MEMORABLE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Stories of (interesting, funny, bad, sad, happy, etc.) things that have happened while paddling. Post your links to your blogs as well.

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mtpaddler
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Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 11:26 am

MEMORABLE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Post by mtpaddler » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:04 pm

It’s another Action-Packed Holiday camping trip...

The one thing I was wishing for Friday night as we headed south of Livingston, Montana toward Dailey Lake, was that the typhoon would hold off long enough for us to set up camp before it hit. The 8 mile gravel road in was in great shape – hard-packed mud. Usually it can be a rocky, dusty, rough drive in. The 40 mph winds and rain didn’t start until we had the camper parked but not quite leveled. It was so cute to see Connie walking backwards toward the truck to bring me my raincoat, the wind and rain whipping her frail little body. I steadied up the 5th wheel in full raingear and didn’t bother to unhook from the truck for added stability. Dinner for the evening was rib eye steaks and I was able to drag a picnic table over to the lee side of the camper and cook them on the grill in relatively calm conditions. The rain was blowing in a horizontal fashion over the roof so I stayed pretty dry (still in full raingear).
Saturday morning broke with a drizzle/rain and low cloud cover but that didn’t stop Connie from suiting up and drowning some worms for a few hours. The rain stopped around noon so we headed over to the pay kiosk to pay for our site (Friday night FREE!! Yeah!). After slipping the check in the slot, I started up the truck and… wasn’t able to get it in gear. Oooh, that’s not good. I turned it off, dropped it into 2nd and started it again. It lurched forward with the clutch in. That’s not good. We got back to camp and I did the “turn off engineâ€￾ thing again to back it into place and then crawled underneath to see if there was an adjustment that I could possibly make. It’s a sealed hydraulic system. Neat!
Nothing to do now but eat lunch and "GO FISHINâ€￾. After lunch, we got the kayak out and paddled around for an hour or two. Connie missed two good hits. Here’s a tip when using worm harnesses – make sure the end of the worm only extends from the last hook half an inch or so –any longer and the fish just pull off the end of the worm and swim away.
The evening was beautiful so we decided to have an early dinner before heading out for some night fishing. Our campsite was the last one on the south end of this little state managed area; we didn’t have any neighboring sites within two blocks of us and we were kind of surprised when a carload of boneheads drove past the 6 ft high 4 ft wide sign that said NO VEHICLE TRAVEL OFF ESTABLISHED ROADWAYS and parked on the little grass knoll overlooking the lake, 25 yards from our camper. Three guys with two big dogs piled out and proceeded to empty the trunk of wood construction scraps and haul it down to the lake shore. As a concerned citizen, I thought it would be in the best interest of the area to find out their intentions. The conversation went something like this: ME: “Hey guys, what’s ah.. going on?â€￾
BONEHEAD #1: “We’re campin’â€￾. ME: “Not here you’re not. What’s with all the wood?â€￾ BONEHEAD #2: “We’re gonna build a fire.â€￾
ME: “You’re only allowed to have fires in designated fire rings.â€￾ BONEHEAD # 3: “We’re gonna make one outta rocks.â€￾ I then proceeded to tell them they were in an area with designated camping sites and, a fee area, indicated by the huge-a** sign they had to pass on the way into the area and if they wanted to camp and have a fire they were going to have to move on down the road to the next available site. Failure to do so would result in the Fish, Wildlife & Parks officer, who’s traveled past this area three times today checking permits (a bold-faced lie), issuing a heavy fine, confiscating their equipment and impounding their car and dogs that were supposed to be leashed. They decided, with a combined IQ of 100, that perhaps it would be wise to move on and they packed up and did move down to an unoccupied campsite a fair distance from our camper. I returned to the camper to find Connie putting the .38 back in the closet.
After dinner, we returned to the lake and fished until 11:00 pm because the fishing was sooo darn good. We pulled to shore with one 9â€￾ perch and one 12â€￾ walleye that was mostly head and tail. After filleting Connie’s catch, no simple feat, we headed to bed joyful in the knowledge that we had enough fillets for 4 Ritz crackers.
Sunday we woke to 40 mph winds, pouring rain and the snow level dropping to within 500 ft of our elevation. It snowed a foot in Yellowstone Park that day, only a few miles south of our location. We spent the day inside with the heater running, playing games, reading and napping. That evening we tried fishing again but even the fish were holed up at home, riding out the storm.
Monday I decided to try to keep a positive attitude all day because, today was the day we were going to try to get home in one piece.
The drizzling rain stopped about 10:00 and I was able to wrap up the soaked kayak and break camp in dry conditions – nice. The truck backed up to the 5th wheel with no problem and we got underway. I had the trip home divided into 4 sections with the attitude that if we made it to the next section everything would be OK. We made it down the dirt road to the county road slowly but with no problems. We made it to the main highway OK and we made it onto I-90 with no problems. In fact we made it all the way home and had the camper parked before the clutch problems showed up again. We got the truck into the garage Tuesday night and our mechanic called with the news this morning – we need a new clutch – cost - $1000.00
…and so another memorable holiday of camping is in the books.

(On a side note - our convertible kayak seems to be the one constant as far as reliability and stress relief that we can depend on on our little adventures and we never leave home without it. )

I am so looking forward to 4th of July!

Mr. Lucky

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sonar
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Post by sonar » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:04 pm

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Last edited by sonar on Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

Pearly
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Location: Malaysia

Post by Pearly » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:58 am

Fantastic!! That made a great digression from the pile of paperwork that is building up on my desk! The pile might go down a bit once I have finished going through my forums!

Thanks for the read and better luck on your next adventure......... Can't wait!!

mtpaddler
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 11:26 am

Post by mtpaddler » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:44 am

As luck would have it, I had finally convinced Connie into letting me purchase a backbone for the convertible and this was the first trip I was able to use it. That purchase would have been nixed post transmission failure.

Mr. Lucky (oh yeah!)

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