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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