... however, try that with a 27 foot long boat strapped to the top of your car:
(That's my mom and dad at the bow and stern, respectively, by the way. You can click on any photos to make them bigger.)
I finally was able to make the trek back East to pick up my new/used sculling single.
I've been rowing and sculling for the past 4 or 5 years on the Mississippi River out of the Minnesota Boat Club and ... well, I'm addicted.
Maybe a combination of the two.
I drove 1100 plus miles from Minnesota to Pennsylvania to see my family for Easter; but mainly I had to drop off parts of an indoor sculling machine I sold to a guy in New Jersey and to pick up the shell from another guy in New Jersey, who just happens to know the first guy - small world, huh?.
So, on the Tuesday after Easter, my dad and I braved the rain and traffic in 40 degree weather to make the 140 mile round trip to the Jersey Shore from Philly. The gentleman (a lawyer who started rowing when he went to Penn for undergrad) I bought the boat from was great (well, almost - I'll get to that) and accommodating and everything went fairly smoothly. He rows out of a brand spanking new, multimillion dollar boat house in Ventnor, NJ.
The boat house was an impressive structure that's the home for rowing teams for several high schools and one college, as well as 40 or so private rowers. There were 3 or 4 bays and the boats were stacked 5 or 6 high. Thank god the boat bays were wide enough that I was able to squeeze my CRV into one and load the single on top of my car - out of the pouring rain and almost freezing temperatures! It was such a miserable day, I didn't stick around to take any photos. Plus, it's always a good idea to get the hell out of New Jersey - did ever notice that all the toll roads, bridges and tunnels charge you to get out of Jersey but they don't charge you to get into Jersey? Apropos.
So, a few days later, my brother and I were getting the boat ready to take the long trip back to Minnesota. We tried to put the cover on the boat (also sold to me (cheap) by the lawyer from Penn) and:
It looked a little funny. The skeg (the black fin looking thing) wasn't lining up with the neat Velcro hole. Also:
It was 10 fucking inches too short!
The bum sold me a cover that didn't fit. And he swore he measured it and promised me that it'd be fine.
After I left a hasty and rather terse message on Ivy League Lawyer's voicemail, we decided to just cut a new hole for the skeg and then duct tape the shit out everything. There is no way that I was going to transport the boat without some sort of covering!
(the guy ended up returning my call - he was apologetic and is willing to refund and/or pay to get the cover altered ... but screw it, I'm returning his shitty cover and I'm going to have a newer more weather-resistant cover custom made. By the way - the cover is needed - look at all the dead bugs stuck to the boat rack. Ewwww)
Anyway ... The road trip was fun. My brother, Eric, is one helluva great guy and agreed to be my co-pilot on both legs of the journey. He's also the head duct-taper and structural engineer on the whole project - I think we could have driven through an F5 tornado and the boat wouldn't have budged from the top of the car.
It was also fun to stop at divey-motels and eat in greasy-spoon diners along the way. We ate a Texas roadhouse/steakhouse in Elkhart, IN and I felt like something was looking over my shoulder the entire meal:
The Mississippi River is still fast and high and I don't plan on going out in a single on Ole Muddy until later this summer. I'll still mostly row in a double in the morning for now; but I'm going to be taking my new/used single to a lake near my work one or two days a week for the next few months so we can get acquainted with each other.
But, hopefully, by late summer/early fall, I'll be skimming across the placid waters.
Hmmm ... I still need to re-christen the shell. Maybe "1159 miles"? ...