From the Outside Looking In
by Ken Yanoviak
October 27, 2007
I’m filing this report although I am not yet a member. My application is in the mail.
Driving through steady showers on my way to Atsion, NJ I was thinking about my friends who, because of the weather, decided not to go. Anyway, I would find the Philadelphia Canoe Club (as of that Thursday thirty people were signed up for the trip) and work out a shuttle with them. In the parking lot at the ranger’s station it became apparent to me that the Phila Canoe Club was a no-show. But there were these ten people from the Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club getting ready to paddle in the rain...so with all the attributes of a wet lost dog, I mooched a shuttle from them. They even helped me load my canoe and sent me on my way.
I was expecting the Mullica to be high and fast, but even with all the rain over the last few days, it was a little low and slow. At about 2:30 pm the wind kicked up and there was a heavy downpour. At 3:15 the clouds broke up and the sun was peeking through. I pulled over, changed my clothes, and made a cup of coffee. I kept expecting to see the HRCKC people rounding the bend, but I didn’t run into them until the campground around 5 pm.
The weather was an amazing 60 degrees, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky. The HRCKC people invited me to join them for dinner, but I already had rice boiling, so I said I’d catch up with them later. (I’m sure a few were thinking; “If we feed him, he may never go away”)
After dinner I brought my guitar over to their site and was treated to beer bread, brownies, and an exploding malt beverage. Many songs were sung including: “The Midnight Special”, “Moondance”, and “King of the Road”...with some Guns and Roses and Pink Floyd thrown in on the side. (There was talk of adding a banjo, harmonica, and drums next year.)
An oil-can-sized Fosters was opened as a tribute/memorial/remembrance...I didn’t get the full story on that?
There was much discussion on topics like: folding saws, GPS units, paddling in Saranac, gunwale dancing?...A head lamp with five LEDs that can stop a charging rhino. Cigars were smoked, the fire was hot and moonlight lit everything up like daylight.
The next morning after making some coffee I noticed that some creatures were stirring at the HRCKC site. Heading over I heard Jeff say, a little too loudly, “Oh no! Here comes that guy again!” After breakfast I checked out the boats of the armada...everything from gel coated Kevlar to a whitewater play-boat. What a crew. They invite me to paddle the rest of the river with them...”but oh yeah Ken, since you’re not a member you have to keep a minimum distance of 500 meters...and why aren’t you wearing your pdf?”
All kidding aside, I was really happy to run into these HRCKC guys...these people who can have fun paddling in the rain, and probably under many other conditions. I sent in my application and look forward to paddling a few trips a year with you guys.
-Ken a.k.a. kencanoe