{MR340: Road Trip to Austin!}

Monday, March 21, 2011

This weekend we drove down to Austin and spent time rigging our River Rocket with our buddy West.

He kind of knows a lot about kayaks and how to make them AWESOME.

He taught us how to repair our rudder.

Build platforms for our new kayak seats.

Fix our foot pedals using a drill and rivet gun.

Install our Bumfort's with Velcro and contact cement.

Make cable supports from epoxy and carbon fiber fabric.

And install a bilge pump using a dimmer switch from a 1968 Ford Mustang.

After the Rocket was ready to go we loaded her up and headed to Town Lake for our first paddling lesson.

At first, West focused on teaching us how to steer and paddle in sync. (This was after running into a tree seconds after leaving the boat ramp).

After awhile we finally started to get the hang of it.

Overall, we ended up having a blast spending time with West and his family, as well as getting to know our boat a little better. She rides well, especially with all the adjustments we made this weekend. I hope that grin never leaves my face!

Emo Out.


Kayla G. said...

I believe in you!

You ladies are going to do so well; especially now that you've had your own edition of Pimp my Kayak.

Cat said...

Sounds exciting! and, so pumped for y'all! (haven't forgotten about your email...gonna get caught up on those tonight!) xo

KatieKate said...

Way to Rock It. Rocket. Everything looks great!

dhhargrove said...

^^^. Pimp My Kayak....phrase of the day! That smile is so bright I might just get to turn down the backlight on my ipad. T.E.K.E. It looks like y'all had a blast this weekend!

Today's Letters said...

kayla, pimp my kayak? bonus points for making me laugh out loud!

cat, we've def caught the paddling bug after this weekend's trip. only 119 more days until the race!

katiekate, werd. thanks for your encouragement!

david, it is intense isn't it? i don't think i've smiled quite like that in a long time :)

Emily Killough said...

ya'y town lake. duh.

swas said...


Anonymous said...

Looks like you're making great progress. You'll do great on the MR340 and have a tremendous time.


CAgridlock said...

I'm sure West will tell you this, but especially since you are paddling a distance; try to open your hand when you are pushing the paddle forward, and close it around the paddle firmly only to pull it through the water. You don't have to fully extend, just release your grip so that your hands don't have to maintain a grip for hours. It will take a little getting used to, but your hands will thank you.

Also, hooray, hooray, hooray for the amazing journey ahead of you. I hope it's filled with wonderful sights, sounds, quiet moments on the water when you and your boat feel like one, and the dancing of light on the water. Some of my favorite memories come from my time in a kayak. :)

Today's Letters said...

ekk, next time it's a date on town lake!

colonel swas, most def. ps, thank for your donation, little!

ned, how was your time on white rock lake sat? so sad em and i missed you!

cagridlock, west did tall to em and i about our hands ... but i need constant reminding of it as it does not feel natural at first. i also need to take some electrical tape and mark where my hands should be. my right kept slipping over time. any other tricks you have up your sleeve?

CAgridlock said...

I always taught it to my classes by telling them to think of kneading dough. For whatever reason, thinking of it that way made it a lot easier for the brain to sync up with their hands. Or think of a way a cat kneads. As everything else becomes second nature it will get easier to pay attention to your hands.

Electrical tape is good, but remember that your skin is always more tender when damp and anything your hand rubs against long term can be bothersome. One of the guys I taught with marked his paddles with his with a line of epoxy so that when it dried he had a smooth, but tangible marker for when his hands had shifted.

From a more personal stand point, I always made sure to flex my feet and toes a great deal, but that could be because my legs would get antsy. Do make sure your shoulders stay back, open chest, plenty of room for lungs to do their job etc. The biggest trick, if I have any though, is to fall into it whole heartedly. There is something wonderful about being that in touch with the water. You're going to have such a phenomenal adventure!

CAgridlock said...

Oh, and sunblock on the back of your neck and ears. I always seem to forget those. :D

Anonymous said...

You didn't miss me in Dallas last weekend. The boat was here in Shreveport but the gear to haul it on top of the car was in the garage in Dallas! Maybe in a couple of weeks. My son just bought a solo racing canoe - 22 feet long - that he'll be getting used to. So, there may be three of us out there. I'll let you know.

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