I left home a day early so I could take my
time for the 565 mile drive. All was going well till I got to
what they call the New Yawk Thruway. I stopped at the toll booth
to git my ticket and this here big, I mean big and.....big boobed
bleached blonde with real red lipstick and enough hair for 4
normal women..you know the extra poofy kind? She yelled directly
at me and loud enough so that folks 5 cars back was listen'n
to what was go'n on!, She hollered, "Hey... I wanna see
yor thang!" I almost died right then and there! Mostly
laugh'n and chok'n... and when I had regained my composure and
dignity I looked at her sweet turkey platter sized face and
said, "Hell baby ...I ain't seen MY THANG in 5 goddamn
years!" She almost overturned the toll booth!
Me and my THANG
What she really wanted was to see my little
camping trailer. Folks have strange ways with words sometimes!
Don't much think she was interested in other little thangs!
But I was wrong about that too! And it was as plain as the nose
on yor face she didn't give a flying shit about the 65 cars
backed up behind me! So I comminced to very briefly tell about
teardrops and splained to her how to find'em on the internet
so I could go.
I told most everyone about this experience
at the messabout, but I wuz saving the best part till now! SHE
wanted me to wait till she got off!....so SHE could come with
me! Can you believe that shit! I'd have needed a kayak 80 feet
long with a 12 foot beam! Ain't enough seals left in the world
to build a boat dat damn big! Yep...go'n on vacation! And figured
she'd done found her big ass a free ride to Canader! I told
her about my sweet wife Kaye but that didn't matter to her one
iota when she eyeballed everything and saw I wuz alone! Didn't
have my dog or gun! I knew right then I was in deep shit!
Suddenly like a gift from the heavens them
nice wonderful folks behind me stretched out to Pittsburgh by
now started honkin on their horns and saved my ass! I bid my
goodbyes rapidly, snatched my ticket outta her hand and was
on my way, speed shift'n like ole Richard Petty!.......up to
85 MPH just to get clear of the danger zone! Finally slowed
down as my heart rate began to settle back to normal. Didn't
want to git a ticket.....specially in New Yawk! And, wuz glad
I didn't upset the teardrop or have to do some boat repair on
this busy toll street!
Bruce Hector, our host
I got to Rideau Acres in Kingston, Ontario
about 10am Thursday morning. The place was huge and unlike that
big blonde at the toll booth.....it was beautiful! After some
hagglin betwixed American money and Canadian money, I finally
got what I'd call one of the best campsites right on the water.
The boating crowd hadn't got there so I more or less had the
place to my own, 'cept for the regulars and a few vacationers.
I'd recommend you go to the currency
exchange and git a few of them funny looking dollars so you
won't have no trouble if you find a deal on someth'n or just
wanna git a double cheeseburger at MacDonalds or someth'n ......
and be sure to git your Americano money back at the money change'n
place on your way back to the US of A..it's right there a short
piece before you git to the border, and where you have to pay
more tolls to git back home.
Don is the guy that has the snak bar
right thar at the boat landing and across from where I parked
the teardrop. I wuz git'n hungry and decided I'd have an order
of "French" fries...they call'em that too! Guess cause
there's a lot of French folks there...and also ordered a regular
hamburger! Well when it come time to pay I had it figured out
20 minutes later that it would take an act of Parliment and
a statement from Tony Blair in the old country to see what I
owed for the damn hamburger and fries! I don't know who's running
Canada! He said I owed him 5.75 Canadian, but didn't know what
it wuz equal to in American money and that's all I had! I wasn't
about to give him my US of A Abe Lincoln and 3 quarters! I'm
a little ignorant and dumb at times but I ain't stupid! And
my mental condition wasn't act'n up at that particular moment.
Steve Fisher in in his Li'l Kate
So after asking me what I thought was
fair we agreed that I pay him 3 American dollars then he gave
me a damn funny looking coin that look like a token from Disneyland
made out of aluminum that they had drilled a great big hole
in and smashed a brass or could have been a copper penny smak
in the middle of it! He called it a Toonie then splained to
me that is wuz 2 dollars Canadian. The deal wuz made and he
finally give me my damn food! Then after figur'n it up I still
came out on the raw end cause that Toonie thang was only worth
about 1.30 US.
I felt something was wrong but was starving
by this time and wuz 'bout ready for a couple of good ole American
Tylenol and to hell with the hamburger. Besides it was damn
near supper time now! There was enough french fries for 2 or
3 people and the hamburger was the size of a damn saucer and
about 3" inches thick and absolutely delicious so I didn't
bitch any more! I could have give those measurements in millimeters
and centimeteres and even tell you how hot it was in centigrade
by now .... but that would just make things worse and most likely
more confusing to me and ya'll! And then Ya'll ud be wanting
to borrow my big bottle of Tylenol cause I'd be confused again
Got to meet the host of this messabout,
Bruce Hector, later that afternoon. A delightful fellow that
will bend over backwards to help anyone! He proved that over
the entire weekend time after time, and kept things running
smoothly. Sure wish he'd been with me at that New Yawk toll
booth! He's a right big feller!
