Ah, retirement . . . Every day is the weekend!

Saturday, May 10

Lower Gray Canyon Campground and the adjacent Swasey’s Beach near Green River, Utah, are a kayak and raft magnet today.  The river is high and so are the spirits of these adventurous and fun-loving people who have congregated here, intent on getting the most out of their weekend.

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Photo of our camp taken previously before the weekenders arrived

The overcast sky goes unnoticed as they paddle past our campsite located on the bank of the Green River.

I talk briefly with a guy who is camped in a nearby site. 

He has a large raft he tows and also a kayak he carries on the roof of his vehice.  I ask him if he thinks I could put a kayak on the roof of my van, next to the solar panel.  He immediately says I could, using a rack like he has, which is the Thule brand.

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The vehicles and kayaks of nearby campers

I don’t know if I’ll get a kayak or not.

The inflatable “canoe” I have is not as much fun as I thought it would be.  Well, it was fun whipping down the Madison River in Montana, except the part where we wrapped around a rock and almost capsized.

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Bridget loved this float. Spike was paralyzed.

On the slower-moving Williamson River in Oregon (below), the inflatable proved to be clumsy and hard to paddle.

1-DSCN1722The inflating is a pain.  I would like to get rid of it and replace it with a hard kayak.  I think. Or maybe a port-o-bote.  I don’t know.

If I do get a kayak, I won’t be shooting down the rapids of Green River, I can tell you that!

The crew and I relax at camp all day.

Sightseeing isn’t appealing when the light is poor for photos.  I spend a lot of time online.  Bridget and Spike are more industrious than I am.  They work hard chewing on a beef rib bone.

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The right-paw grip

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The left-paw grip

 

 

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Concentration is key!

 

Spike gnaws until he’s had enough.

Then Bridget has her turn.  (She likes Spike to get a bone started for her.)

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The two-paw method

 

It’s amazing how well those two get along!

Neither bullies the other.  I give most of the credit to Bridget.  She’s the one who waits her turn.  I don’t think it would work as well if Bridget got first dibs on the bone.

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You’re a good boy, Spike, letting Bridget have the bone.

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And you’re a good girl, Bridget, waiting your turn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A steady, soft rain begins at sundown.

Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow.  The working people with their rafts and kayaks may be disappointed, but for us, it will be another good day.

rvsue

THANK YOU, RVSUE SHOPPERS, FOR SHOPPING AMAZON HERE!

Here’s a sample of what readers ordered recently:

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“Hey, babe. How ’bout a little kiss?”             “You’re kidding, right?”

5 Pack of Space Bags – 2 Med, 2 Large, 1 XLarge
Bluetooth scan tool – For check engine light & diagnostics
Big Mouth Toys The Prescription Coffee Mug
Camco RV Save-A-Step Brace
Presto Dual Basket Deep Fryer
Eureka! Sunrise 8 – Tent (sleeps 4)
Abalone Shell & 6″ Wooden Tripod

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136 Responses to Ah, retirement . . . Every day is the weekend!

  1. Ah, another day away from the 9 to 5. One day, that will be my life as well.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    It is amazing how a couple of dogs can be such good companions. Our last 2, a mutt and jeff in size difference, got along so well. A few growls at times, over the food dish, but never a snap or bad manners. The other always respected the “back off” growl. And we learned when the little one had to be put to sleep, that the bigger one really depended upon her because our bigger one never went outside hardly at all anymore, other than to relieve herself. We had not known how much she relied on the little one. Both dogs loved people and other dogs however…which helps. As always, love reading about your life. Thanks Sue!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Elizabeth . . . . Isn’t it fun having two dogs? I never want just one. That’s sad that the bigger dog didn’t want to go outside without the little dog.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Yes I agree…2 dogs are wonderful. We even had 3 one time…and that was good too. But when the little one had to go, we knew time was short for the other one as well…and that retirement loomed and we had NO IDEA exactly what we were going to do…so we felt we could not begin another dog. Plus frankly? The last dog we had was beyond awesome…she was like some other blue heelers you see online…smart beyond belief. I do not think I could manage a stupid disobedient dog again after having her. She was the best comfort in some of the darkest valleys of my life! We were in Jerusalem when she died (2010)…and we sobbed. My hubby said, “And why should we not mourn for her? She has been better to us than almost all people.” VERY TRUE!! Well, both hubby and I feel that we are not sure we could stand to loose another dog…she was with us 16.5 years…we grieved so for her for a long time. I still feel tearful just writing these words. Wherever would we find such a match again?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, Elizabeth… The greater the joy, the deeper the loss. How painful for you and your husband to part with your dear “child.” And yes, it’s a rare person who can equal the devotion and loyalty of a dog. . .

          Your reaction — not wanting another dog because you can’t face another loss and no other dog would be as good — reminds me of my parents. Their last dog meant the world to them and after she died they wouldn’t consider another.

          I’m sorry my post touched that painful memory for you.

          • Elizabeth says:

            Oh, there is simply no way not to have some painful memories surface you know? But it is ok. Mostly I am beyond glad that this awesome animal was ours. We got her from my dad’s dog at only 5.5 weeks old. So to her we WERE HER family too. But just explaining one reason I am not sure we will ever try again…that plus our age and now infirmities… And actually loosing a dear pet is simply nothing comparable to loosing a loved human. But sometimes they do almost feel human to us. Truly. I do fully expect in the next life that this dear dog will be with us…or at least one that looks and acts like her!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Elizabeth… Could you do me a favor? Help me place which Elizabeth you are. I went from here to my admin page, opened up comments, did a search of all my Elizabeth readers, but the search function isn’t very good and I couldn’t figure out which one you are based only on your email address. Some readers add the two-letter state abbreviation. Anything to help me would be appreciated. Thanks!

          • Elizabeth says:

            I am one of your earlier readers…was in N. Carolina first, then Virginia for 5 months…out to Washington state for 6 months, back to NC for 4 months and now for a year anyway here in WA state…does that help?

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I was pretty sure that was you! Of course I know YOU. 🙂 My fear is that I’ll think it’s you when it’s another Elizabeth and then I’ll get all mixed up or put my foot in my mouth as I tend to do! Thanks for the reply.

              How about Elizabeth Everywhere? or Elizabeth (WA)?

  3. Crystal says:

    I want a kayak…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’d get a sit-upon kayak.

      • Crystal says:

        We have rented those many times. My shih tzu likes that he can jump off mine and swim to hubby’s. I would probably get that. We almost always camp on a lake. What holds me back is the roof on my tow. It’s a Jeep Liberty with sky slider. They do now make a rack for it, but didn’t for the first several years I had it.

