Monday, September 03, 2007

Well, that sucked.

Okay so we finally went back up to the park today to kayak the Genesee River Gorge. First off... let me dole out enthusiastic compliments to the park staff at Letchworth for being a bunch of retards. We asked around (repeatedly) for info on where to put in and what the river conditions were and we were (repeatedly) met with an empty, blank "I dunno" from every single person we asked... even from the people at the visitor center where we had been required to go to take out a permit to kayak the river. Hmmmm... it seems to me if you are going to require people to come in and take out a permit you may want to go ahead and equip yourselves with a bit of knowledge on the subject to dole out in exchange. Apparently this is not the case case here though. My guess is this... they make it as difficult as possible for people to go out on the river on their own so you will instead PAY to go out on the river with one of their cheesy guided tours. Let me remind them that this a state park... not an amusement park. Bleh.

So anyway... we went. We carried the kayak down the mile trail to Lee's Landing which is what had been vaguely suggested as a place where we could put in. Yeah. First we were met with dry rocks. Lots of 'em...... for a long stretch where the river has receded due to a drier than normal Summer I suppose. So we carried the (very heavy) kayak over the rocks quite a way to the water where... guess what! It was impossible to get in due to the huge rocks and low, fast current of water rushing through. What did we do then? (Here's where we get ridiculous...) We walked, pushed, pulled and carried the kayak about another 1/2 mile through this water over the craggy rocks where I was sure I would break my ankle with every step. We finally found flat water down stream where we put in and happily started to paddle down the river.... for about 3 minutes. And then... rapids again. Rocks, rocks and more rocks. The end of the line. Wow. At this point we beached on a rocky bank sticking out into the river and ate our stupid peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while marveling at the sheer futility of the entire endeavor. Here I am apres PB & J surveying the situation...


And here's Rudy doing the same thing...




Somehow we did manage to find humor in the whole thing.... what else can you do really?



So we paddled the 7 feet back up the river and proceeded to carry the kayak the agonizing mile back up the trail. It SUCKED. I am not acting crazy when I say that was physically it was one of the roughest moments of my freaking life. That flippin' boat is heavy and awkward and the trail is a steady incline for a solid mile (and we were already spent from lugging the thing down and through the river bed.) All told we were out there for three hours and about 8 minutes of that was spent paddling the river. No foolin'. Ridiculous. My hands and forearms are destroyed (Billy's are too) from the carrying. Ha. At least we tried. That is the tag line I am putting on the whole thing... "At least we tried." It makes me feel a little better somehow to say it.

4 comments:

Michelle said...

After reading your blog, I'm very angry with the park staff also. I hate that look of "why are you asking me, I only work here." All that pain and suffering for only 8 minutes of kayak fun. yuck!

StefRobrts said...

Ugh, that's got to be one of the worst kayak stories yet! You'd think someone at the park could have been a bit more helpful.

David said...

I don't see what the problem with kayaking is. On Sunday Tori and I drove to the head of Hummock Pond, put our lightweight kayaks in the water (had to carry them 30 ft. ugh!), paddled 3.5 mi to the ocean, had a swim and lunched on avocado, cheddar, and chutney sandwiches from Something Natural. Paddled, and floated, back with the wind at our backs. Arrived home at the strike of 5:00 pm. I don't see what the big deal is. HA!!!

Bethany said...

I can report back here a few days after the disaster that all is well... wounds are healed, muscles are on the mend, mental anguish has subsided. Hopefully our next trip out will be as smooth as a jar of Jiffy.