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by Dan RogersĀ - Diamond Lake, Washington - USA

Peyton, Man of Adventure: The latest chapter.

Our man, Willie, says it best. "Onnnnnn the rooooaddddd again." We saddled up on Wednesday morning, and headed south. Our destination was supposed to be the Toledo, Oregon Wooden Boat Festival. Via, the Cascade Lakes district in south central Oregon.

First stop, Sprague Lake. There was a bit of business to conduct with the proprietor of the resort there, for another messabout venture scheduled for next month.

A big black thunder cloud dogged us for the first couple hundred miles. And, my choice of two-lane highways wasn't the happiest one for our rather exotic wagon train.

So, when the "town" of Shaniko was shuttered, and the sidewalks rolled up, we camped for the night in a showplow turn around while the rain pelted and the wind howled. Someplace up on the Oregon plateau. The naviguesser had to wait for daylight for a decent position fix.

The next morning found us in a delightful little greasy spoon for breakfast. And the continual chorus of "What a cute boat you guys have", continued. I think the whole population shows up for coffee in the morning. We probably met the entire town. Yeah, I probably embarrassed Peyton, with my spontaneous discussions of everything from hull design to hydroponics with COMPLETE STRANGERS.

We did discuss the merits of dragging another Glasspar home with us. Logic did prevail, in the end.

Our onboard weather guessing department concluded that rain was in the future for anybody planning to launch a boat or two in the Waldo Lake region. So, the skipper ordered a base course of 270 and rang up turns for making our destination on Day Two. Next stop, Toledo, Oregon. (Where ever the heck that is.)

The event wasn't even supposed to start until Saturday. And, while there were several early arrivals camped in the big field. We were the first to launch and moor boats. I picked a nice, big slip for Shenanigan and Limerick. And, parked Big Ole and the stretch trailer out in the middle of the big ol' grassy field.

It's tough being the new kids on the block. Turns out, we were in the wrong spots for just about everything that was gonna' happen a few hours later. This event is one really big deal. Lots of vendors. Lots of exhibits. Lots and lots of activities.

We were the ONLY homeless van amid a sea of shiny new campers and just-off-the-showroom pickups. But, by all accounts, Peyton, was the coolest kid. And he immediately attracted a small cadre of would-be grand mothers.

Then, he "discovered" the boys camped next door. Finally, he didn't have to stand patiently with eyes glazed over while Uncle Dan talked gibberish about boats with perfect strangers. It was foot races, berry picking, kayak paddling, miniature golf, more foot races, VIDEO GAMES, and even a sleep-over in a tent.

The boys did their level best to stay up all night. And, probably made it until 2300. After that, nothing but snores from the tent.

Uncle Dan had a ball talking boats with folks who came down the dock, taught some sailing, and even did motor boat rides for a gaggle of kids. Peyton is already talking about "what boat we're gonna' bring next year." He's set on Old Salt, mostly because of the 85 horse motor. He's quite convinced that the little tug's paltry speed of 25 mph can be overcome easily with that big mill. Maybe so.

The CCOTS are an eclectic bag of tinkerers, adventurers, and polymath geniuses. Among their repertoire is a marvelous Saturday night jam session in the boat house.

Sunday came before we knew it, and it was time to haul the boats out and start for home. But, the absolute best thing, was when Peyton solo'd in a small boat provided by the boathouse.

Uncle Dan was only eight when he got his first command. Same for Peyton, Man of Adventure!

Pack your sea bag, and come aboard. There's a Big World out there.

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