Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pack-n-Peddle (P&P)

Over the last 2 weeks I've made a series of short but educational treks over land and water with my boat. The first was a full on bike-paddle-bike-paddle-bike but I only traveled about 2 miles and I could swim the 40 feet to mainland if something disastrous happened. That went well and I learned how to load/unload and pack all the gear. Next was just the boat to test out handling and test the dry suit.

Now that I have a working set of Packraft skills I was ready for a full scale adventure. My plan was to connect the 2 dots I placed on the map for Packing It In and Packrafting. They lay about 7 miles apart via water and 11.2 miles by road. Between them would be all new to me. My wife fears that there be dragons.

I load the backpack and find a new way to 'roll' the boat (below) and grab the cross bike and head out from home about 10am. It's cold, maybe teens. Again, I embrace the drysuit with new under garment (below in blue). It works very well and it's going to become my primary insulation for this activity.

The weight of a bike upsets the balance unless countered by other gear or passenger. On the water it may flip so I take great care to lard the stern before launching. Once in you can't tell so long as you can see over it.


The next few hours the wind blows then goes dead calm while the suns rays spotlight nature before the thick clouds enforce their will.

I'm holding the camera under my chin so excuse the low angle it gives a feel of the nearly 3 hours I spend paddling. Wildlife, 70 foot cliffs, Sandbars, Log jams, and the odd piece of trash on shore to wonder at makes the time move quickly.

 I see at least 6 adult bald eagles and 3 juvenile, one barge and a few hunters.

 It's a group of turkeys called a "Rafter". Seriously? Like some farmer went into the barn and said, 'My God, the Rafters are full of turkeys!' Somehow, everyone in Mayberry liked it.

I hang up the boat for the day in my gear room. It's very handy but then you also have to clean it more then a plastic boat that lives in the garage.

 My gear room is filled to the rafters and I don't mean turkeys.

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