      • Patsy from Ontario Canada - North says:

        we have both a sit on and sit in. I prefer the sit in much more stability, of course I don’t have an expensive one .. Canadian tire model but love it.. not heavy either. The sit on the kids like it, but they hate it in the am because they get wet lol and harder to steer.. LOL.. I love my kayak.. I have a miniature Schnauzer who forgot to grow and is only 9Lbs he wears his life jacket and comes with me.. lays at the bottom on a towel of course he gets a free bath at the same time which he really doesn’t like. Animals are always kind and gentle, well most 🙂 love the camp site, of course when camping always try to get near water .. love it..

    • R. (Western Colorado) says:

      What is a price range for kayak like that? I learned to buy only things I have to have and I know I’m going to use them often. Kayak looks appealing but personally I think I wouldn’t use it often enough, maybe 2-3 times a year and that’s not a good reason for me to buy it.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Good point, R. That’s another reason I hesitate. The crew and I camp near water a lot during the summer, but often it’s water I wouldn’t kayak in.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Mercy…and me being 2nd…do not try nor care. Heh…competition has never been my interest!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, just think if you tried!

      • Elizabeth says:

        I am way too old now to begin a competitive life, dear Sue!! Heehee…

        • That’s probably how I was able to be first – I wasn’t trying. I usually don’t get or see the new post notifications soon enough to have a chance of being first.

          Being first this time without trying reminded me a bit of how I ended up married. It wasn’t until I’d given up on the idea of ever marrying that I finally found someone. 🙂

  5. Ahhh, someday I hope to enjoy full retirement like yourself! Cute photos of the dogs in the float. Goodness! A kayak! That sounds fu-un! I’ve only been kayaking once, and I quite enjoyed the workout across a lake with a previous boy friend. Lovely time!

    I’m camped again overlooking Carson City. I tried finding another camp near Reno in National Forest but, it was too hard, I think, for my van to traverse some parts of the 4-wheel drive roads. I found a lovely camp in the forest. Sigh. If only I could have felt more confident that I could get her there. I think she could have done it, but, I was afraid. Afraid of scraping the bottom of the van and like the muffler or something falling off. It was also a pretty steep climb in several places with some loose gravel, so, I get nervous of losing control of the van in that circumstance too. Better to pick an easier access camp and be safe rather than sorry!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I agree, Gloria. Although I’ve gone places that were iffy and, yes, I scraped bottom . . . You will find plenty of good camps without getting yourself in a jam or hurting your van. You like the Carson City area. I bet you have great internet signal there.

      • The Internet at my mountainside is okay. It’s better in the city, actually. But, I was able to teach virtual classes here with only a couple of issues losing connection, so, that’s what matters most for my needs. I get a bouncy 4G 20 – 60% signal up here with the 10″ antenna up. Yes, I do like Carson City. I think better than Reno, though Reno was exciting. I feel more comfortable in smaller towns and cities than the mega cities. Especially traffic-wise and safety-wise. If I ever buy land, maybe it will be around CC. Too early to think about that though. I’m still loving the road!

  6. Rita from Phoenix says:

    We had one dog for many years but she was perfectly content. She went everywhere with us, camping, swimming in lake, road trip, etc. Heika was a big female German Shepard. The only time she’d growl is when other dogs growled at us…she’d get herself between me and the dog but she never charged. She was very smart. When she found out the pigeons were stealing her food, she covered her bowl with her toys and same with her water bowl. We had to feed her outside cuz she was too big to eat inside. We had no doggie door then, but she’d do one bark to be let out and in. She never got on furniture or our bed (don’t know why) but we had pads in each room. I miss her very much. She died of old age but was bright eyed to the last.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      Your Heika sounds like a great companion — very intelligent. Some dogs are happier if they are the only dog in a household. It seems that German Shepherds tend toward this trait, but I don’t have anything to back that up. Sounds like she had a good and long life. You did well by her.

  7. DesertGinger says:

    Whoa! I think Trophies and Dark Horse iTunes might be bots, or perhaps Nigerians. Kinda creepy.

    If you had a kayak, where would you put the crew? You might consider an actual canoe. Years ago I was a canoeist…they can be easily handled by one person. You do need to have flexible knees, as canoes require kneeling in the bottom f the boat.

    My Chle would live a doggy pal but I can’t afford to of everything. Wish I could.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      Where would I put the crew if I went kayaking? Friends of mine — in photo above — take their dogs on their kayaks. They put down a gripper mat on the front and back of the kayaks. But they only take one dog on a kayak at a time.

      I would run rivers in a kayak. I would probably only use it on a lake, pond, or other flat water where I would launch and return to the same spot (our camp). I’d leave the crew in the BLT. This is a big reason why I’ve hesitated for over a year to purchase a kayak.

      I’ve had a canoe. The ones I could afford are too heavy and I don’t like the kneeling.

      As for your Chloe, what she doesn’t know (having a dog-sis or dog-bro), she doesn’t miss. She does have the benefit of having you all to herself!

      NOTE TO READERS: I don’t know why spam is getting through my spam filter. Please . . . Never click on spam and never reply. It’s best to ignore spam. There is no need to alert me. I delete over a hundred spam daily that you never see. Thanks.

  8. Lolalo says:

    Sue, We have a van very similar to yours, and also a small car. My husband never fails to express how much easier it is to load kayaks on the small car than the van. He had to use a step ladder to reach the tie downs and it was just about all he could handle to position the kayaks. You would be lifting 35-40 pounds overhead. I was never much help because I have a tricky back that I have to baby.
    We have also had inflatables and a float-boat. They take about 15 to 20 minutes to prepare for launch and more than that to put up (drying and folding).
    Is there any way to make space in the interior of the van? It would be easier for you, but I imagine you have storage issues.
    Anyway, just be sure to try lifting the kayak you are considering. You may also want to think about simply renting a kayak for a day or so here and there. They would do all the lifting and transporting for you. But you would be limited by availability. And cost.
    Sit on tops are mostly good for warm weather and if you don’t mind getting splashed. One you sit in protects you from a lot of the splashing, and you can even get a ‘skirt’ that will keep the water off of you. The water out west is COLD!
    Decisions, decisions…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lolalo,

      Maybe I’m missing something here… Why do you lift the kayak from the side of the van “overhead?” I imagine leveraging it up from the back of the van and then sliding it forward. It would be awkward. . . no question about it, even if I could afford a super lightweight at 22-25 lbs.

      Good point about sit-ins as opposed to sit-upons. Oh, well, I suppose it’s an unrealistic dream, revived by the sight of all these people with kayaks around us right now.

    • Crystal says:

      You can purchase fold down racks, for lack of a better term. It slides down to mid door level, and you lift the kayak onto it from that height.