Sandra tries out my little blue skin boat
My buddy Steve Fisher and his wife Renee
arrived Friday right after lunch and Chuck and Sandra had already
come by early that morning and the show was about to begin!
Me and Chuck head out for some paddlin'
Me and Chuck went paddlin'. Then me
and Steve took off across the lake! Folks kept coming in from
all over the place. Florida, Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania,
New Yawk and several other states! Boats of all sizes and shapes
began to appear.
John Bartlett's Turtle - that thing needed
Bolger designs stood out among all others
and several gorgeous creations were floating majestically at
the dock. These were big boats now, not the little ones! But
there were also Piraquas, Nymphs, a Toto, D-4, Pickup Pram,
Wind Sprint so many others I don't have time to name, and one
big ass boat from Indian River Florida that was a combo of 3
different Bolger stamps about 30 someth'n feet long! That thing
needed gun turrets and a big crew.
Chris and Julie Bullen's beautiful CLC17
Chris and Julie allowed me to venture
out in their beautiful CLC 17. Very nice but a bit long for
the TD. It was a blast! I had a wonderful time, and considered
it a privilege to paddle and fish in the crystal clear Canadian
waters. Yes dammit......I said fish! I can say that now that
I'm back home and in the US of A and safe! NO.......I didn't
have no damn fishing license, and NO.......I didn't have no
conservation license or stamp or anything I should have had!
But I did get to cast a line in Canadian water.......a dream
I've always had even if it was only for 30 minutes. I caught
a pretty little perch...that is about the prettiest little fish
I've ever seen! I don't like catfish.......they remind me of
my ex-mother-in-law! But even those are fun to catch if you've
had enough beer! I tucked my telescopic covert fishing rod under
my T-shirt and smiled to myself as I strolled back to my Teardrop.
Caught a couple of fish, released them unharmed...nothing big
but nevertheless I'd finally done it!
And.....Yes.......I wuz looking over
my shoulder to see if the RCMP was coming to take me away! That's
Royal Canadian Mounted Police you know. Ya'll remember Sgt.
Preston and his dog King on TV years ago? I think that wuz the
dogs name. My sweet wife Kaye would love that! ..... and I could
forget bail money! I can just hear her saying, "Yep..Can
ya'll believe that shit? That damn old fool got his ass locked
up in a foreign country!...and he can just stay there as far
as I'm concerned! But they don't
want more crazies up there so they'll probably let'im go, and
I'll still have to put up with his crotchity old ass!"
Chuck and Sandra took me to a great
Greek Restaurant Friday night and the food was excellent! Bruce
came in a little later and ordered some stuff I can't pronounce....and
wuz enough for all of us! It too was also surperb cause we kept
sticking our forks over in his plate so as we could try some
new stuff! You don't have to worry about the portions...they
are big! So is Bruce but a helluva nice guy.
David Spencer brought the turkey and this
neat little Nutshell Pram
Saturday night was the pot luck dinner
and David Spencer cooked a turkey in a most unusual way! Yep...He
drove big wooden 2x2 stake in the ground, impaled this 20 pound
bird upon it then wired it on with the same kind of wire we
use to sew up a tack and tape boat so it wouldn't fall down
in the dirt! Some folks saw that stake in the ground and thought
it wuz for the kids ......playing Joan of Arc! Then he turned
a garbage can upside down over the turkey. It was a new garbage
can by the way! Next he dumped 15 or so pounds ..guess that's
about 30 kilograms of self lighting charcoal around the base
that was already lit and piled it up about 6 inches or so around
the edge of the garbage can, then piled up some more hot coals
on the top which was actually the bottom cause the garbage can
wuz upside down! Then you let it cook at 8 minutes per pound.
Ya'll follow'n this ok? I'm gittin' a brand new metal garbage
can from Walmart next month the day my check comes for this
coming Thanksgiving! And the new lid makes and excellent serving
tray! I wonder how Kaye's going to react to this one! "Hey
Honey! I'm going to cook the Thanksgiving turkey in the garbage
can!" I might have to borrow a lap top from a guard at
the local sanitarium just to let ya'll know I'm still around!
But I'm gonna do it any damn way cause that wuz some of the
best turkey I ever sank my dentures in! By god it was damn good!
Hell ask anybody that wuz there! Bad thing is.....most of them
were there are just as damn crazy as I am but at least I admit
it! In all respects, the Pot Luck dinner was outstanding!
Chuck tries out my old Stealth
So many beautiful boats were there.....in
fact ALL of them were beautiful no matter how shitty they looked!
Even my old beat up stuff looked good floating in this foreign
water! Course a lot of us got into Bruces homemade wine! Red
and white! Wow! That shit was terrific! So smooth!
I'm partial to the small light boats
now as ya'll know and have gotten away from the big stuff that's
been moored in back yard with weeds growing all around them.
