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The Gearboat Chronicles

Bikes and boats

Location, location, location has a lot to do with the property value of my old log house. It’s walking distance to Terminal Gravity Brew Pub, makers of the finest IPA in all the land. I’m guessing it’s 300 yards from my door to theirs.

Recently I saw Winding Waters Paul there, and somehow it came up that I had ridden my bike to the pub. Paul found that humorous. “You rode all the way here?” I believe is how he phrased it.

Yes, Paul. All three hundred yards. But, hey, I was supposed to be meeting someone and was running late. Every second counts.

So. Paul and Penny have been gone on vacation now that rafting season is winding down, and the activity they chose for their leisure time was to ride their bikes along the Oregon Coast. The entire coast. As in, Astoria, Oregon to Crescent City, California, where they will rent a car and drive back to their starting point.

Uhm . . . my three hundred yard bike ride striking Paul as humorous now makes sense to me. Pedaling the entire length of the Oregon shoreline, however, is not something that makes sense to me, as I’ve driven that route before and recall many sections that involve going uphill.

But there must be something to this long distance bicycle riding, as all the cool kids are doing it. As evidence, follow this link to Steve Williamson’s bicycling site and look for his write-up of rafting with us this summer:


In other news, Morgan is up in the mountains right now catering the victuals for a bull trout survey crew. His kitchen gear and groceries are being packed in by mule. Which isn’t all that different, really, to his gear and groceries being packed up the beach by the gear boat crew. But still. I admire his versatility. I’m not sure I could adapt to cooking river food in the mountains. I mean, what do you call riveritas? Mountainitas just doesn’t have that ring about it.

Many of you met Patrick Baird this year, rowing the gear boat. He just got dropped off at the University of Oregon this past weekend for his freshman year at college. A university campus can be intimidating at first, but so is the big water in Hells Canyon, which I’ve seen him row. So I figure he’ll read the waters at college just fine.

And me? Well, my ship has come in. Literally. OK, not technically literally, as it’s not a ship. But my 26-foot sailboat has come in.

My dad had an inflatable cataraft that he upgraded from, and he didn’t want to fool around with selling his old one. So I said I’d try to find a buyer for his 14-foot pontoon boat.

And there I am, 300 yards from my home, sitting on the porch at TG, when the guy sitting next to me mentions he wants to buy a cataraft. Well, I’ll be darned, says I. I just happen to know where one is.

The long, arduous walk to my house gives him enough time to tell me about the sailboat he would like to find a home for. He takes a look at dad’s pontoon craft and says he’d like to trade. Shiver me timbers, yes. You’ve got a deal.

Needs some fixing up, true. But I lived aboard a smaller sailboat for a year that wasn’t as well-outfitted as this one. Now if I can just convince dad he needs a sailboat.