Monday, June 05, 2006

Kayak and Canoe Shuttling Vehicles

God Bless the Shuttles
God Bless the Shuttles,
originally uploaded by FreeWine.
When traveling to the river every vehicle we pass is evaluated as a potential shuttle vehicle. Keep an eye on my Flickr photostream and you will see growing evidence of my fondness for every flavor of shuttle vehicle. After a lifetime of choosing cars based on their safety, fuel mileage and dependability our values have changed. Now we shop for roof racks, bed length, window tint and towing power. Ah, the sweet symptoms of family is truly blessed.

Once you have purchased yourself a kayak or two, you start to spend a lot of time pondering what I call Shuttle Math and Logistics. Here's an example:

We have two 9.5 foot kayaks to carry over 200 miles to the put-in, next we paddle 8 miles to the take-out and we need to go 5 miles by road to get back to the put in. The 2 local outfitters say they don't shuttle private boats due to insurance reasons so we need to drop off a moped at the take-out on our way to the put-in. Once we reach the take-out, I will ride the moped back to the put-in and get our shuttle vehicle then drive to the take-out and pick you and the boats up. That should work...wait. Where can we store the modped in route? our trailer barely holds the two boats.

Ok, lets begin again. We have two 9.5 foot boats to carry over 200 miles...

As you can see from the bad analogy above, Shuttle Math and Logistics can quickly turn into something like one of those cruel word problems where you have to move a fox, a pig and a bag of corn across the river in a single canoe.

I think that the desperate desire to simplify our Shuttle Math problems is what leads to our constant shuttle vehicle shopping. We are just sure that there is one perfect vehicle out there that can simplify of Shuttle Math and Logistics questions, but I am beginning to suspect that it is hopeless. Every new option just complicates the issues more. Long-bed truck or Suburban, buy a used third vehicle or trade-in one we currently own, If we are considering a third vehicle, why not just get an RV, blah-blah-blah...the debate may never end.

If your paddling family has successfully dealt with this crisis, I would love to hear your advice on the matter.


It's me, T.J. said...

I am sorry about your dilemma and the stress that you are obviously experiencing over it.

I wish that there was something that I could do to relieve your pain.


I truly do.

*still laughing*



Great post!


Thomas said...

Thanks, TJ!

I really liked your Rabbit Trap picture on: