Sunday, May 11, 2008

A complete and total skunking.

Saturday I made plans to meet Don Smith in Canaan and go kayaking. Here's how it went:

9:30am Depart Morgantown with entire family.
10am: My brand name roof rack system came apart on the interstate, sending my kayak cartwheeling across the roof of my car, down the side (where it smashed a window right behind my 3yr old son's head) and onto the asphalt at about 80mph.
It passed me as I stopped on the shoulder of the road. Sounded like when the videobaters go down the steps at Cunard.

I think, "Okay, everyones fine, the boat's not broken, I can save this". I finished the drive to my mom's in Clarksburg, dropped the boys off with their Grandma, and took off in her truck, bound for Canaan and the joys of gravity. Taping up the car window and getting my mom's truck ready took a little while, but I can still make it. Its about 11am.

Stop and get a sandwich in Elkins, smell antifreeze, and find the upper radiator hose has a hole in it. I hurry to an Advance auto parts, change the hose, and have the truck running and topped off with coolant again. It is now 12:30 and I'm freaking a little.

Finally arrive at the Red Creek take out at 1:10 or so, and see a bunch of cars, including Don's. He is about 20 minutes ahead of me, and I figure I can still catch them on the hike or at least in the paddle-in to the steeps. I CAN STILL SAVE THIS!

Halfway up the mountain I realize I don't have a skirt.
I'm Doomed.
Why I forgot to put it in the gearbag, i don't know, but it ain't there. I drive on, hoping to catch someone with a spare at the put in, but no luck.
Back down the mountain, and I leave a note on Don's car. I'm sorry you had to wait so long man.
Decide to head for the North Fork of the Blackwater, hoping to borrow a skirt there for a quick run, but on the way out I discover the fuel gauge does not work below 1/2 a tank and run out of gas.
2:30pm: take a pleasant walk on a country road with my wife.
3:30pm:depart Canaan with my tail between my legs, and hope for better luck next time.