Thursday, October 10, 2013

River Rumble '13 - Day 3

Fear The Goat~!
On today’s date (10 Oct.) in 1845, the U. S. Naval Academy was created in Annapolis, Md. In our family, one of the biggest sporting events of the year is always the Army-Navy game in December. This year it is Saturday, 14 Dec. It will be aired on CBS at 3 p.m. ET.  Tune in early to see if you can catch a bit of the March On.  You have to usually plan a year ahead to get a seat at the Army-Navy game in person.  Anytime you’re traveling up the East Coast, if you don’t stop for a visit at the Naval Academy, and the town of Annapolis, you’re cheating yourself. Witness the noon formation in Tecumseh Court at Bancroft Hall, visit Memorial Hall in Bancroft, the Chapel and Crypt of John Paul Jones, the Naval Museum in Preble Hall, Dahlgren Hall, the Visitors’ Center, and much more. You can take a guided tour, or just grab a map at the Visitors’ Center and make a day of it. Go Navy! Beat Army!

On Monday morning (July 29), we were up at 5:15, and it was 42-degrees. July!? Meals are catered at the campground at most stops. Working with such a large group is also a learning experience for some of the caterers, and we’ve clearly seen some rare instances where a caterer has oversold his ability to provide for a large group. They may show up late, or arrive with food for forty when they have 200 people standing there anxious to eat quickly, get on a bus or get to the put-in, and get their day started. The thing they need to apparently be reminded of time and again, is that a large group that has been sleeping on the ground all night in 42-degree weather is looking first and foremost for coffee, and lots of it. Paddlers don’t seem to mind standing in line half as much if they have a cup of hot coffee in their hands.

A sandbar break.
When we got back to our boats, one paddler went through the tall grass to pull his boat out. When he turned the canoe over, he found not one, but two snakes inside. Not even coffee will wake you up as fast as that will.

Today we would do another 18-mile paddle that would take us to Taylor Falls. We took out at a small park on the Minnesota side just upstream of the falls. Once again we were greeted by buses and several large trailers that would accomplish our portage around the falls and large hydroelectric dam. We carried our gear up to the waiting trucks, and our boats to the trailers. As I approached one trailer with Buddy, I was told, “Oh no. We’re saving this trailer just for the expensive boats.“ Of course his homemade kayak was already on the trailer. Needless to say, that went over like a truck load of fresh manure dumped in front of the church doors during a wedding. Without a word, I turned to take Buddy some place where he could keep better company.

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