      • Patsy from Ontario Canada - North says:

        Crystal what is the name of this rack? I would be interested in looking for something like that to. I am short so I put my kayak in the van lol..

        • Crystal says:

          I will see if I can find it. My laptop is down so I’m trying on the iPad.

        • Crystal says:

          I don’t think we can add links here, so the rack is Thule 897xt. There’s a demo on you tube. Would love to post link, but an easy search will get you there. Some kids loaded one at a campground last summer. Looked very easy. Another T@B owner who travels solo also has one. She’s the one who was asked recently if she was RV Sue. Lol

  9. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to all!

    Love the pics of the pups! They truly are “best buds”! I know Gracie would love to have a little sister and the idea keeps popping up….but when I think of dual vet and grooming bills on one income, the thought goes to the back burner.

    Retirement….what a funny name. I bet you have had more adventures and experiences since retirement. 😀
    It has to be a wonderful feeling…having each day as your own, not having to answer to anyone. Enjoy, Sue – you earned it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      Taking on a second dog is a big step and it is wise to consider what it entails. I hope no one takes my post as saying everyone should have two dogs or that it is bad to have only one dog. Many dogs thrive and actually prefer being an only dog. I have a feeling your Gracie has a pretty good life. 🙂

      With the crew I figured I’d do the best I could and, since they both were at kill-shelters, anything I did or didn’t do would be better than what was in store for them. And they don’t require professional (or unprofessional) grooming!

      It is wonderful having every day as my own. All my life I’ve had jobs that tied me to one place (indoors) all day. I never had one of those jobs where you drive around or get to walk around outside. That makes the freedom of retirement all the sweeter because I love the outdoors.

      • MK in NE GA for now says:

        I’ve had 2 dogs at a time and found I’m a one dog person at a time.

  10. Paula says:

    Kayak? Did I hear kayak? When you’re ready to start looking be sure to check out the Lifetime Manta 10′ kayak – yellow and holds up to three souls. Perfect for you and your crew.

    We were staying recently at Chatfield State Park near Denver, and noticed the kayaks in the next campsite. I had a long conversation with the husband and father of 4 kids. Having purchased numerous kayaks through the years, this is his favorite. Lightweight, great stability. He did recommend upgrading the “seat/back strap” assembly for comfort.

    We are considering getting a kayak to enjoy Lake Dillon while we play in the Colorado high country this summer. By the way, Amazon has it online.

    • Darci says:

      I was tossing around the idea of which one I should get last year, the inflatable or the hard one. (By the way Sue, I really liked your pictures of the crew in the inflatable). After taking my dogs out on my sister’s sit-on-top kayak I was sold. There was enough room for me and a large flat area out front for them. They still had that paralyzed look on their faces for the first while, but after we floated around small lakes over the summer they got more comfortable. My worries about kayaking initially were not having enough room in the hole/seat area for all of us. But the sit on one felt really good. And my other consideration was weight because I have to do all the lifting and carrying by myself. Anyway, that was the choice I made and it has worked well for us. 🙂 I hope you find something that works well for you guys too.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi Darci,

        Thanks for adding your experience to this discussion. I hope you see this reply because I have lots of questions for you!

        How did you handle putting the kayak on top of your vehicle? What type of vehicle do you have — car or van? What is the weight of your kayak? How big are your dogs and where do they ride?– inside the hole/seat area or on top of the kayak? What kayak do you have?

        I thank you in advance for your reply.

        • Darci says:

          I just put it into the back of the pickup at first, but that seems like a waste of space to me, so I am going to get one of those rooftop holders soon like you were talking about. I have a small aluminum step ladder so I can reach up there. The kayak weighs under 25lbs so it is okay for me to lift. That was very important for me. I looked around for one that had only one seat with no hole (sit on top). I didn’t want one with a hole because I was worried about the dogs getting trapped in the hole if I ever capsized. I find it easy when the dogs want a little dip. I have life jackets for them that have handles on the back so if they step into the water I just hold onto the handle and pick them up and place them back onto the kayak. I keep the leashes on them so they have a little swimming leeway, but not much. The sitting area for them, because there is no hole, is between my legs on top and the front end of the kayak. I read online another man’s idea. He cut a small piece of carpet and glued it to the front of the kayak so his dogs could have extra grip for their feet to keep planted. I copied his idea and I notice that the dogs have liked that and don’t slip off now. My dogs are medium size – Spike’s size. I have a Bali 8. I got it for just under $200 at the Walmart in Lake Chelan Washington. Hope the info helps. 🙂

          • Darci says:

            Oops. It is 30lbs. Not 25.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Yes! This information is very helpful, Darci. Bridget and Spike have life vests like you describe. So it is possible to enjoy a lower-priced kayak. I don’t expect I’ll be paddling great distances or joining a race or anything. 🙂

            Thanks for writing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Paula,

      Thanks for referring me to that kayak. Between the dark and rainy weather and me watching television, I won’t look up that kayak online until later in the morning… I want to give my batteries a chance to have their “breakfast.” I’m anxious to see it!

      LATER . . . I looked at the Lifetime Manta 10-footer… Lots of good things about it, plenty of room for me and the crew! A reasonable price… However, it’s too heavy at 70 lbs. and too cumbersome for one person to handle, according to the reviews.. Some recommend a dolly to get it to the water.

      I want the impossible… A sleek kayak with lots of room, lightweight and not expensive.

      • Paula says:

        70 lbs??? Wow, I didn’t realize that. I’m not sure I’d want to lift that even with some help. That’s no good! The one thing the “kayak guy” told me was to get a kayak with a flat bottom for added stability. Good luck finding the perfect sleek, lightweight, inexpensive kayak!!! When you do find it, let me know. I’ll want one too. Have a great day.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I think the only place I’ll find that kayak is in my dreams. You have a great day, too!

  11. kgdan says:

    Going to weigh in here re kayak vs port-a-bote. Having had recent first-hand observations of both, my recommendation would be kayak. There are many versions but they appear to be much less work to get in and out of the water. I saw many people of all ages using them at Santispac and they seemed much less cumbersome. Quite a bit more effort required for assembly and take down for port-a-bote and getting it into position for traveling really needs two people for safety. Seemed to me that the kayaks were much easier to manage and they come in all sizes and configurations.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I agree with you, kgdan. I would love to have a port-o-bote except for the assembling and storage… 🙂 The roominess — plenty for me and the crew, a cooler for our picnic lunch — is very attractive!

      If we get anything at all, a kayak would be the best choice. Thanks for the input.

