Here are some snapshots from Manson Pike Trailhead I took today. Eric and I got there about an hour early, and he got out on the E68 to familiarize himself with the boat’s handling characteristics. We both spent the bulk of the day volunteering. I helped fit people with pfds, Eric helped launch and haul in boats. After the event ended we took the E68 and 450 S out and paddled around until a thunderstorm got close. Then we packed up and got out before the lightning and torrential downpour could find us.
At Manson Pike Trailhead in Murfreesboro this Saturday 26 June 2010 from 8:00 am until 12:00 anyone who wants to can borrow kayaks, canoes, pfds and paddle an easy, roped-off stretch of the Stones River. Various organizations will be present with booths. According to what I’ve seen at Stones River Watershed Association, Dick’s Sporting Goods will give away by drawing a kayak and a paddle.
Although I’ve got a lot to say, I haven’t got very much time to get it written, so I’ll give you the short version and start with some photos from yesterday on Woods Reservoir where I put in at Morris Ferry boat ramp.
Up early yesterday morning for a walk then back home to finish assembling Campsis Radicans, my Pouch E68 folding kayak. After that was done, Seventy-Six was ready to play outside for a while, and he wanted to blow soap-bubbles in the boat’s cockpit. I held an old golf-umbrella to keep the already hot morning sun off his head. He thought that was funny.
I loaded the gear and boat in to and on top the car so I could leave after worship service and head to the lake. Until Caution-Lady asked me where I planned to paddle, I hadn’t made up my mind. When she asked, I said, “Morris Ferry Landing.” I thought I would paddle out and see whether any of the water-lilies were still in bloom (turns out I was way too late for the lilies). I paddled maybe eight miles. Then back home and unpacked the car and put the boats in the garage.
After that, I played in the too-small wading pond with Seventy-Six while Caution-Lady prepared supper. Because we got really dirty, and I already stank from sweating all day in synthetic-but-quick-drying paddling togs, we both had to bathe before the evening meal. Then a terrific supper and an evening at home with my family. What could be better? Nothing. Nothing at all.
Here are some photos:
Today I’m taking another run at the Pionier 450-S keelstrip project. Remember last time I found that the floor of my garage wasn’t clean-room appropriate for the application of toluene to the approximately 13′ strip’s underside. In a “D’oh!” moment last week, it occurred to me that I could clean it and keep it clean if I put it upside-down on the hull of the inverted Pionier over sawhorses making a semi-clean work surface under a tree in the driveway.
I know that Mark’s instructions for keelstrips call for perfection, but I’ve never been able to manage perfection in the realm of DIY projects. Historically, I’ve had a hard time figuring out how quarter-round needs to be cut to fit in to and around corners. That stuff’s baffling.
Because it’s essentially a 2.5″ x 13′ ribbon of synthetic rubber and fabric, the hypalon keelstrip ribboned off the boat’s hull at one point, and I cussed asking God to judge the matter and send it to the hottest place as I caught it in loops and kept it, mostly, off the ground. That happened as I was rolling the strip with the clean-side out, per instructions, before putting it in it’s bag to stay clean until called for.
I tried to use one of my razors to debride the worn places along the keel, but that didn’t work. It tended instead to fuzz the edges out somewhat. So I’ll just have to slop on the glue and stick the strip down extra hard hoping for a good bond. I will have to measure again, mark, sand, clean, and mask the hull along the keel before painting on the neoprene cement. The chemical fumes may get me in touch with my left brain and result in better work. I can at least hope so.
Other goals for the day include a long walk, other fitness activities, cleaning out the little “frog-shaped” pool in the yard Seventy-Six has been using to splash in, assembling the E-68, and washing the 850. Tomorrow I think I’d like to paddle and mow the lawn.
SECOND UPDATE 2:25 PM:
The rains stopped two or three hours ago, and I was able to get the hull re-marked, wiped down with toluene, taped, and have applied the first coat of neoprene cement. Humidity’s relatively high, but this is the day and place I have to work with, so I will hope for the best. Thanks to the chemical fumes, the gnomes in my noggin are feeling pretty active and have found their hammers. In hoping for the best, I am hoping the left brain gnomes make contact with the right brain gnomes and some sort of equilibrium ensues thereafter.
