trying to make this an 'open letter' to all, hope it works.
Tom Casselman was over to my homestead last Sunday to pick
up some black powder. We had lunch and a nice visit. I
recently realized he lives about 25 miles from me, I thought
he lived about 110 miles from here at another place.... good
news. He mentioned to me that you have a couple of nice
canoes, and like to use them, and have an ability/interest
in traveling. I've done quite a bit of traveling, canoeing,
etc... in pursuit of adventure and meeting others of similar
interests. I've done 5 day trips in Missouri, Montana, N.
Dakota, Oregon, Utah; Mo River in Mo, Montana, N Dakota,
Yellowstone in Montana, Green R in Utah, and the Willamet in
Oregon. I've done shorter trips in a few other places. I've
had several folks ask when/where is the next one? Folks need
travel requirements. It's a lot of work putting together a
trip. I have to put in my vacation requests (not always
granted) in Nov for the following year = = = planning ahead.
I've put together trips with folks saying they will do it,
only to find half the crew drops out by the time the trip is
due to commence. What is your experience? The nice thing
with the NAF requirements is that we only need to do 3 days
at a time.... It is hard to find 5 days worth of travel on
class 1-2 water, 3 days seems much more do-able. Any ideas
about organizing a canoe trip so fellow NAF members can
participate and gain travel requirements? I'm on the south
central coast of CA., so finding navigable water nearby is a
challenge = impossible. My wife has done a few trips with us
in the past, and is now retired so is more flexible than I
am with time off (I'm still doing overtime at the salt
mines). One of the reasons for making this an open letter is
to (hopefully) let folks know that organizing a canoe trip
isn't easy. If you are truly interested you must be able to
commit to the plan, and stay committed. There is nothing
more frustrating than to start with a list of folks, do all
the ground work , and at the end have half the folks fall
out.... leaving every one else in the lurch. It has happened
more than one once to me. Long ago I didn't have much else
to do but have fun and adventure, things have changed over
the years. I now have grandkids half way across the country,
and to see them takes a big chunk of my available time off.
Which makes my ability to organize a canoe trip even more
critical. I don't have time to waste.
you want to do a trip, and one is offered.. don't blow it
off. About the National in Rye, CO next year. I was at the
last one and it is a beautiful place. I hope to go again
next year, tied in with some New Mexico exploration, etc....
I made the trip last time with two other brothers. We saw
the museum at Santa Fe, Bents Fort in CO., etc.... on the
way. It was a great trip.
TIME I HOPE TO DO THE TRIP WITH MY WIFE AND DO MORE
EXPLORATION OT TAOS, SANTA FE, ETC..... oops forgive the cap
lock.... It will depend on weather I'm allowed the time off
from work. Hope to see those of you I know, and/or meet
those of you who I don't. As long as this is an open letter,
I'd like to thank those who put so much effort into making
this association a success. I know what it takes, and am
somewhat burned out.... hats off to Buck, Ole, Tom, etc.....
Hope to see you around a campfire soon.
returned from a 2 day trip on the Green River. Started in
Wyo ..Thinking we went more than 20 miles... learned a BUNCH
[Volumes] !!! Took the new-to-me Faux Birch Bark factory
painted 14 foot canoe. This was to be documented as my
second canoe trip ... one on a reservoir overnite and now
"The Green River Voyage" will be added to the
annuals of history. Have canoed around small ponds and
reservoirs only, my first big river. We became pre-1840
voyagers and looked very much the part minus the BRIGHT RED
and CONSTRUCTION ORANGE BARREL life preservers required for
parts of the journey.
put into the river at first light eager for the day's
adventures. The first day was absolutely BEAUTIFUL !!!
[Photos do not do justice to this prairie land of many
colors and textures]. The 1st part of the day on the river
with a current was a canoer's dream. From Mid-morning to
5:30 pm or so, we arrived to the still water and had to
paddle for any forward progression. We watched small herds
of antelope, deer grazing near the river. Large flocks of
waterfowl were honking and taking to flight when we came too
close for their ever watchful sentries. A Loon was first
heard then spotted bobbing along in the water, Osprey and 3
Bald Eagles also graced us with their presence along the way
! Several huge fish jumped right by the side of the canoe
... I was so proud of myself for not reacting so hard as to
tip us over, but a squeal loud enough to set the waterfowl
to flight escaped each time that occurred [That's probably
where the Pirate's favorite Arrrgh expression came from... I
think that's what I heard the Captain say !].
camp was set up and Captain cooked melt-in-your-mouth
buffalo steaks over the rock reflector fire ... nice
weather, peaceful supper. Later the wind came up and
threatened to take the house down causing the canvas to
shudder and shake with it's force. We spent time gathering
large pieces of slate rocks to cover all the pegs and sides
of the shelter... whew.. it stayed up and was a good place
to rest weary voyagers.
