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