Mostly cause the others tire me out and spoil all the fun!
The Stealth is used most of the time
for fishin, playing around and when I need to get somewhere,
I know she'll do the job and get me back safely, but ya'll oughta
know that by now. Chuck even took a like'n to the old Stealth!
About the Stealth, don't take my word for it...just ask Chuck.
He was in her several times....the Stealth that is. I also had
the Blue skin boat with me that became sort of an oddity that
folks took a shine to! Now ain't that the pot calling the kettle
black...me speaking of oddities!
But what stood out the most was my little
camping trailer that only has one coat of paint on it and ain't
sanded! Folks liked it anyway! I love it and Kaye even likes
it! Now she's got almost 3200 miles of travel under her belt.
Already Kaye wants to take a special trip to her homeland...Ohio,
before the snow flies and do it in the teardrop! I quit trying
to figure her out years ago!
Even the TIMS project drew a helluva
lot of attention and was fun! Bruce worked his ass off on that
Here I am trying out Li'l Kate while Steve
Bosquette in his
Bolger Sneakeasy looks on
One tiny boat stole my heart! That was
my buddy Steve Fishers Li'l Kate, a Selway-Fisher design! That
little canoe was impressive on all points! A perfect cartopper
and for the short length is very fast, easy to move, light as
a feather, and very stable! On a scale from 1 to 10 the Li'l
Kate would rate a 10 without doubt! You know men like to rate
women on that scale too.
I gave one gal an eleven one time! That
wuz about 30 years ago. Strange how time does show realms of
depreciation on some things! And time does take its toll! Saw
her not long ago, and after 30 years, 4 kids, a lot of what
was physical evidence of evidently very good cooking, she has
sadly deprectiated on the scale of 1 to 10 to about a 2.5! Even
if she got rid of the "extra" 160 pounds that mysteriously
surrounded her once coke bottle figure she'd barely make a 4
with her hair fixed! Glad I went into military service and even
appreciate the fact that I was sent to the far east and came
back alive! Never felt that way till I saw her again after 30
There was lot's of wind for the sailboats,
waves for the kayak nuts and projects that will boggle the mind!
There wuz prams, scows, Nymphs..the Bolger type...I ain't talking
about the toll booth in New Yawk! The smallest boat was a Cape
Cod Frosty...the largest was that big ass boat John Bartlett
brought up from Florida, and everything in between bobbed around
the lagoon and beach! Something for everyone!
David Spencer's Siamese Brick
Another one was the Siamese Brick! Two
Bricks ingeniously put together with a section called grout
or mortar in the middle that was used to join the two boats!
Ya'll just gotta see the picture of this one and she sailed
I tried a Mouse, threw in a power stroke
and instantly made a 90 degree turn I hadn't planned on! A
Mouse will turn on a dime and give you 9 cents change! Takes
a while to getting used to but it sure was fun! The Mouse is
a great little boat! Just don't be in a hurry to go anywhere!
I had a glorious time at this Canadian
messabout paddling around in every boat I could get my boney
butt in and am looking forward to going back again if I'm still
kicking this time next year!
Those goddamned Geese!
And one thing I was trying not to mention
is that there were those goddamned ever present geese! and.....I
didn't even have a gun! They git a might riled up at the border
if you got one! These particular geese were real residents of
Canada! The real macoy! The true terrorist! Even got to see
a couple fighting but they stopped before I got the camera!
Very interesting! I hate geese!
And then there were lot's of Dump Chicks
around too as THEY say....we call'em Sea Gulls! The name Dump
Chicks is self explanitory! Don gets pissed off it somebody
throws out a french fry around his snak shack, it's snatched
up by the white demons, and it ain't long afore everybody is
head'n for the bomb shelter!
I pulled out Sunday and missed some
of the activites like going to the Irish Pub! This messabout
schedule had some nice things planned. But they need to give
some door prizes for the ulgiest boat, I had a good chance on
that one! The prettiest boat, the littlest boat, the biggest
boat, and the oddest looking boat, etc.! I mentioned it to them
so they'll have something to think about for next year!
Well those damn geese will be heading
south soon......I might just tag along behind them to see what
I can get into if gas prices go down, but I'll have my gun this
time! I meant to ask them at the camp ground why they didn't
have any mirrors in the bathrooms! Yeah I know we shave in the
shower and you figure after shaving for 50 or 60 years we wouldn't
need a damn mirror, but damn a mighty! Men like to look at themselves
while shaving so they can see how badly they're cut! You gotta
see where to smash on some toilet paper to stop the bleeding!
Guess they speckt you to use the side mirror on your truck after
you git back to your campsite if you don't bleed to death before
you git there!
If ya'll ain't been to Canada, plan
to make this messabout a priority. Lot's of islands to explore
and paradise for camera nuts! It was well worth it believe me!
And as they say in "Southern Canada" Ya'll come back
now...ya hear? They got that from me!
here for Additional Photos