  12. mary (in Colorado) says:

    Just a comment on the kayak. We have a 2 person inflatable kayak which we used in protected areas in the Sea of Cortez. The first year it was no fun, but this year with the addition of a rudder, it was great! The rudder was usually kept in a straight position, which made it much easier to keep the kayak going straight, especially with 2 sometimes uncoordinated paddlers! The rudder was turned by elastic straps which fastened around the back paddler’s feet. I’m sure most kayaks have some type of rudder system.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary,

      Interesting about the rudder controlled by the back paddler’s feet. Our inflatable is too dang big for one paddler. I bet you have a blast with yours.

      “Protected areas in the Sea of Cortez”…. *sigh*… sounds wonderful …

  13. Daniel says:

    Be sure you check the weight when considering a kayak you want to lift up on your van! I’ve been kayaking for many, many years and just sold my plastic boats and bought an inflatable. The plastic boats can be a challenge to lift up on an SUV or full-size van due to their weight. The SOT (sit-on-top) are especially heavy due to the double shaped hull. I don’t know what kayak you have now, but airkayaks in Cali have many different inflatables that may be easier to use with the crew. And rudders are your friend as Mary said.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Daniel,

      Good to know about the added weight of the sit-on-tops. I like to order from Amazon but I can see I need to go somewhere that will give me the opportunity to sit in and lift the kayak and ask questions.

      When you say “airkayaks in Cali” do you mean inflatables in California or is that a business? Sorry to be dense but I don’t know kayak lingo so I’m unsure.

      Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge here.

  14. Pam Hollinde says:

    Hi Sue,
    I have a Kayak and love it! My pup Maya rides in it although she would prefer to be swimming alongside it, (which sometimes happens). I have a Pamlico which is fairly light, 40 lbs. with very wide holes that have plenty of room for both Maya and me. I think the person who was talking about “lifting 35 or 40 pounds over head” probably has the J-Hook system of mounting the Kayak. There is another type of system where you can load from the back of your vehicle. Then you just lift the front of the Kayak up on the back of the vehicle and then get behind and push, it’s much easier. I have a bad back and find this system works well for me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pam,

      Thanks for the clarification on the rack. I was thinking maybe there were two kinds of racks, side-loading and rear-loading. I definitely would want the latter. It’s a good thing you wrote because the rack I looked at and mentioned in this post is a J-rack, and I thought that was what I should have.

      Just reading about you and Maya has me wanting a kayak!!! I don’t suppose there’s room for two nut cakes in the seat/hole….

      I’ll take a look at the Pamlico. I appreciate the information, Pam. Um . . . maybe I should look for a Suelico? 😉

      LATER…. I looked at the Pamlico… The 145T in blue… oh,my, what a dreamboat and it has a rudder… but it weighs 73 lbs. and costs over $1,300… yikes! The 135T ain’t shabby neither.

      I see yours is only 40 lbs. I’ll have to look again.

      • Anne H says:

        Some Rack systems have rollers for the back instead of the usual cradles ( Yakima racks call them hully rollers). This really helps pushing a kayak onto the rack – so does spraying some lubricant onto the saddles and keeping the kayak waxed.
        You’ll need a good tall ladder to manage the straps as well as to adjust saddles that flip with all the pushing of the kayak.
        And remember that when you reload the kayak after a paddle you may be tired – lots harder to load then!
        I like the idea of a single seat inflatable with a rudder – i’m thinking of swapping out my kayak for one of those!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Anne,

          Good information with details. I probably wouldn’t have to reload the kayak when I’m tired. I’d wait until the next day or next week… You know how I mosey along.

          This is probably one of those situations where I’m not going to get kayaks out of my system until I invest in one and all the accessories and possibly waste my money. Sheesh.

          Maybe if I had bought the correct inflatable for us to begin with I wouldn’t be hankering for a hard-sided kayak.

          Thanks for adding more information to help me make a decision.

      • Pam says:

        I like the Suelico! My kayak is ten years old and the company has changed their line. The important thing is to find one with a large space to sit. Before Maya I had a 110 lb. Golden Retriever and he fit fine, I’m sure Bridget and Spike will be able to ride.

  15. weather says:

    Watched from inside through the BLT’s rain pelted window’s or experienced while outside along the river’s edge,your enjoyment of that camp,appreciation’s happiness multiplied by the exciting anticipation of unique gifts your next environment will offer …

    What pleasure I take in seeing Him bless you by fulfilling one wish after the next.
    Peace completing joy as we share love, bones and journeys -Ain’t life grand?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      Yes, life is grand, especially when one is retired and can choose and change one’s environment on a whim and some gas in the tank. It rained during the night. Right now (Sunday morning), it isn’t raining but the sky looks like it wants to.

      We are blessed to live like this and I am filled with gratitude for it. I worked very hard all my life… I could say I earned this, but I don’t because there are multitudes of people who work hard all their lives and never have it as good as I have it. This life is a gift!

      Re: the weather… One of my readers, Ed, who comments here, is camped in Torrey which is southwest of here, not far. The weather people predicted 3-5 inches of snow for Torrey for last night! Higher elevation there . . .

      I hope the sun shines on you today, weather, at your beautiful lake in NY.

      • Ed says:

        Good Morning! Patches and I are snug in Desperado this fine 32 degree day since we returned from a very short potty walk in the snow. She enjoyed it, like she enjoys a light rain, but was happy to stretch out in front of the Wave heater when we got back home.
        It was snowing when we went out at about 6:30 with maybe 1″ of accumulation. Has continued a light snow all morning and the accumulation on the picnic table by me confirms the 4″ that Weatherunderground is reporting.
        The forecast is that it will quit snowing later this afternoon and then get very cold tomorrow morning and Tuesday; that probably means a lot of ice in the early hours – not so good. But, a forecast that Spring will return by next weekend – that is good.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Wow, Ed! It amazes me that you are close to us and yet your weather is very different, to say the least. I almost went that way from Moab. Gee, look what we missed (The crew hates snow.)

          You have a rough patch to go through and then you’ll have Spring! In the meantime, be careful not to slip on ice.

          Thanks for the update. You’ve been on my mind this morning as I looked forward to hearing about the snowfall. I can imagine Patches loving that heater . . . 🙂

      • weather says:

        Today it was,freakishly, 83 degrees with a very occasional light breeze here,and I thought of your needing similar conditions to find your next camp.Do you expect the cold winds to let up soon?
        By Friday it’ll be back down to overnight wind chills just above freezing here,but ,used to it,I still have a hooded winter coat by the door.Hope you’ve been cozily keeping happy through the wait 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The temperatures will be in the 80s this weekend, if the forecasters are correct. Today was a pretty day. More about that in the next post!

          Wow! You must have enjoyed 83 degrees, quite a respite.

