A Scout After Ice-out

My cousin Vinnie phoned. He would be undergoing elective back surgery next month…Would I be interested in doing a tandem ww canoe run down the Schoharie with him before his hospitalization commenced? “No,” I said, “I’m not the most accomplished canoe stern man in whitewater and if you exacerbate your back injury while we’re out there, we’d really be up shit’s creek without…”

The Schoharie is mostly easygoing Cl. II, with a few tricky boulder gorges here and there that can get pushy. This is interspersed with remote rolling farmland where there’s little or no cell service, not to mention rescue infrastructure. Vinnie said he’d still like to go and would use a ducky. “I dunno,” I said, “Let me scout things first…There still might be some ice around.” Well, a couple days of plus 45 F degrees weather quickly melted the 3 feet of snow pack that covered the Northern Catskills justr days before. Wifey agreed to run shuttle for me, thus eliminating the need for a second vehicle and class-trip paddling partners. Just a few miles with a little park and play along the way. We took our mermaid van “Morrison.” Sunshine made for a stupendous early Spring day.


cool van!

@tdaniel said:
cool van!

Thank you! My mechanic had it taking up space in his parts yard. I thought it would make a perfect boat hauler and car camper-sleeper-shuttle vehicle. It’s a '96 Aerostar and was cheap, cheap, cheap. Needed a little investment and t & c to put her back on the road. The one side had bad dents and holes, so I painted the mural. Three more sides to go!

Magical words, “ice-out.” Enjoyed the photos and Morrison. Sure is eye catching.

Well Astral Freaks, the ole Van speaks!

Did you venture in the slipstream,
between the viaducts of Cousin Vinnie’s screams,
where those mobile steel rims crack,
in the ditch by the backroad, “My back! My back!”

A Man’i’tou,
a man’a’tee,
mermaids take men
to Schoharie.

Say! That Aerostar didn’t have an overwhelming, kerosene-like smell permeating from the back hatch area, did it? Somewhere near a missing patch of tan floor carpet?

Come to think of it, mine was a '94 Aerostar, in Tuscon Bronze, as Ford called its coat. Wife made some idiot unload it. Claimed the Agent Orange-laced fumes (post chainsaw operation road maneuvers leading to fuel spill leading to failures in mop-up efforts) would stunt the kids brain development. GOOD GOD! She may have been right! I may have unloaded too late!

Maybe if it had had those pretty mermaids swimmin’ 'bout the quarter panels my own siren flock would have let this ears-unplugged Odd-yesee-miss have kept it a bit longer?

Nice pictures of Catskill flow. Thanks.

High praise indeed, from the Poet Laureate of Pnet, er, “paddling.com

Vinnie-the-Hitman’s operation got pushed “back” to later in the month…He is now hot to trot after seeing said scouting report. As there’s also been two days of flooding rain since my Sunday paddle, and we expect to go out Thursday/Friday, I’m recommending a boat with large side tubes to gingerly take care of his aching back. Lest he get stuck(again)…

Vinnie? Really,?

Everything is running around here. Work today, stuff to do tomorrow, but Sunday I paddle!

@string said:
Vinnie? Really,?

Well Vincent, actually…But I like to poke fun at him and mess with his head. >:)

@eckilson said:
Everything is running around here. Work today, stuff to do tomorrow, but Sunday I paddle!

Yep, Sundays will be my official boat day also for Spring 2017. My family has been briefed to let others know I’m now attending “The Church of the Paddle” exclusively. (Well, maybe with a little sail thrown in here and there…)