Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bloggers strike is settled! Streak uninterupted.

The pressure to produce informative yet entertaining recaps of the Duper boys' adventures caused an unfortunate blog-stoppage over the last few months. Call it a case of writer's block or just a lack of anything to write about but I am back in the blogoshpere. Who am I kidding anyway? Most of this is done just to satisfy my own desire to read some qualify prose. Kind of in the same vein (easy fellas, not a big purple one!) as when I get caught talking to myself and my standard response is "sometimes its the only way I can have an interesting conversation!"

Rest assured, the lack of a monthly accounting of all trips does in no way mean that the monthly trips did not take place. We utilized both east and west branches as well as the post merge DuPage river rapids trip in Shorewood. Pat, Dan, Kent and Chuck took advantage of some nice water and had a great time riding the wave trains. The post paddle beers and shots didn't hurt either. Apparently, Kent liked it so much he had Chuck drive him all the way to Lisle, just to drive back down again all in the same day. Not sure what the story was but I think I would have remembered that I had my car and had not accepted the ride home with another man. They do seem to have a "special" bond.

Over the almost 5 consecutive years of yakking, there have been conversations regarding what counts as an official trip and what does not. "No", they do not all have to be on the Dupage river. "Yes" renting a kayak on vacation continues the streak, etc. We, the active streak members (Pat, Kent and Dan), are usually in complete agreement, after all who other than us really gives a damn if the streak continues or not? This all being said, I feel I would be doing the consecutive kayaking streak loving world a disservice if I did not recall a conversation between Kent and Dan 3 weeks prior to Kent's Alaskan cruise. Kent: "I am getting on the cruise ship on June 29th, that counts as my June trip, right?". Dan: "Are you f%&#ing kidding me? A canoe. yes, a row boat, maybe, but a 70 ton cruise ship!!! You have 3 weeks left in June, get on the river!!!" Kent sometimes likes to mess with my mind but I don't he was this time, he was being serious. If nothing else, our streak will always be about enjoying the water, the outdoors and each other's a MAN POWERED boat, preferably a kayak.

Where the HELL is the RAIN???? We need some WATER!!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Streak hits 53

Kent and Dan hit the river 4/3 and JD and Pat squeaked in a run the last week of the month (4/28) with an evening float.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yakker Down!! Yakker Down!!! Dip in the Dupe!

Dan, Pat,. JD, Jim H., Tom D. Centennial Beach to Knoch Knolls. Gauge 7.19 ft, discharge 719.

Jim H. got an exciting introduction to solo yakking less than 100 yards from the put in. The rifles in downtown Naperville can be a little exciting when the river is high and fast like it was today. Jim maneuvered his way like a true pro but once the water settled he declared: "Quite an introduction going through the double Diamond back" (or something to that affect, I think it must be a skiing term). On another occasion he followed Dan's lead (a mistake since Dan and Tom were not going where they wanted to) and he got stuck on construction material. Dan looked back and shouted "Don't' turn sideways, Jim" to which Jim yelled back "I'm not trying to!!!". With Pat coaching him to back up and paddle strong to extricate himself Jim again looked like an old pro. "I owned that, like a three pointer to win the game...nothing but net!!"

As the group passed Pioneer Park the veterans (Pat and Dan) elected river left around the island while the rookies (Jim and JD) elected river right. Like a Dad letting his kids sled down the big hill by themselves for the first time, Dan quickly got around the island and got in position to observe as his "kids" finished. Jim, fresh off his recent river success once again handled the fast moving river like a pro. Dan smiled proudly.....uh oh, STRAINER!!! A twelve foot long, 8 inch diameter limb was hanging out 3 feet above the churning water. Jims's eyes widened as the river sucked him towards the looming limb. He stuck out his left hand onto the end of the limb and successfully avoided disaster. A sigh of relief was had by Jim and Dan. Oh no!! JD was right behind and Dan felt powerless as he watched the scene unfold.

JD was taking a similar path as Jim but that is where the similarities end. Whereas Jim just missed the end of the limb, JD was heading straight at the midpoint. His eyes widened as the river directed him to a place he did not want to go. To avoid decapitation JD ducked his head and did a dead lift on the limb all at the same time. You think his eyes got wide as he approached the limb? They opened another couple degrees as he found himself waist deep in the frigid water. Did I say waist deep? Oh yeah the river was moving quickly, forcing JD to "jog"further down river. The water was now chest deep. We don't even need to mention how certain body parts were racing and other parts were shrinking aka George Costanza "there was shrinkage!" Somehow Pat and JD managed to gather all equipment and get JD back in the boat. There was speculation that JD's brief kayaking career could come to an end but JD took the other route....defiantly claiming he needed to go run that route again just to prove he could do it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Butkus........number 51 in a row

Dan, Kent, Pat, JD, JimM., Jim H., Tom D.

Going with the first weekend in the month strategy in order to extend the streak, 7 of us headed down to Hidden Lake for the Arboretum run. Although the temperature was a very acceptable 30'ish, the water level was questionable (5.11 on the Naperville gauge). Kent and Jim H. teamed up as did Dan and Tom in the tandems, while JD, Pat and Jim M. did it by themselves. Despite getting stuck multiple times (tandems more than solos), the veterans enjoyed an old friend while the first timers appeared to really enjoy this route.