LATER: When I removed the masking tape from the hull, some of the glue pulled off, too. At the bow I noticed it first, and brushed on more neoprene cement, let it dry, then began at the stern to gingerly remove the rest of the tape. Got most of it removed without too much trouble. I tried to follow Mark’s printed instructions for applying the strip to the glue (although I never did remove the hull’s endcaps and bumpers). I used a wooden spoon as a “hard object” to press firmly down on the keelstrip as directed to smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles.
By the time I had got about two feet of keelstrip down on the hull, I was aware of problems with the strip sticking on the side of the boat furthest from me. The edges didn’t seem to be staying down “right.” I completed the process anyway, and then went back over the entire length of the keelstrip with the wooden spoon to see if that would correct the problem. In some spots it did.
At the places where the edge was not stuck down, I brushed in a little more of the cement, then used the spoon to press the strip down and smooth it out. That seemed to work. I’ll know for sure in a couple of days after the application has had a chance to “cure.” If it doesn’t work, I can always paddle the kayak until the hull wears through and then order a new one from Wayland.
Yesterday I interviewed then oversaw testing of a very bright young man at a mid-state location. During discussion afterward he described his frustration with the majority of other “students” at his high school. He described the majority of the school’s enrollees as having a lack of interest in reasonable things, a lack of respect for self and others, problems with self-direction, and so forth. He used the term “idiocracy” to describe the mental status of most of the young people enrolled at the school. I think he meant to say “idiocy,” but the boy’s misstatement surprised and made my colleague and me laugh out loud. I blurted out, laughing, “Well, that’s our form of government.” Rule of, by, and for the idiots – frustrating.
I’ve said it before, here or elsewhere, for someone like me the great adventure is living the ordinary life in an ordinary way.
Yep, I’m adjusting all too easily to life in this established neighborhood not too far from the country club. This morning I slept late. Ate buttermilk pancakes made with wheat flour for breakfast. Drove to the store and bought PVC adhesive, bug spray, ant traps (for the mower-shed), 2-cycle oil for the leaf-blower and line-trimmer fuel, a small yellow bucket and a small yellow sponge for Seventy-Six to help out with car-washing. I drove to the gas station and bought gas for the mower and other equipment, then home where to pick up sticks, run the line-trimmer, mow the lawn, and clean up after an early lunch (sandwich) with Caution-Lady and Seventy-Six who’d returned from the store.
Seventy-Six has been potty-training this past week with mixed results. He has not been enjoying the experience.
The magnolia tree out front has two blooms; I photographed them. While mowing the front lawn, Caution-Lady brought Seventy-Six outside, and I gave him a mower-ride around the house, then she let him play with his new pedal scooter. Did I mention that a couple of weeks ago Caution-Lady backed over the little push-bike toy he got for Christmas? He was getting to big for it, but he really liked that toy. She thought at first it was my fault (and telephoned to scold me about it as I drove to work in Murfreesboro) but later realized she was the one who’d put the toy away last. The new toy is a real hit, too, and Seventy-Six is big enough to work the pedals.
I finished the back yard and cleaned up while Seventy-Six napped, then washed Whitecar, the cautious one’s ’93 940T. We’ve had the car for eight years. I’m guessing it’s been at least one year since I washed that car by hand, although we’ve run it through automated car-washes a couple of times. Since the car stays in the garage when not being driven, it doesn’t get too dirty. But it was freaking filthy when we got it back from the mechanic’s shop where it’d been parked outside under trees for a couple of nights last week when there for service. We’re planning to sell the car pretty soon, as soon as we locate a reasonably priced and mechanically sound XC70 with which to replace it.
I did something I’ve never done before. I washed the garden tractor like I would a car. I sliced the fire out of one of my fingers as I was using a sponge to scrub the frame under the hood. The blood, which quickly overflowed a tight band-aid, I thought might take a stitch or two to stop would have stained the dirty wash sponge if I hadn’t rinsed it out. After I finished washing and dried the mower, some tightly taped gauze finally got the bleeding stopped.
Another snack, and by that time Seventy-Six had awakened from his nap. I took him outside and he played with his new scooter, and I repaired the RZ96 hull using genuine German parts. Hope the hull stays patched. LATER: Here’s an excellent thread on the subject of gluing to repair PVC hulls. Wish I’d seen it first, but I should have had the sense to do a simple Internet search for: gluing pvc hull. http://email@example.com/msg00169.html
I showed the little boy his new bucket and sponge and predictably, although I was surprised, he insisted on using them on something to “clean-up Now.” I asked him whether he wanted to wash his own car, and put about a quart of water in the bucket. I let him sponge some water on Thursday, too. Maybe I’ll get that one washed tomorrow.