  16. Barbara Holland says:

    Have you checked out Sea Eagle. I have the 360 but they make a larger one. I think a 370. It is easy to manage by me a weakling. Get the good seat though. In
    Florida I do have to watch for oyster beds. Very sharp.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara. . . .Are you talking about the Sea Eagle inflatable? I’m not interested in an inflatable, although I’m aware of folks who love the Sea Eagle.

  17. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Happy Mothers Day Sue, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  18. Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

    Bridget and Spike are adorable! Love the instructional pics on holding the bone.

    Decisions decisions re a kayak. Jules had a Yakima rack with a contraption called Holley roller. Putting the kayak up was easy.

    You’re the bestest bestest mom! Enjoy your day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Maybe Bridget and Spike should make an instructional video… “Effective Bone-Chewing: The canine guide for getting the most out of a real bone”

      Hmm… a Holley roller… cute name. I’ll check it out!

      Thanks for the wish for my day. I hope all is going well for you!

      • Mick'nTN says:

        Try Yakima HullyRoller.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Mick . . . Man of Few Words and Many Talents.

          • Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

            I got Spike the flashing light for his collar. It either attaches like a rabies tag or slips on the back of the collar behind his neck. Behind the neck is easy on/off and you will be able to see him even if he’s walking away from you.

            I saw the collar but didn’t know his size.

            I also got Bridget one because I don’t play favorites. 🙂

            Have a great evening

            Let me know and I’ll send it ahead of you priority mail. Or I can always send it to SD.

            • Cinandjules says:

              I changed your link to one of mine. This is a very nice light. I’m excited! Spike and Bridget will be beacons in the night, warning late-arriving RVs like lighthouses warn ships! — Sue

              RUFFWEAR Beacon Clip-On Safety Light

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Cindy!!!

              You are so generous! My jaw dropped when I scrolled down the comments and came to yours. What a thoughtful and kind thing to do for the nut cakes!

              We should be settled somewhere soon. We will leave here as soon as it isn’t WINDY AND COLD outside. Our present location is a long (in RVSue terms) way from a town that we want to make our home. In other words, we may have a few short hops, before we stay for several days.

              When I do send you the P.O. address…Do NOT send the lights priority mail. Send them cheaply. I’ll wait happily for them. 🙂 I’ll email you.

              Gosh, I can’t believe how nice you are, but, then again, I can, based on what I know about you so far.

              Thank you! I hope good things happen to you today.

  19. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    I always enjoy pictures of your crew. I don’t understand however how this blue outdoor rug looks always so clean with Spike and his muddy paws and both of them chewing bones. Can you share your secret? Do you keep your rug inside when is raining and during a night? I’m trying to find something durable like that but smaller for my tent so I don’t have to drag sand, pebbles and soil inside. Thanks

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      This blue mat is the best! I don’t have any secrets to keeping it fresh and clean. I have NEVER washed it. Mud dries. I sweep it off. That’s it!

      No special treatment. I leave it out in all weather, all day, all night. Arizona sun. Pacific NW rain. Doesn’t matter. I stopped rolling it up carefully soon after I got it. Because of that, the center seam where I fold it is beginning to show slight wear. One corner tab came off when it pulled against the stake in very strong wind. Now I drive the stake through the corner itself. The color fades slightly after the first few uses and then it stays, as you can see from the pics. The weave has not torn anywhere after all this usage. . . over 2 years.

      I don’t know anything about what would be good for a tent. All I know is this is one durable, excellent quality mat!

      This may be the same mat, different color.

      Reversible Mat Brown & Beige Patio Mat (9′ x 12′)

      • R. (Western Colorado) says:

        If you find this mat somewhere on Amazon please include a link. Thank you so much. If there is a smaller size it would be an ideal item for my tent. A couple of days ago I ordered a foot print for my tent through your blog so having a footprint and a mat would be a great addition to a neat camping.

        I just heard thunders and it got very dark. I had a plan to hike to see beautiful wildhorses but they have to wait.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks for ordering through my blog. Where are you that you can hike to see wild horses? (Of course, I have to ask that!)

          • R. (Western Colorado) says:

            Just off I-70 but some time ago I promised to not reveal details. I have to keep my promise. We love this place so much we don’t want to be turned to another Moab. Send me a private message for more details. I’m more than happy to share them with you. The dogs are allowed.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I haven’t found my mat. Amazon used to carry it, but not any longer. This one is the closest to mine that I could find. In fact, it may be the same mat, only a different color. The design looks the same. The price is about the same, if price is any indication of quality which it isn’t always. You can get a smaller one than this.

          Reversible Mat Brown & Beige Patio Mat (9′ x 12′)

          • Crystal says:

            I think all of the plastic mats are about the same. They’re a dream to use. As Sue said, they dry quickly, and small rocks and sand just filter through. They never look dirty. My last one lasted 5 seasons and came from World Market because I need a smaller size. Amazon has a great selection.

            • R. (Western Colorado) says:

              Thank you Crystal. I did some checking on Amazon and decided on one 3’x5′. Green. I’m purchasing this item in the end of this week.

  20. Susan Smith says:

    Oh, I wonder if we goofed…we just sold our 2 kayaks in anticipation of fulltime RVing…(got to get start getting rid of all the excess STUFF..somewhere.)..then again we have had them for years & seldom used them, just moved them with us when we moved…also had up to 11 dogs at one time..you know the acreage thing & lots of room…now down to one small horse & 8 cats..sheesh
    …great pics of the crew w/their bone –but best of all the comments below! Just stealing a little time out to read your latest doings!..now back to Ebay & selling more of my “collections.” (junk)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Best of luck with your sales, Susan. Hey, you can’t anticipate everything about your new way of life, full-timing in an RV. The important thing is to get rid of stuff so you can make the transition.

      Ah, yes… I had a lot of animals once… Dogs, cats, chickens, guinea hens, miniature goats…

      I love my readers’ comments. Some bloggers don’t like comments, which is okay… different strokes and all that. To me, reader comments are the lifeblood of my blog and I appreciate every one. I love reading different perspectives on a topic and getting to know my readers…from curious observers to wannabees to newbees to seasoned, full-timers, to part-timers, to those retired from the vagabond life… every one unique! There’s no such thing as too many comments! 🙂

      Thank you for writing . . .

  21. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    Hooray! I’m number 50!!!! I already feel lucky to be a part of this Sue and Crew’s community although I don’t have RV (yet!).
    Staying inside today since we had a rain at night and this morning but right now, the sun is trying to come out, still a really dense fog covers upper parts of the monument but if there is no more rain I could go at least on a short hike!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your weather sounds similar to what we’re experiencing here. I like these “miserable” days once in a while. It’s cozy inside and I have an excuse to do very little which is one of my favorite past-times. Go on a hike for me, R.! I’ll wait inside for you to get back. Haha!

      I’m lucky to have you with us, R. (Love what you wrote about our “community.)

