to Phil.   Pete arrives at 9:25 am.  Stuart arrives before so after you find both of them come straight to the put-in.  See below about destination.

Pete's Cooler 

Roy and Tim are in charge of provisioning beer and the cooler.   Pete, feel free to make requests.

Block Ice

We don't know where to get it but we need it.  If anyone has leads let us know.


Meriwether Taylor and William Hindman left straight from Brown's to go scout the intended section of the Duck.    We put in at the Centerville City Park down into the heart of darkness which is the 24-mile section of remote river with no bridges or access.    It was a fantastic stretch of river to a jon boat.   We cruised the entire thing with the throttle wide open.

So smooth it put Vernon in a zen like state.


The problem with good jon boating rivers is they are not good canoeing rivers.   This is going to be miles and miles of current-less pools and flat water.  And if the wind turns against us, it will "make the trip pure labor."   Goodbye to a River, p. 56.  

There's also a small issue with the take-out....





I know it is our goal to do the entire length of the Duck.   And maybe we will someday.   But we're not going to spend every day of our first four-day paddle slogging through an adult-sized serving wishing we were off the river already.   We want it to be a classic middle-Tennessee float with lots of cheerful little riffles going around tight turns and under limestone bluffs with pretty little gravel bars.  

So starting with this fall trip, we're going to set our sights on paddling the entire BUFFALO River instead.  We'll put in right where we left off one year ago, fall of 2015.    At the famous "Blue Rock" of Slink Shoals.  The one in the background of this picture...

The only drawback is that, with the exception of the Thursday paddle, the entire trip will be unscouted.  So we'll be rolling the dice on two out of three campsites.   However, all of you know what that section of the Buffalo looks like generally since you were paddling a few miles upstream just last year.  Here's a reminder....

Yes.  I think that's much more like it for Trip #25.

The Top 25 will resume again on Monday.