I’ll focus on the single most used word people choose when describing my 15,482-mile pavement burn: once-in-a-lifetime. It’s so unlikely to happen again; you better enjoy it now – a dismal thought process as you see the geographical circle of the states begin to come full tilt.
Within that context, the final scratch of my winning lotto ticket while riding on Haley’s Comet with a case of chickenpox is over and it is never happening again.
As a grammatical choice of adjectives, that’s lazy.
Fishing trips weren’t always about the donated gear – always photographed with the manufacturer’s label facing out, the custom artisan-tied flies tossed on trips with well-respected guides, and the eventual too-good-to-cook-my-fish release of legal catches.
But they are now. Work in this industry has been good to me. And I’m ok with that.
Ted, not so much. Ted’s skeptical.
Nothing moves fast in Yellville, except the big brown trout. The north-central Arkansas city named for Archie Yell, the winner of the last duel in the city’s streets – or so they say, is home to 1,312 people and an economy that is driven by White River tourism and the Ranger Boat factory right next door in Flippin.
Lobster Boy, the real-life inspiration for American Horror Story, never fancied spending his free time in metropolitan Tampa, Florida. That’s because he preferred the secluded mangroves of Gibsonton. As does kayak fishing guide Derick Burgos of Phatfish Kayak Charters.
Besides twelve times through the movie Scarface and the occasional Pitbull music video, I have no experience with South Florida. But it hit me right around three-quarters of the way through my breakfast beer; this is exactly how I imagined it. Big parties before catching big fish.
I wasn’t supposed to stop in Savannah. A long drive from south Florida and some canceled plans along the Space Coast led me to Skidaway Island State Park to crash for the night before heading further north to the mountains. After a couple of hours of sleep and some trail exploring with the cat, the plan was to be on my way to cooler temperatures and bigger views in the morning.
“Do we need to scout this one?” I asked as we quickly approached the meaty part of a comfortable class II on a section of Roanoke’s James River. “Where I come from, we scout these things.”
We didn’t scout it. From the bow I flew in blind, limited in my ability to steer, hoping for the best. I was told not to worry but I was worrying.
I was told to pick up a six-pack of Bold Rock IPA Cider on my way in.
He mixed me a Viginia-inspired cocktail that would have made even Tommy Jefferson smile down us: ice and a shot of Virginia’s A. Smith Bowman Small Batch Bourbon, filled to the top with Nelson County’s Bold Rock IPA Cider.
We're back after a really long portage. What used to be a roadtrip-centric canoe blog is now a bit more settled in the Texas Hill Country. We still believe canoeing is dated, not dead. And we still chase high CFS and sticky situations.
But we're not on a roadtrip battling for cell service from the backseat of the Jeep anymore. We're enjoying life off the road. The showers, hot meals, and stable jobs are nice too.
If the paddling road trip is what you're looking for, it's moved here.