Monday, December 20, 2010

Off We Go… The Maiden Voyage! (Or So I Had Hoped…)

Such foolish expectations... Just Say'n. And yes, it has been since August that I wrote. Finishing grad school and working full-time killed a semblance of a life.

So it is Friday!  The day I have decided the boat hits the road on a camping trip and maiden voyage! This week was an insane week! Jim worked on the motor that probably had not seen action in maybe 10 years. Luckily, it isn’t a use it or lose it item!  The boat rebuilding triad had worked on the boat at night, in the heat, and the humidity. Those couple of nights I sweated like I have never sweated before – in my daytime office-work clothing! It was hot and the humidity, I swear, was 4 million %.  I was tired.  I had wanted, dearly, to go pick the boat up Friday early, but Jim was still working on the motor AND I was still at work running around like mad. We had a special event that day which had been planned for long time and I could not leave as it ran longer than I had hoped.

My best person volunteered to go get the boat from Jim’s and that made things go a little faster.  Actually, it probably made them go a whole lot faster.

When I met up with my person, I noted we had A LOT of gear for two nights of camping, fishing and golf.  Wow, how had we managed to stuff all this gear in the vehicle on previous camping trips?  Ok, the golf clubs normally did not go and the fishing gear was not a normal addition, but still?  The boat and the vehicle were packed full!  What was the one thing I could not find that morning – when ready to go?  My life-vest.  Tired, now grumpy and bummed because I have a NICE vest somewhere…  No fear, WallHell will have them! Right?

We get on the road at maybe 5:30p with the plan to go to General Burnside Island in Kentucky. Some of the best fishing is on the Cumberland – so I hear… We get gas, a quick bite to eat on the road and drive, drive, drive.  We are not even out of Knoxville before my exhausted ass has a complete and utter internal (and sooner than later external) meltdown.  It is the after work Friday traffic and we are towing my little boat. Yea, this boat might as well be worth a million dollars because I have emotional stock in it. Weaving in and out of traffic we go.  All I can think is – I don’t weave in and out of traffic when towing (because as you have probably read in an earlier post, I have SO MUCH EXPERIENCE in towing)!  Why are you weaving in and out of traffic?  Why can’t we just stay in one lane? Why?  Why? Why? Whine…

‘Nough said on that part of the trip…

The plan now?  Stop at WallHell and pick up a cheap life vest on the way. Two WallHells later and nadda! Seriously? WallHell has everything…   But not a vest in even remotely my size. I made the command decision to give that up and decided to get one the next day.  Great plan!

We did not get to the campground until maybe 10:00p, got unloaded, got the tent up and I, by cracky, am in my “going to cook the baked beans with beef and onion mixture that has been the first meal of each camping trip if it kills someone” mode.  It must have been midnight or later before that was done and food was eaten.  Dishes?  Not happening tonight!

At somewhere between 1:00a or 2:00a I realize there are still kids playing and making noise and also a camper moving in next to us – noisily. I have never experienced such campground noise in Tennessee.  Is it a cultural thing in Kentucky? Kentuckians are not concerned with reasonable quiet hours? Say, oh, I don’t know, Midnight? It took awhile to get to sleep.

We get up in the late morning, drag around and eat leftovers after not getting a lot of sleep due to the seriously loud and rude late camping arrivals one space over. We managed to get up a little too late to hunt a life vest, try the boat in the water or go fishing before the heat strikes - so we decided to go play golf.

Uh, little background with me and golf – I have played very few rounds of golf:
One round at Dead Horse Lake in maybe 1997
Two rounds at Silver Lakes in Alabama around the same time
One round at Dead Horse in about 2002
One round at Millstone in Morristown

Now I have this set of golf clubs, new, fresh out of the box – for a lefty.  Note, I am now and have always been a right handed person.  But my thinking is – golf is a foreign activity no matter which team I bat for (insert obvious crude joke here) so why not go left-handed. When trying the clubs out, I tried a left and a right handed club.  With the left-handed I was consistently bad. Right-handed I was inconsistently worse!

Let me just say, 9 holes of golf in 90+ degree heat wore us out. I think par was 32 or so.  I shot 96.

We are done, it is maybe 3:00p and I STILL need a life-vest. We drove to 3 places and finally, after a marina made a couple of calls, we found ONE store open that had vests.  Who knew that boating places were either closed on Saturdays (in a heavy boating region) or closed early. So, while I am no fashionista, I am not overly excited by my “man-vest.”

We get back to the camp-site and hook up the boat trailer. Off we go to the park ramp.  All 40 football fields’ worth of ramp.

Flash-back in grand southern style to follow.
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