The fishermen in the group fantasized of a future "Big Catch" while Dan and Kent fondly recalled their moonlit, bug filled inaugural night 'yak. Jim M. retold an episode of Two and a half men in which Alan took up kayaking and Charlie accused him of masturyaking. I would love to know when that episode initially aired and see if it is after my Urban Dictionary published definition.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"I just want to cuddle up!" Who are you?

Masturyaker Dan

With tentative yakking plans in place, the river raging and the temperature in the 40's, Dan was looking forward to exploring one of his favorite trips, the Arboretum run. With little interest from others, Kent and Dan were set to to enjoy a long lost trip that had been avoided due to a downed tree. That was until Kent called it off, saying it was too cold and that this was a day
that he "just wanted to cuddle up"...or something to that affect. It was a balmy 45 degrees when Dan hit the the end of NORTHERN ILLINOIS!!! Not only is the executive board considering fines and or sanctions against Kent for his reckless cancellation, there have been rumors that a revocation of his man-card is being considered.

Knowing that although he did not suggest the cancellation of the trip, he knew that going along with it would possibly subject him to the same scrutiny that Kent will have to endure. Recalling how Boone and Stratton reacted when Dean Wermer advised them of their double secret probation in Animal House (toga party), Dan smiled at himself in the mirror, nodded and said: "MASTURYAK" . For those unfamiliar with the term please follow the convenient link to Urban Dictionary where my published definition can be enjoyed via the world wide web.

Much like a prom date-less high school boy who knew he wasn't going to get any, Dan knew that sometimes it is better alone that not at all and he headed off for a little "me" time in his single yak. The river was fast and high as well as clear of any downed trees. Unbridled by the wishes or desires of others and not having any performance anxiety, Dan guided his yak skillfully down the swollen river, almost becoming one with the Duper (spiritually becoming one, not like becoming part of the river like someone in a previous blog entry did) . As he exited the river, he once again reminded himself of what he and his fellow yakers have always known: when the river is high you need to take advantage of it no matter how stupid the rest of the world may think you are.

I can only hope that any possible suspension levied against Kent does not jeopardize his streak.

Pictures: Dan and Chloe before trip, Solo Dan, inlet at Community Park (note how high the water is)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Santa Float 2009...Pat sneaks in #49

Dan, Kent, Pat, JD

Adapting to Kent's mantra that winter kayaking is best done the 1st week of the month, Dan and Kent had already put consecutive month 49 in the books earlier in the month. But Pat, much like a harried Christmas gift shopper on the 24th of December, had left his streak in jeopardy. Giving Mother Nature the finger and betting that the river would not freeze to end his streak, Pat set up a date with Kent (a bromance in the making?) for the last Sunday of the month. My experience has shown me that dates are much more successful when the other party is aware that they are involved in your planned activity. Pat claims mancode dictates that Kent should have known he had committed to the float based on a previous comment and Kent claimed he had never heard anything from Pat so he was not planning a trip on that day. Thank goodness the voice of reason and yak planning entered into the picture (Dan) and the trip took place.

Donning the Santa beard (Dan) and Santa helper hats (Kent, Pat and JD) two tandems floated thru downtown Naperville the Sunday after Christmas. Why the Santa float after Christmas you ask? The early month yak was too soon for the full Santa outfit and the after Christmas float did not seem to warrant the full outfit either, however Dan loves to wear the Santa beard through Naperville. Nothing was too noteworthy on the trip, other than there were fewer people witnessing the 4 red hatted kayakers than would be expected on a beautiful winter Sunday afternoon.

5th consecutive New Year's Day float

Dan, Kent, Pat, JD, Jim M., Jim H.

Consecutive month 50 as well as the 5th consecutive New Year's Day float are in the books as 6 hearty soles braved temperatures in the teens and hit the WBDR, floating from Pioneer Park to Ring Road. The regulars (Dan, Kent and Pat) were joined by JD (don't look now, he has a cute little 3 month streak going himself), Jim M. (a returnee previously prominently featured in the blog entry "Duper Boys Jim, not the Polar Bear Club" ) and Jim H. (a Duper virgin). Regular readers of the blog are well aware of the initiation rites involved in anyone's first time float and may be thinking that Jim H. got a pass due to the severe cold and its possible effects on certain parts of the body not used to seeing the light of day. If there was any thought of a free pass on this frigid day, it was quickly put to rest when Kent glanced over at Jim and matter of factly stated: "Hey, newbie, you're coming with me!" Pat and Dan nodded their heads in agreement, knowing that Kent was the best choice on this particular day. Jim M. and JD gave a little shudder, glad that Mother Nature had been a little kinder to them on their initiation day.

Despite the temperature, the trip was excellent as the crisp air, cold beers and good friends made for a very enjoyable float, leaving some of us wishing we had left the cars at Knoch Knolls so we could stay out a little longer. Pat and Kent were down right giddy with the effects that the hand warmers had on their not so frozen digits. Could we have solved our one main issue with winter yakin'? I hope so. As we pulled into the launch area at Ring Road, the sense that something was ending too soon came over the group and instead of getting off the river, we all just sat in our yaks, enjoyed another beer and did what guys do best...BS'ing about everything and nothing at the same time. Nice start to 2010 boys......see you in February if not before.

FYI...last year's NYD's float was Jim M., Pat and Dan