Two started out overcast, but fine. [Ummm, wasn't the sunset
a little red last nite? Red at Night, Sailors Delight ...
right?] We went around a few bends before we spotted ugly
clouds ahead. The wind picked up, of course in our faces and
became stronger as we went along. The canoe would rise and
fall and slap the water as we dug our way through. At one
point, waves became most concerning, spilling into our small
craft, but Captain is a calm, strong rafter with confidence
in his experience and decisions. Keep paddling ! Aye aye Sir
! Our progress became a snail's pace, ever digging forward,
but being blown back towards the shore erasing part of the
footage we had just made.
fought the wind and the waves (white caps) every inch of the
way. Had it gotten any worse, we were prepared with food and
shelter to spend another night (and had warned the families
not to panic if we had to stay another night. The wind in
Wyoming is always the "Wild Card".) I have never
worked so hard in my life, but knew it would be disastrous
to give up. Whew ... had a great Captain/ Cheerleader behind
giving instructions and encouragement all the way. When we
finally made it around a major cliff that we dubbed
"going around THE HORN", the waves were still
difficult, but some better. We were very tired, every stroke
of the paddle was made with the effort, but we kept
3 miles from our destination, a freak wave surprised both of
us giving us the opportunity to learn what to do when you
capsize (not on purpose !!!!).. I grabbed the canoe and
fortunately could touch bottom and started dragging it in,
Captain was on slick ground struggling to get his footing
and almost went under the canoe, but he was able to grab it
and help himself until he could remain upright.
Our Canoeing Grandfathers had wisely counseled to tie in
everything you didn't want to lose, so the few items lost
were ok? Captain lost a beaded hat band, enamel wash basin
for bailing & a towel. I lost an antique enamel pot of
my grandmothers I used for bailing. I watched it as it went
"Blub, Blub" beyond my reach into the depths of
the green watery grave. (Imagine the treasure hunters or
fishermen of the future .. they will think they found
authentic equipment from John Westley Powell's adventures..
haha... they will wonder what the pink coloration on the
bottom of the pot is ...some strange discoloration of the
gray enamel or pink fingernail polish to mark it as mine ...
did they have fingernail polish back then?).
We righted everything ... retied, bailed nearly all the
accumulated water/silt with the cooking pot ... but now had
some wet equipment ... and were wet ... so figure another
100 pounds, or like having another person in the boat that
is doing nothing but being dead weight. We laughed a lot
though and tried to figure out what happened while we were
repacking. The water wasn't as cold as I had anticipated and
thank goodness we didn't go over in the middle of the huge
algae areas that were thick with duck poo !!!! ( Oh my gosh
... they were disgusting... it was even hard to paddle thru
them, they were so thick !) OR when trying to go 'round the
struggled thru the current towards our takeout point. The
Captain finally said to take her into the shore [whew, thank
you Captain !]... we were beat and the vehicle was near
enough to walk to get it. I laid on the beach in the rocks
looking very much like a beached whale to give my muscles a
chance to relax. That short 10 minutes before I had to start
un-tieing and unloading the gear helped immensely. WHEW !
YAYAYAYAY !!! ... we did it. We accomplished the wild dream
of many years. What an adventure. When the truck &
trailer pulled up, there was still enough energy left to
jump up and down and wave arms. YAY ! We made some very good
decisions [The Captain said, I agreed] with our
circumstances and were able to protect the equipment and
OURSELVES !! Had we gone over when going around "The
Horn" ... we could have lost everything .. maybe even
hours of preparing gear, watching weather, time, course of
travel, permits, transportation, food prep ... were spent by
all in preparation for this voyage. No animals were hurt
(the buffalo willingly gave us a couple of steaks), and NO
PEOPLE WERE HURT !
WAS A FANTASTIC VOYAGE TO BE ALWAYS REMEMBERED !!!!
WOPILA TANKA TO OUR GREAT CREATOR FOR MAKING SUCH A
BEAUTIFUL EARTH FOR US TO ENJOY AND EXPLORE !!!!
McDara - just a knot about the other cones!
McDara has started his Holiday Season early and now
he's under the table asleep.
took this opportunity to let everyone read one members
'open letter' & another's reply.