Another Pleasant Stepford Saturday

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.

This bloom looks like it has been open a while

This bloom looked to me like a crown

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.

Shade-tree hull repair

Masking tape makes even the most inexpert repairs look workmanlike while in progress

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://www.mail-archive.com/foldingboats@pouchboats.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.

Duck River Above Henry Horton State Park

Before

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.

 Just-Upstream-the-Put-In Duck-River-BluffsRZ96-BowWild-RootsOther-PaddlersMore-Duck-River-Bluffs

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.

Following are a few dramatic photographs for shock value.  I’m going to try to repair the tear this week while the hullskin is already conveniently stretched upon the boat’s frame.     

Hole-DramaticHole-Close-UpBetween-the-Keelstrips   

 

 

A note about names:  I tend not to use real names of family members and friends online – it’s bad Internet hygiene.