Sunday, September 25, 2016

#9. The Upside-Down Kitchen Canoe

This is in the innovations category.   Turning the Grumman upside down for our kitchen work space may not seem like a big deal, but the RRCC holds the patent and it is not the kind of thing that would even occur to beginners.

Functionally, it makes the kind of real cooking we like to do possible.  Nobody takes a 17-foot kitchen counter into the wilderness.   Equally important though, it transforms the kitchen into a real place and defines the boundary between that space and everywhere else in camp.  If you wander in there, you have some reason to - for official kitchen business or at least to visit a cook and offer some unsolicited advice, or perhaps smoke a ready-roll with them.   It is the cooks domain and they have the right to shoo you out, though they rarely do.

As soon as we touch shore and the announcement is made that this is where we'll camp, the very first task is to survey the place for where the kitchen canoe will go.  Everyone knows this has to be done and how to do it.   Ideally what we're looking for meets the following criteria: 

(1)   low and flat
(2)   small gravel or sand under foot
(3)   as close to the water as possible
(4)   as close to moving water as possible
(5)   by a bank or elevation change for one side of the upside-down canoe
(6)   with a view.

Like this:

If selecting the right spot is an art, stabilizing it is a science.   The recurved stems of a canoe are not made for resting flat upside down, but getting it level and making sure it won't shift is critical.  Sometimes it requires extra engineering and the pointy ends can actually be used to your advantage if you either dig out space beneath them or put logs a few feet toward the center depending on the terrain.

Whatever you do, make sure it's always the Grumman.   They used heavy duty aluminum back in 1948 when it was originally supposed to be used for a B-52, and that makes a heavy, solid platform.  Plus if you set a hot pot on any fancy modern canoe material like Royalex or Kevlar the pot will be on the ground real fast - right through a perfectly pot shaped hole.  





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