Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Route 129, better known world wide as the Dragon Tail, has 318 curves in eleven miles of road.  It's a lot of work in a truck pulling a boat.  I have to travel over this road to get to Calderwood Lake.  The Dragon is also a race track for crotch rockets and sports cars.  In reality,  it is is a curvy road that someone decided to capitalize upon.   As I lumbered along in the truck with the boat, two Sheriff cars with sirens blasting went past me.  I heard them coming and pulled over to the side.  I knew what was up.  Ten minutes later I came upon a very bad motorcycle accident.  A Harley Davidson Ultra Classic (largest bike they make,) was upside down resting on the handlebars and rear seat in a ditch on the left side of the road..  Wheels straight up in the air   When it went off the road into the ditch,  the bike tried to roll up the vertical cliff beside the ditch;  it fell and tumbled landing  perfectly upside down.  The rider was still sitting on the seat under the mess.  I didn't think it apropos to take a picture.

The weather was calling for rain today so I figured we could get to Slick Rock Creek and get a camp going before it hit.  No such luck.  The sky opened up and drenched us.  I waited on shore at Slick Rock Creek for it to stop raining before putting up the tent but, it just wouldn't stop.

I tried out the new off shore anchoring system I recently got.  It consists of attaching the end of a bungee cord to the boat and the other end to an anchor.  At about twenty five to thirty feet off shore;  I toss out the anchor with the bungee attached.  Then I drive slowly to the shore and jump out of the boat holding the bow line which I am supposed to attach to a tree or boulder.  Of course, I had three dogs who just had to be on the nose of the boat at the same time ready to disembark.  No room for me to jump off with the bow line.   On the first attempt;  I got up and moved quickly to the bow ready to jump to shore.  Dogs in the way.  The bungee pulled the boat and us back to the anchor.  Ok;  one more try and I got to the bow alright but, dogs in the way again and the bungee pulled us back to the anchor again.
 The below video shows approach to Slick Rock Cove and creek

Gotta get smart here.  I pulled to the shore once more and coaxed the dogs to get off the boat.  The bungee pulled me back out.  The next time, with no dogs, I was on the bow and jumped off holding the bow line.  The boat was only a foot off the rocks that lined the shore.  I offloaded the boat and loosened the bow line from a tree and let the bungee anchor system  pull the boat back to the anchor.  You can see the blue bungee floating behind the boat.  This system worked great and has opened up many possibilities to explore  shorelines I previously could not anchor or beach on.  I have to admit that it's going to take getting used to seeing the boat out in the middle of the channel without me on it.  I really miss the canoe on this lake.   Can't take all the dogs in a canoe though.

Now, when I want to leave or load up the boat,  all I have to do is pull it to shore with the bow line and tie it off.  When I leave, I load the boat,  get on and loosen the bow line and the bungee will pull us back out into the channel.   I'm tickled with this.  I'm amazed at how long the bungee stretches out to.  It's only about four feet long when in slack condition.  But, the thing will stretch out about thirty feet or more.  It's strong too. 
As soon as the boat stops forward motion to the shoreline, the bungee instantly starts to draw it back toward the anchor.  It's a slow motion "pull back", but there isn't any hesitation.   The rain is pouring and all the camping stuff will be soaked.  The camp out isn't that important this trip as it was a spontaneous "go do it" kind of thing.  If we stay, I'll be a week drying everything out.  We will leave.  Total shore time is close to two hours.  That's long enough for the dogs to get worn out.  They just keep going and going out here.  I can't even take a camera out of the bag as I am afraid of the water ruining the photographic equipment.  Better safe than sorry.  If I were serious about this trip I would have installed the Manta sun/rain shade on the Gheenoe and brought dry bags.  If I could have raised the tent before all the rain;  we'd still be there.  Love stormy weather.  Below is an addition to the adventure stable.  More to come about it in another blog entry.