Later, we watered the plants together using city water, but when the little monkey chose to rebel against my command to desist from jumping in one particularly muddy puddle near the front steps, I took him in to the house and gave him back to his mother for awhile. She gave him a couple of crackers and a cup of water.
On Friday 4 June I finished up a bunch of deadline stuff and drove home about 11:40 pm, conked out by 12:15 am Saturday morning. Saturday slept late, then got up, ran the line-trimmer, mowed, cleaned up.
Seventy-Six and I spent a lot of time wrestling, playing with toys, playing outside. Then we assembled the RZ96 so it would be ready to take to Henry Horton State Park on Sunday for a picnic send-off for a young cousin joining the USMC. After several breaks during which we ran around the yard, threw basketballs at a small goal, played with trucks, chased each other around trees in the yard, and rang the front door-bell to see if Caution-Lady would come to the window and say “Hello,” we completed the assembly and I let Seventy-Six play in the boat. I assembled and packed the necessary gear for a day on the water and packed it in Thursday’s trunk (I’ve found it is impossible to get the car’s trunk open enough to load anything with a boat on the roof-racks).
Back at the house after worship service Sunday, I got the >100# behemoth up on to the car’s roof using a simple method suggested by Ralph Hoehn. I opened the front passenger door, rested the bow thereon, then lifted the stern and using simple leverage lifted it and set it across the rear rack. Then I moved the bow on to the front rack, straightened the boat and secured it. No need for complicated systems of rollers and pulley’s.
The car’s handling does not seem much affected by carrying a boat on its racks. I always transport the assembled RZ96 hull-up because the frame seems stoutest at the coaming, and the ends sag downward if the boat’s on the racks hull-down. Also keeps rain out of the boat, and it rained a lot Sunday afternoon before we were able to launch at the state park.
After visiting, trying to keep Seventy-Six from getting too filthy jumping in puddles or too soaked playing in the intermittent downpours, a lunch of hot-dogs, hamburger’s, side-dishes, and dessert, it was time to launch. The banks of the Duck River are steep at Henry Horton State Park, certainly too steep to carry down to the water from our picnic site by the Highway 31-A bridge.
The gravel, asphalt, and mud track that provides river access to folks with trailered boats didn’t look like it had a turnaround at the bottom, so I backed the car up to the road again and parked in the grass at the top. My cousin and I got the boat off the racks, I got pfds, paddles, water shoes, and so forth, out of the trunk. Shoes changed, we carried the boat down to the water accompanied by my young cousin’s girlfriend, and another cousin.
After brief discussion, we decided to paddle upstream and return with the current, as opposed to paddling downstream to the point nearest our picnic area by the bridge. That was probably a mistake, because the current was not terribly swift, and we found we had no trouble paddling upstream against it from the put-in.
While on the water, we saw a number of other paddlers, some, like those pictured above, traveled with children and towed water toys behind them for occasional stops to allow the kids to play in the water. Most appeared to be paddling rental boats – red, green, yellow canoes and sit-on-top kayaks. We passed a disused yellow rope-swing overhanging the water on our right. On our left, further upstream, we observed some jumping into the river from a rock face about 20 feet up. We came to a shallow rapids and had to get out of the boat to pull and carry it over the shallow rocky bottom. I think it may have been there that we unknowingly brought the hull in to contact with some object incompatible to its continued integrity. At the time, however, we noticed nothing amiss. After the rapids, we got back in and continued to paddle. We saw floating downstream what appeared to be a family group on inflatable pool lounges rafted-up to an approximately 12 foot flat-bottomed aluminum river punt.
After reaching a point where it seemed like we’d been away from the picnic long enough, we turned around and headed back to the put in. We noticed a lot of water in the bilge, and I remember saying I didn’t think paddle splash or the water we’d brought in to the boat in our shoes when we got back in after walking the boat upstream the rapids would account for its volume. At the put in, we discovered the means by which the water entered the boat.
The surprising thing is that I’ve paddled this boat over shallow rocky bottoms, struck submerged rocks and stumps with it, dragged it over dead tree limbs blocking passage, etc., with never a problems.
A note about names: I tend not to use real names of family members and friends online – it’s bad Internet hygiene.