Sunday, February 5, 2012

Consecutive month 75 saw Dan, Kent and Pat (YES....the original Duper boys back together again) out on the old standby..Centennnial Beach to Pioneer Park. You would think the day before the big Super Bowl game we would have spent the whole time talking about THE GAME. Instead, we talked about kick ass meals we had recently had at restaurants, how to reproduce those recipes at home and in what ways we could alter those recipes to make them beter....does not get much more macho than that!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"If you don't drink in the morning..... can't drink all day." In every group in every situation, people tend to take on certain roles within the group....classic group dynamic stuff. The more I kayak with Russ, the more I am perplexed on what his role will be. I am liking "FNG Russ" just because I love the whole "FNG" label and it is not every day that this label fits someone as nicely as this fits Russ. It has a very comfortable feel, much like a pair of old slippers. Last week on the Chicago river Deb tossed out "Wrong way Russ". Possibility? Yes, but after hearing his little gem above and his weekly singsongy "I don't know where the Huskies go just don't eat the yellow snow!" (my apologies if either quote is not verbatim) I am thinking he may take on a new role that has not been filled before.

Oh yeah, the trip. We put in at Hidden Lake and took out at Community Park. We had some low spots that required a few wet walks but everyone who walked was quite pleased with their footwear and the cold water was not an issue. After the trip Russ was kind enough to bring 4 glasses and multiple beers for a post yak beer sampling. A little Backwoods Bastard was followed by some Breakfast Stout and lastly KBY. The last 2 looked more like chocolate syrup than beer but tasty just the same. As we were walking back to our cars, Russ grabbed a chunk of old cardboard out of his truck, threw it on the ground and proudly called out "Hey look, my changing mat!" As I drove away I smiled to myself and shook my head..."FNG Russ". If nothing else he has added some color to these dreary winter yaks. Till next time....SYOTR (see you on the river!)

PS Click on the link below for my new technological toy. Click on the Green map bubble at the top of the map, then hit the gray play button. Be sure you are scrolled down on the page so you can see as it tracks our trip down the river.

Arboretum Float 1/22/2012 by kayakmandan30 at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, January 5, 2012

FNG takes a plunge!!!

The reach of the Duper boys' influence has been well documented on this blog. What started out with Dan and Pat in a borrowed canoe has evolved into a consecutive month kayak streak that has reached 74 months for Dan, Pat and Kent (I am confident Kent will get out in January since he had to miss the annual New Years Day float). Since Pat's canoe, Dan's single kayak and Kent's tandem, I can come up with a count of about 15 kayak purchases that can directly or indirectly be traced back to the Duper Boys. With all these kayak purchases the need to moochayak* has been greatly reduced. If I count the seats correctly, we could have 21 people on the river at the same time.....LETS DO IT!!

Interesting to point out that all four Doyle boys own multiple boats. Tom, while threatening to buy one for years, finally took the plunge along with his daughter Katie (2nd female owner after her cousin Theresa) in the spring of 2011. Experiencing the freedom that the gently flowing rivers of the Chicago area offer, Tom has appeared to set his sights on a streak of his own. "Once a month?' he thought, "that is amateur hour". Not sure how he is doing on maintaining his weekly trips but last I heard he had a bumper sticker stating "My other car is a kayak". What a madman.

As I track the lineage of the kayaking family, I must give credit (or blame?) to Tom for bringing Russ into the fold. I have kayaked a few times with Russ and each time I have had at least one "shake my head in disbelief" moment as I watched Russ learn the art of river navigation. It was a trip in December that my shaking head moment turned into a "WTF?" moment. At one point it was necessary to navigate through a small opening of about 8 feet between some downed trees. As I went through I felt the river pulling me closer to the tree on the right than I wanted to be but I made it through with no issues. I held my breath, listening behind me as Tom and Katie both went through silently with no problem. It was then I heard the shockingly loud noise as if someone was scraping their fingernails on a chalkboard or sticking an electric cattle prod up a cat's a$$. I whipped my head around just in time to see Russ crash into the tree branches (STRAINER!!!)and slowly get dumped into the river. As he gathered his feet underneath him and the shock of the cold water started to set in you could sense by the pained expression on his face that a certain part of his anatomy was transforming in the frigid Salt Creek water much like plump grapes transform into shriveled raisins!! His eyes bulged and his breath quickened as the harsh realty and dangers of winter kayaking set in while he stood chest deep in the 34 degree water. After we got him back safely into his yak, he declared "Maybe I should wear my scuba diving dry suit next time"........ya think? That or a Neoprene / Gore-Tex body condom!! To his credit, he keeps coming back and seems to really enjoy it.

Later on that day a text was sent to Pat and he later advised that there was no need for further explanation: "Russ swims with the fishes". Don't feel bad Russ, you are not the first.

*(mooch - ah - yak) verb (used with object): To take or obtain a kayak with the promise to return the same or an equivalent: Since Jim did not own a kayak, his desire to masturyak whenever he felt the urge was continually hampered by his need to moochayak.