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13 May 2007 @ 03:55 pm
more ups and downs of transportation  
I determined yesterday that the linkage is not causing the 1st gear problem in my Geo Metro and so now I think I will need to replace the transmission.

I still don't know why it failed all of a sudden but I remember I had to replace a standard transmission in one of my Chevettes at about this mileage so I shouldn't be shocked.

I took the Metro to Camden and left it there and drove the Rambler back to Dayton.

It is running great but needs the brake linings replaced. It was fun to get it out for the first time since about Thanksgiving. It still has the best car radio in the world. I was driving through the wide open country just northeast of Camden and the AM station in Cincinnati with a genuine early 60s format, complete with real DJs played one of my favorite songs (Nobody But You by the Turtles). It came in on that radio like I was only five miles from the station.

But with $3.20 per gallon gas and 20 miles per gallon from the Rambler compared to 40 to 50 mpg with the Metro, I can't delay too long before I replace the transmission in the Geo.

I also have the 80 mpg motorcycle still in Camden, for going places outside of Dayton but too dangerous in my opinion for things like going to work.

I will probably be bringing that to Dayton soon.

Finally, about the little boat I just got, here is a picture:

Mine differs from the photo only in that it is green instead of blue.

The apron that looks like a tabletop came with mine but I will probably never use it because it is a fly fisherman's platform that will just get in the way for me.

It's just before 3 Sunday and it's been a beautiful weekend. This morning about 10 I took the boat over to the river. Last night I devised a way to pack and carry the boat by foot over to the Great Miami and then inflate the pontoons and snap the frame completely together at water's edge. It worked out really well because everything including the oars and stuff I take with me totalled well under 50 pounds. I have to make two trips up and down the balconies but only because the landings are somewhat narrow.

Once I'm out on the sidewalks and the path through the park, it is very easy to carry everything partly on my back and partly in each hand.

Coming back, I walked seven blocks and did not have to stop to rest!

You'll find out in a minute why it was 7 coming back when I'm only a little over a block from the water's edge.

I was very pleased with the boat and so I intend to buy a very small new, fuel efficient 4-cycle motor for it now soon.

Meanwhile, today I was enjoying the workout I was getting fighting both the current and the wind from the same direction heading upstream. I checked the water temperature at the gaging station web site and it is very safe because yesterday was such a warm day.

What happened as a result of this upstream paddle is a perfect illustration of what irks me about the mentality about boating in America.

I was about eight feet from shore and some asshole was walking his dog along the biketrail. He asked me if I was OK. I said yes, and joked about not moving very fast in a non-sleek boat against both the current and the wind. He acted like he was not paying attention, and asked me again if I was OK. Somewhat irritated, I said, "Yes" and then said, "What's Up? Are YOU OK?"

He just trotted off and so I forgot about it.

Then, about fifteen minutes later the Ranger comes riding over the levee and down onto the bike trail and "pulls me over".

He said the asshole called 911 and said someone was "struggling" in a boat and drifting toward the low dam.

I guess the asshole didn't even observe which way the current was going and didn't even stop to think that if I was so close to shore to be able to converse with him, I couldn't be in any danger, especially since I was paddling TOWARD the low dam AGAINST the current.

Here's what pisses me off about this:

Those of us who are serious about taking on current and wind so we can go BOTH ways on waterways are so few that people don't even know what we are doing when they see us on the water.

In America, there are only two ways that people ever get on the rivers and streams with oars, and both of them I think of as just play rather than real travel. The first is canoeing downstream, after arranging a "pickup" to get you back upstream. The second is whitewater rafting, in kayaks that are useless for anything but these specialized downstream floats.

At least the ranger seemed to sympathize with me, when I said, "Of course I was struggling! I was fighting the current and a strong wind at the same time. That's why I came out here, to get a good upper-body workout.
How could I do that if I was just drifting along with the current?"

However, he still told me I had to walk all the way back to my condo instead of float back, because they are very strict about EVERY boat on this river being registered. I thought this one was small enough to go un-registered because it's only 7'. But, since the manufacturer gave it a hull ID, I need numbers and a sticker for it.

I am not surprised by this and I'm glad he just gave me a warning instead of a ticket.

But the asshole that said I was careeening toward the low dam and called 911, is going to get an earfull from me the next time I see him and his stupid dalmation when I'm out biking on the trail!