  22. Rolling Steel Tent says:

    Down here, outside Zion National Park, we got a wee bit of rain, too, but with vicious winds funneling down the canyon and lightning up in the peaks. Being retired types, we don’t get bummed about losing a weekend, either. Neener neener neener, younger people. You have youth but we have seven-day weekends.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rolling Steel Tent,

      “Neener, neener, neener, young people”…. I should’ve made that the title of this post!

      We’re getting some gusty winds, too. I wasn’t aware of any lightning during the night, just a gentle patter of raindrops on the roof.

      “Seven-day weekends”… marvelous, isn’t it!

      • Gayle says:

        Amen! I even tell my neighbors how much I enjoy watching them leave for work while I sit on the patio drinking coffee and reading RVSue! One is a sub teacher in her 60s. She thinks she’ll join me soon, only can hold up to today’s classroom 2-3 days a week.

  23. Angie2B says:

    Happy Mother’s Day! Do something special for yourself. 🙂

  24. Ron in TX says:

    Sue
    I love the yaks and have been into the for awhile. I have even built 15 different strip and stitch and glue yaks and done long distant races.
    Here are a couple suggestions on a yak get the longest one you can handle, 14 ft is the shortest I want for flat water , it will track well and not look like a drunk duck like most of the short yaks, ease of paddling stability room for the crew all get better as you get longer.
    You can get some pretty good yaks for 3 to 6 hundred dollars. If possible check out some kayak shops and one of there paddle days ,they will normally let you paddle a bunch of different yaks and after you know what you want you can shop for price.
    Ron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      14 feet… Wow! That ought to be impressive on top of the PTV.

      And what is wrong with looking like a drunk duck? Hahaha!

      Seriously… I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience here, Ron.

  25. weather says:

    Thanks,Sue,the sun did shine on me today.I spent part of my time in it thinking through my experiences in oceans,lakes,ponds, rivers and creeks.Raft to yacht, 20 different water vehicles have helped me explore and enjoy what I couldn’t reach from the shore.
    If spending all that money should result in a future lack of funds,I’ll feast on the memories of every adventure,content with cheap bread and beans,not considering a cent or moment of it wasted.

    Darci and Mick offered great suggestions,I would add that a small platform for picnic baskets,coolers or dogs is easily tethered and towed when the occasion calls for it.

    Enjoy laughing as you goof up experimenting.New skills come easily to you.Hefting 5 gallon jugs of water,carrying Spike along hikes,everyday activities prove that racking,lifting and dragging a 30 pound kayak won’t even begin to test your strength.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great! I’m glad you enjoyed some sunshine, weather. We didn’t get much! Cold, dreary, windy, a little rain … but warm inside!

      Good point about the value of memories and no regrets for the cost. ..

      As far as lifting, it’s the position that matters. An awkward lift can lead to strain. A straight lift with the knees, no problem! I do heft the crew’s 50-lb. exercise pen. That’s about as heavy as I feel comfortable lifting, although I probably could lift more if I needed to.

      • weather says:

        Guess it’s time for one of your friends with a genius for design to show the way to do it using just that method. 🙂

  26. Starlight says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, but thought I’d send a link to the best little canoe on the river. It’s made of coroplast, and folded and tied to be water-tight. Perfect and cheap. I may make one for myself.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwYc7p_oNDg
    his website where you can order the instructions (this guy is really cool)
    http://www.elkinsdiy.com/micro-boats/

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a creative guy! The “corokayak” is cute in a very weird way. It looks lightweight. Interesting site. Thanks for the links. (I’m skipping youtube to save my gigs.)

      Good luck if you go ahead and order plans. As for me, I wouldn’t dare ride in a boat I put together!

  27. Gaylyn says:

    We love our sea eagle inflatable kayak. But our Labrador passed
    last year after 14 years of dog fun and our kayak is not dog tested. We store our kayak at 50 pounds in our sprinter airstream bathroom while on the road . But we are not retired and return home to dry it out after our kayak adventures . Last trip heron lake in New Mexico . It is super stable for 2 people. Not sure how we will do it when we get a new Labrador retriever puppy. We retire in 3 years and are ready for 7 day weekends .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gaylyn,

      My condolences on the passing of your canine companion after fourteen years.

      It is surprising how stable inflatables are. Any breeze causes hard paddling. My Sevelor weighs 50 lbs. also. I keep it in the PTV.

      Heron Lake is a good lake for your Sea Eagle. Lots of birds when we camped there . . .

      Three years to go! You’re gonna’ love retirement… You can trust me on that!

  28. Hi Sue. I bought a kayak thinking I would take it camping. It’s heavy (36 pounds) & there’s no way I could lift it up high enough to put it on top of even a car! I’ve had it for sale for months & haven’t had any inquiries yet. Wish I hadn’t purchased it.

    Love the pics of Spike & Bridget–they are such a good team.

    And yup. Jim says that when you’re retired, every day is Saturday! I’ll find out for sure in 120 days!

    Take good care & have a good day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      I’m sure you’re aware of the racks that make it easier to load the kayak (see comments above). Seems a shame to give it up . . .

      Yes, Bridget and Spike are a good team. I felt it necessary to show everyone their bone-chewing techniques. There are important things people and dogs need to know and it’s up to me to tell them. I gladly assume the responsibility.

      Only 4 months to go! All of a sudden, every day belongs completely to you. It’s fantastic!

  29. Lacy says:

    Funny you mentioned kayaks. We have 2 coming in this week for my husband and myself. We’re planning on doing alot of fishing out of them this summer. My boys set me up with new gear for Mother’s Day, now I’m just waiting on my water transportation and FISH BEWARE!

    Hugs to you and the Crew!

    Lacy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Lacy! You lucky girl! You are going to have a lot of fun, fish or no fish. 🙂

  30. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    RVSue and Crew,
    Southern part of WY got 2 ft. of snow and it is still coming down. I suppose to be on the way to WY but changed my plans. I don’t know about UT but if it happened in WY probably UT is included as well. CO got plenty of snow in the Rockies. We just got rain and wind but it will be beautiful and green in day or two. This afternoon the sun should come out. If you were planning to go north soon maybe you should stay longer in this idyllic spot on Green River especially now after all weekenders left.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the weather reminder, R. I’m not planning to go north until the weather settles, IF IT EVER DOES.

      I put myself in a challenging position by coming this far north this early in the year. I’ve “hit the wall” of mountains and snow, therefore, we will be putzing around Utah (not a hardship).

      Snow fell not far from here. What we have is a bitter cold wind and I think the proximity of this river is what makes the wind bone-chilling. I’d like to sit here for another two weeks, but I should move.

