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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Post by mtpaddler » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:38 am

Maggie (the dog) & I left Thursday night so we could get our campsite early. We headed to Courts Sheriff campground on the shores of Canyon Ferry near Helena, Montana. It has paved campsites and since it's before the start of the general camping season, the sites are free. Consequently it tends to fill quickly on spring weekends.

We arrived around 8:30 and lo and behold, the campground was ¾’s full – on a Thursday night – and our spot was taken.

That was OK though because our second choice for a site was open. While leveling up the camper, I happened to run my hand along the bottom of the tire while placing a board and felt the ends of steel belting. Upon further inspection with a flashlight, I discovered the tire was missing a huge chuck of rubber – amazingly the tire was still holding air. I never felt a thing going down the highway. Nothing like going to bed knowing what the morning is going to have in store for you.

Friday morning I got the spare out, checked the tire pressure – it was 30 lbs. and needed to be 80 lbs. – so I hooked up my little air compressor and took the bad tire off. Maggie and I then went for a little walk and by the time we got back the tire pressure was all the way up to 50 lbs. and the compressor was smoking. Elapsed time – 45 minutes. Here’s a tip – make sure you have a decent tire inflating compressor in your tool arsenal. I loaded up the spare and was able to fill it to 80 lbs. at the little marina just over the hill rather than having to drive 20 miles into Helena.

By now it was noonish so we had a little lunch and then went fishing. With the wind and the rain making the experience as pleasant as you can imagine, we did manage to land one nice fish. That was the only fish we caught the whole weekend.

Connie made it up Friday night in record time – said she hit 100 mph on the uncrowded highway on the backside of Canyon Ferry. She said it was the music on the MP3 player that forced her pedal foot to the floor.
Thursday night when Maggie and I came through, we saw at least 250 elk scattered along two miles of highway. Connie didn’t see any – perhaps she was too focused on the white lines.

Saturday we launched the kayak in the morning, and not 30 seconds after I’d cast my rig, here comes Maggie, swimming by the back of the kayak.

Not quite sure what happened up front, but somehow she had managed to fall overboard. Connie had put her lifejacket on at shore hoping to keep her a little warmer on the cool day and it came in handy with its little handle because I was able to heft her onboard along with five gallons of 34 degree water which immediately headed for my crouch. Needless to say, I never did quite dry out but it didn’t rain and the air temp stayed right around 60 degrees so it wasn’t too unpleasant.

Connie had two hits on our 3 hour adventure but that was it. We wrapped up and tried some shore fishing where I’d caught my fish the day before, but ended up with nothing but a dirty dog.

Sunday, it started raining pretty steady around noon but we kept fishing (from shore) until 2:30, then headed back for lunch and to break down the camper for the trip home. Had a nice tail wind and no further adventures.

Oh… and one more thing – they started charging at the campground early this year – we ended up having to pay for Friday & Saturday night. B*st*rds!! $10.00 a night!!

Cost of new trailer tire - $200.00

Mr. Lucky

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Post by sonar » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:53 pm

Last edited by sonar on Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Pearly » Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:38 pm

Thanks again Mr. Lucky! My life seems somewhat better after reading your tales of woe!


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