With enough time and exercise under my belt after having my knees replaced, I convinced myself that, “Yes,” I could get in and out of a kayak again. Like RVs, kayak inventories are low. You can’t just narrow down your preferences online and then go to the local shop and find it. I found an acceptable second choice and bought it… then I sold my ultra-lite canoe. I wasn’t going to be boatless for months this time.
I live 2 1/4 hrs from Florence, on Oregon’s Coast. It was to be the first stop on a loop through the Pacific Northwest to begin the day after getting cash for the canoe. (I almost fell victim to a common Craigslist scam involving a forged cashier’s check. Details on request.)
So, transaction complete, I reconfigured the roof racks, strapped on the boats, and hitched the toad to our RV.
Ah, our RV. Bitch and moan about fixing it and use plenty of four-letter words. We sometimes wake up not knowing where we are ’cause it looks the same from inside every morning. Our RV allows us to live our chosen lifestyle. And, now that the threat of the virus seems to be waning, we’re meeting and talking to people again. Conversations are again about where’d you go and what did you do. Where can you stay rather than which grocery stores deliver.
After paddling a calm stream three miles to the ocean and visiting a mini-fingered lake, we aimed for Trinidad, CA, an old whaling port with a large, protected area of flat ocean, rock gardens, sea lions, and shorebirds.
The GPS predicts a six-hour drive. Add lunch and geriatric stops, and that’s longer than I like. I found a first-come spot in Brookings. The ocean was flat. There was a multitude of offshore rocks with sports-car-sized mammals basking. Pelicans, gulls, osprey, vultures, sandpipers, oystercatchers, and a gazillion little brown birds completed our scouting from atop Chetco Point.
We were excited. We hadn’t expected this. We may not be merely passing through after all.
We visited two kayak shops for local information, drove to scout the recommended put-ins, and then found a great brewpub where we began a planning conversation. Not too far into the middle of our second brown ale, my wife put words to a feeling that had been swelling in me. “This is like we used to do. You know, discovering something new. Or at least new to us anyway. We’re changing our plans to take advantage of something we found along the way. We found a new place to DO something we like. It took a little more effort to find it. We left our home base more uncertain and needed to be more flexible than we’ve been comfortable with for more than a year. But look what we’re doing. AGAIN! Look what having an RV allows us to do. This is what we signed up for.”
We like to kayak. Our story would be the same if we were shopping for antiques or quilt shops. We could seek hiking trails or tour industrial plants or just see how many varieties of trees we could tie our hammocks to. It doesn’t matter. Going and looking and finding and doing make you feel younger, excited, alive. Staying home in front of a TV just teaches you what to fear and who to blame.
So no, it’s not always sunny, there’s not always room at the inn, but there is ALWAYS something you can do … and you can do it if you RV. Or, you can give up, like the entitled woman in this cartoon, who is complaining to her friend back home, “You can’t believe, Charlotte, how inhospitable these park people are,” as if it was her birthright to always be first in line.
MORE OF CLINT
See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!