      I’ve already gone past the 10-day limit, law-breaker that I am. If a ranger comes around, I’ll beg forgiveness and hope he/she is understanding. I would’ve left by now but it’s too dang cold to leave this cocoon. I haven’t even walked over to the trash barrel in the past two days!

      As soon as the weather cooperates, I will hitch up, pack up, and check out a boondock in this area.

      You’re right… It should be beautiful in a day or two… Temps in the 80s predicted for this weekend here. I hope it happens!

      • R. (Western Colorado) says:

        You may want to try to go east? Just after you cross the Colorado border at exit 2 there is Rabbit Valley with trails and wild horses are not too far away. I have seen RVs there many times. Plenty of public land all around. Grand Junction has Walmart, many grocery stores and very manageable traffic and you can come and take the longest shower you ever took. Fruita exit (19) has a very nice campground at the state park. Loma (exit 15) has a park north of exit but I never visited there. I know there is a big lake and a campground. Just more ideas.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good to know, R. I don’t think we’ll go east. We may make a loop with that area visited in the fall. Hmm…. 🙂

          • R. (Western Colorado) says:

            In this case when you’re ready in the fall I’ll give you details on how and where to find wild horses. If you find yourself in WY there are wild horses in Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.
            I remember one quote my husband pointed out when we visited the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper, WY
            “I don’t want to settle, I love to roam free over the prairies,
            There I feel free and happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die.”
            This were words of an American Indian but when I see wildhorses I always think it is a perfect quote to describe freedom of these beautiful wild animals. Every time I see them they look healthy, strong, and content. I think this quote could apply to your present lifestyle as well. Free and happy. Do you feel free and happy? I realize nobody feels free and happy all the time but in general, do you? Personally I find those moments of freedom and happiness when hiking. They are so hard to come since my husband’s death.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you had a husband and that he passed on. The grieving must be hard.

              Yes, I feel free and happy… Every morning I wake up feeling free from a job. When I drive across the vast, open country of the West I feel free like never before in my former life. How could I not be happy living this life?

              Love the quote. There are horses kept in pens near here. I hate that.

  31. Ed says:

    What a Diff’rence a Day Makes … twenty four little hours.

    The high temperature here yesterday was 38 which came soon after it quit snowing at 3:00 in the afternoon. What that did, in combination with the wind, was it melted the snow from the roads. With the forecast 19 low this morning I was dreading a lot of ice so that was a break.
    The low was ONLY 25 which happened before we went out for our morning walk at around 6:30. I had turned on my water every time I got up during the night to keep the pipes from freezing but I may have not have needed to do so – it is touch and go at the 25 degree point, below that I know I need to run water.
    It is now a balmy 37 with a partly cloudy to clear sky, a gentle breeze and the promise of Spring is once more in the air. Almost kayak weather. HA

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Ed, you have that cold “snap” behind you. I agree. It’s time for Spring.

      I enjoyed the update. Glad your pipes didn’t freeze.

  32. Sidewinder Pen says:

    I’ve been kayaking for many years (since my teens!), plus rowing, etc. and I recently helped a full-timing friend buy his first kayak (for “quiet water” use, plus loading and carrying on the roof of his toad). I’m also looking for either a SUP or kayak for myself (no toad, high roof that doesn’t really have room for one anyway). It’s not easy! Every boat is a compromise (some are more than one). I have not found the answer yet, but am considering the Advanced Elements Packlite “for now,” because… well, maybe the minimum will do me. (And I’m a paddling snob!) (See review on airkayaks.com).

    It’s actually easier when you have a single-minded drive and purpose. Then you can zero in on the ONE boat that works, “dedicated your life to it,” and go.

    Some of the many factors (which you have found as well I’m sure):

    Weight
    Durability
    Efficiency of paddling
    Type of paddling designed for
    Cockpit size and shape
    Initial stability (hard to “tip,” stable, although once it goes it goes; think “table”)
    Secondary stability (feels “tippy” initially, but less of a flip point later; think “log”)
    Storage size
    Setup/launch/put away time and effort
    Time vs. money to acquire
    Use purpose:
    — Is it for casual/occasional use and you want minimal investment of all kinds for the experience?
    — Are you “dedicated,” and kayak will be a big part of your life and many of your days?
    — Flatwater and “mill ponds”; whitewater; surf; larger waves on bigger flatwater; etc.
    — The list goes on…

    For loading onto a roof, weight is key. If budget is higher, there are some very light fiberglass kayaks (20# range) that paddle beautifully. However they will not have high initial stability, and will likely not have cockpits friendly to pups. Also, they are not cheap.

    There are racks that can help (also not cheap). There are three basic ideas:

    1) Load from the rear. Get one end up, then push/roll the rest of it up in a forward direction. This works well if you can have the rear rack close enough to the rear of the roof, and if your kayak is long enough to reach the rack (shorter can be harder to load, ironically). Thule makes a rack/frame that extends rearward to help if the rear rack is too far forward (like on a “sleek” hatchback car).

    2) Load from the side. Either just hoist the whole thing overhead (which I could do in my 20’s onto 7′ high racks, but that was a LONG time ago and my homemade fiberglass boat weighed 22# dry), or make or buy it so one of the racks pulls/flips/extends a few feet out from the side of the vehicle. Lift one end of boat onto protruding rack (only half the weight), and then lift the other end onto normal rack, then slide over and tie on.

    3) Use the Hullavator. This is a rack made by Thule (not cheap, but really nifty) that uses erector set type engineering along with gas struts to “remove” 40# of weight. The whole thing lowers like a big praying mantis to the side of the vehicle, where you can load at waist height (on a car of about 5-6′ tall, so a bit higher on a van), tie it down, and then “voila!” let the gas struts help the whole thing to flop up onto the roof and latch down.

    I have also seen people make/use davit type things to get kayaks on the roof of an RV, but this is getting “serious” and dedicated. Also still easier with two people.

    For myself, as much of a snob as I am (paddling wise :D), I’m probably going to “have” to go inflatable, with all their down sides: set-up time, need to clean crevices, poorer shape, excess beam (width, which I hate), fragility (to certain things), etc. I just do not want to deal with getting a kayak onto the roof of my RV, and I don’t have a toad (there are a few other considerations, but this is getting long enough!).

    There are some pretty nice inflatables (narrow, decent shape) that have framework to assemble and from what I can tell are just another step into complication vs. casual paddling. I have ruled them out. It’s almost like if I can’t have a hard kayak, I just want something (relatively) easy. But I have also not tried one.

    Then there is something like the Advanced Elements Advanced Frame. This is more inflatable, less frame. Airkayaks has a special one made for them with a drop stitched floor which looks really nice. They are pretty beamy for someone short like me to paddle though (I have not paddled one, but sat in one, so I got the idea; it’s hard for a short-waisted, shorter person to paddle a beamier kayak – at least for me). I think these are around 30# or so, but of course you don’t have to lift them to a roof.

