Monday, April 30, 2007

The Infamous Connecticut River Canoe Trip of 2005

Three Christmases ago Todd and I were driving back from seeing his family in Vermont for Christmas. We were driving along Route 12 on the New Hampshire side of the Connecticut River. The water was raging on the river, and we were both looking at it longingly.

"You know, we should canoe the Connecticut River," he said.

"I was just thinking that," I said.

I thought it was just one of those passing things. You know, like "Hey, we should clean the house" but it never quite happens until we're expecting company, and then we Tasmanian Devil the whole house before our guests arrive.

Fast forward to the spring. We were deciding where we wanted to vacation. For the last few years we either would sail for 10 days to 2 weeks, and we also had the 3 week honeymoon extravaganza in 2003. We decided we'd take that canoe trip on the CT River.

We looked for river guides at EMS, I took out a book about canoeing from the library so I could learn how to canoe. (There's a little more to it than just putting an oar into the water and wiggling it around.) We bought our frame-pack backpacks, a camping stove, sleeping bags, tents, freeze-dried food. We put all this stuff into a big pile in the room in the house we like to call "The Stockroom." The Stockroom contains all of our adventure gear, nicely organized on shelves so we can grab and go when the mood strikes us.

So there was this enormous pile of stuff we'd need to bring on this trip. We kept going out and buying more things to bring on the trip. What would we do for toilet facilities? We bought a toilet seat that fits onto a pail. We bought a pail and cut the bottom out of it. Weirdly enough, the pail has an American flag printed on the side of it, and now it's forever to be known as our very patriotic crapper.

We broke out our maps and guide books, and figured out where we’d put in, and where we’d take out. We figured on 4 days on the river, and then his parents would join us on the last day, camp with us and drive us back to get the car where we’d left it at the put in point.

We pondered the logistics of fitting all this stuff and the dogs into my Jeep Cherokee, and packing the Cherokee involved maneuvers you'd only see in a very complicated game of Tetris.

The only thing we didn't have was the canoe.

To be continued...

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thirteen adventures Beej would like to go on

Looky Looky! My first Thursday 13!

1. African Safari

2. Scuba diving in Belize.

3. Climb to the top of some very tall mountain. Not exactly Everest, per se, but some ridiculously tall one, like Rainier.

4. Canoe the entire length of the Connecticut River, from it's source in Canada, all the way between New Hampshire and Vermont, through Massachusetts, to end in Long Island Sound on the Connecticut coast.

5. Sail through the Panama Canal.

6. Visit Alaska during the Summer Solstice.

7. Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

8. Visit the pyramids in Egypt.

9. See penguins in their natural habitat in Antarctica.

10. Walk on the Great Wall of China.

11. Hike the Appalachian Trail.

12. Sail the South Pacific.

13. Learn to surf in Hawaii.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Adventures in Blogging

I've just shook things up a bit around here, and changed my template. I know, I am crazy! Don't get too close, I will take you down with me. Maybe this will inspire me to post more often than when we change the clocks.

I've enabled the comments field, so say hi to me when you get the chance. Maybe tomorrow I'll jump on the bandwagon and write up a "Thursday Thirteen."

It's a crap shoot on the Adventure Blog, and you never know what's going to happen next.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Friend Mind's Post Today Reminded Me of a Story

My Dad hates to be late. Hates it. I remember as a child he'd stand by the door and bellow "If we mean to go, we must go now!!!" We heard this a lot when we were getting ready for church.

When I was a teenager, Dad was getting irritated with me for making us late for church. By then my brothers and sisters were all living out of home or away at college, so it was just me, Mom and Dad going to church that day. Dad and I had gotten into an argument because I was making us so late for church.

Dad handed me the keys, and I drove while he and Mom sat in the back. (I hated that they both sat in back, but they wanted to sit together. Wait, who was the teenager?) Just to be a smart ass, I drove exactly the speed limit the entire way. We had to pass through Longmeadow, Massachusetts on the way to church, which has a city-wide 25 MPH speed limit. Just about every street in Longmeadow has a limit of 25 MPH.

Dad sat in back, seething, while I idled the car at exactly 25 MPH through Longmeadow. To go 25 you barely have to touch the gas, so the car just coasted at 25 through the town.

"Go faster," said Dad, "You can go at least 40 on this road. We're going to be late."

"Dad! Are you asking me to speed and break the law?" I asked.

Dad flopped back into his chair, and I could hear his teeth grinding. I steered the car around a curve, and on the other end of the curve sat a police car. I was still driving at exactly 25 MPH, and at this point very smugly might I add.

"See?" I said, "If I was going 40 MPH like you suggested, we'd be pulled over right now. And that would take even longer."

In the rear view mirror I could see that vein pop out of Dad's temple. You know the one. It pops up just as his face is starting to redden out of frustration (Mom and Dad had 5 kids, this vein made an appearance often). He didn't say a word, just sat there, seething, teeth grinding and reddening oh so slightly.

And wouldn't you know we were still 15 minutes early to church?

Friday, April 06, 2007


We've lived in our house for about 5 and a half years now. Occasionally our furnace would make this loud noise. It sounded like a jackhammer was running inside our furnace.

This is how it happened a few years ago:


Todd: What the hell was that?
Beej: I don't know! Are they doing construction outside?
Todd: Maybe?
Beej: Probably not, it's Easter Sunday.
Todd: Good point.


Beej: There it is again! What the hell?
Todd: It sounds like it's coming from the furnace?
Beej: Really? That doesn't sound good


Todd: Let's turn the furnace off.


Beej: Hey, we haven't changed the filter this month. Maybe it's clogged up in there? I'll change it now.


Todd: OK, this makes no sense. It's clearly coming from the furnace, and the furnace is off.
Beej: Let's leave it off. I really don't want this thing to blow up. I'll call a repair man tomorrow.

Of course, the noise stopped when the repair man came, "I cannot see anything wrong with it. $60 please, " said the repair man.

The noise stopped. We forgot about it.

Yesterday I was eating breakfast and watching CNN. Todd came barrelling into the room, "That furnace noise is back again?"


Sure enough. It was back.

Beej: Really? OK. The thermo is set to 61, it's 68 in here. The furnace isn't even on.
Todd: You know, the only thing we didn't check is the chimney. Maybe something's in there vibrating?
Beej: How? It's not on!
Todd: Just go outside and look at the chimney. Maybe you'll see something.

I went outside and stood on the deck. I looked up at the chimney and Todd watched me double over in laughter.

There, on top of the cap on the chimney was a woodpecker, pecking the metal cap on the chimey. He flew away when I started laughing.

Moral of the story: when something's wrong with your furnace, all you have to do is laugh and the problem will go away.