    And then you have ones that are “down a notch,” such as the Innova Twist. I’m considering this one due to it’s narrower beam, but it still has downsides (of course). They are around 16#

    Advanced Elements has recently come out with their “Packlite,” which is an inflatable that only weighs 4# Its stuff sack is the size of a purse! Crazy. It doesn’t look as “real” as the Twist, and will surely not paddle “well,” but from what I have read it is still well above the Sevylor Tahiti type kayak (I have had one… ugh ugh… but still beats sitting on shore). For $299 and no racks or etc. required, I am thinking of trying one. I can more easily forgive it its downsides when there are clear upsides (weight and space). Still, this is a casual, get out on quiet water and explore but not make miles type of kayak, there is no doubt. If one is going to make kayaking a “life’s feature,” then this would not be the one.

    The Sevylor Tahiti…. I have had one in the past, and have one now. Amazon brought it to my door in two days for around $100. Hard to go too wrong (actually friend bought it to try kayaking vs. similar priced one-day rental; he then bought good kayak and I inherited Tahiti). But it’s heavy, bulky, paddles like a cow, and the wind affects it horribly. It also smells like new PVC forever (apparently). I would not buy another, now that there are things like the Twist and Packlite.

    Hard kayaks. There are very light, nice ones made of fiberglass/Kevlar/etc. They are more expensive, can be fragile (depending on layup), and usually have small cockpits (meaning the opening is small). Probably not for you and crew.

    Then you have lighter, nicely designed boats such as Eddyline makes – they are a sort of “hard molded” plastic, and have beautiful shapes and are light for plastic. This is what my friend ended up with, and oh… lovely. The 12-footer paddles like a dream (says the snob). 35#, so somewhere between light and heavy (still a force to be reckoned with when lifting overhead).

    Rotomolded plastic boats (most plastic boats) are relatively heavy, and have less defined design lines. But they are cheaper and tough as boots. They often have large cockpit openings, or are sit-on-top. A good solution for budget/pups IF you can load/unload them easily.

    Sit on tops: I have only paddled one a few times. I think you sit a bit higher (slightly less initial stability) and of course you are out in the open (can be good or bad, depending).

    I’ve probably droned on long enough, but as others have mentioned (and you have found) there is no kayak (or any boat) that is not a compromise. Like choosing an RV, you just have to figure out which “bundle of compromises” suits your use best.

    And geez, I didn’t even get started on rowboats, porta-boats, inflatable dinghies, canoes….. one of which may suit your purposes better.

    I don’t have any way to contact you “off list,” but if you can see my e-mail address and would like to contact me to talk boats (or for other reason), please feel free. I’m not an expert, but have some familiarity with many of them, having made choices in the past.

    I find getting on the water to be magical (even in the maligned Tahiti!). Back in the day I used to take my 45# pooch out in a skinny little hard kayak and/or decked canoe. Once nice thing now is there are many more choices now. Of course that means there are many more choices now…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Pen… You should self-publish a guide to choosing a kayak and sell it on Amazon. No kidding! Thanks for the great analysis of kayaks and racks. It’s very helpful for me and probably for some of my readers.

      I don’t know when I’ll be in a position to pull all this together. I’m sure I’ll refer to your comments and the others posted here when decision time arrives.

      • Lacy says:

        Go to YouTube to look at the innovative things people have come up with to hoist/transport kayaks. Very educating!

    • R. (Western Colorado) says:

      That’s a great detailed post Sidewinder Pen. You helped me make my decision. Now I know, I definitely don’t want kayak, rowboat, porta-boat, inflatable dinghy, canoe, raft or anything I have to learn so much about. I personally rather go hiking on my own two feet. I think I’ll have enough to learn when one day I get my RV.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        Heh, I know what you mean. I always thought running would be so great, because… you just put on a pair of shoes and go out the door! That said, running doesn’t agree with my particular body, and I have the “love water” affliction, so I’m stuck 😀

        Still…. if you really might be interested (and you don’t have two dogs), think about the Packlite. It’s the backpacker/explorers boat in a way, because it’s tiny/portable/light. Within its limitations it looks really neat. You may have been mostly joking though because of all the choices and thought that can go into it. I know, it’s kind of nuts!

        Back when I started (yes, in the Pleistocene era ;)) it was “easy” because there were very few choices. We actually made our own fiberglass or wood/glass boats and our own neoprene or nylon sprayskirts, booties, wetsuits, pogies, and etc. They just weren’t around to buy. Now there are a zillion choices. Wonderful but you then have to decide which is not always easy.

        I’ve really enjoyed your comments and have secretly hoped we might run into each other on the road one of these days. I’ve also taken notes on your many good recommendations. (Of course the whole gang here is fantastic – I want to run into everyone else too :D). You know, in boating there are “burgees,” that allow members of various clubs to recognize each other. Of course some of that is leftover yachtie snobbery, but it’s nifty too. I don’t see the RVSue gang as an overt “see my burgee” type of gang, but maybe we need a secret sign 😀 Maybe Katherine Hepburn’s sign, hee hee (she had a sign up at the intersection of her driveway and the road that said “Please go away”).

  33. It’s good to have a friend who will break in a bone for you. We’re lucky if we have such a friend.

  34. Patricia from Florida says:

    Again, luv the pics of the canine duo!
    BTW, Did that Recovery help Spike with his arthritis?
    Here in Florida, it is 89 degrees and it is 6 o’clock! Wish I was heading to Utah!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Patricia,

      I do think the Cetyl-M is helping. Of course, I have no way of knowing what would’ve happened without it.

      I noticed improvement after four weeks of 2 tabs a day and now Spike seems to stay at that level on a half-tab a day. Before the Cetyl-M, the arthritis was putting his walking in a steady state of decline.

      Summer has arrived in the Sunshine State!

  35. Steve Zamora says:

    Hi Sue,
    We made it back to Steamboat Springs,CO. Nice talking with you on the beach last week. I’ll be looking in to Blogging about fly fishing when I have more time…
    Read your Blog about Boats. I had a portaboat a few years ago. It was harder to set up
    than you’d expect. I would try to borrow one before buying. They are OK for lakes, but may require a trolling motor. And they are pretty pricey which you probably know.
    Anyway sounds like you are still at the “Beach”. Hope it hasn’t been too cold!
    Take care, Steve

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Steve . . . Great to see you here! As you can tell from the next post, we’re still here and it has been cold. No, I won’t get a port-o-bote. A kayak, maybe. Say hi to Judy for me! Nice to meet you both . . .

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