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      Things That We Can Laugh About Now     

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Northwoodsman
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07/15/2017 08:03PM
I mentioned this in the gear forum post. I'm sure that there are several older threads about this but we have a lot of new members on this site. Maybe they can learn from things that we have done... incorrectly. Or maybe we will find things that we are still doing "wrong". I'll start with two confessions. 1) In 2015 my brother and I did the Lake Chain using bent shaft paddles for the first time. We paddled almost the entire route with our paddles backwards while we laughed at others because we thought that they had theirs backwards. 2) I set up my CCS Tundra Tarp upside down for the first two years that I used it. I thought that the loops in the center were to hang it from. Sorry Dan! Maybe you should stamp the instructions on the tarp for those of us that "know it all" and open the package and throw away the directions.
 
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07/16/2017 08:30AM
I bought a new light weight tent last summer and twice I caught myself struggling to set it up. I just couldn't match up the poles with the proper clips..............only to discover that what I thought was the tent body was the fly.
07/16/2017 08:35AM
This one wasn't on me, but we all had a good laugh. I found my young son and I watching a couple as they loaded up their rental canoe at the Clark Lake boat landing in Sylvania. They got all their gear into the canoe. The young lady stepped into the canoe, followed by the young man who pushed off and sat in his seat.

Once they got into deep enough water to float the canoe, the young woman started complaining about the lack of leg room in the bow and the young man complained about the same thing as his knees were up against all their assorted gear. Then he complained about all the wasted space behind him.

I couldn't help but chuckle. My son and I pushed off and came along side them. I smiled and asked them if they noticed something different about our canoe and their canoe. Pretty soon they realized that they were sitting backwards and we all had a good laugh.
QueticoMike
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07/16/2017 08:58AM
I saw these two guys who were on their first trip. They had standard paper maps ( not water-proof paper ) that they printed off the internet. They had 5 gallons of warm beer in a big clear container in their canoe. When they did their first portage they kept all of their gear and beer in the canoe. They had ropes tied on each end of the canoe. They put on gloves and each grabbed an end and took off down the 24 rod Prairie Portage.
07/16/2017 03:33PM
Another adventure in Sylvania, my son and I were camping with my best friends, who were a married couple. The husband was thin and his wife was a rather large woman. She always paddled stern and put her husband in the bow of their fiberglass Mad River Malecite.

We went for a bit of a paddle across the lake one evening after supper to explore the opposite shoreline of the lake.

My son and I pulled up to the beach and waited for our married friends to catch up. Upon arriving at the beach, the husband suddenly jumped out of the bow of the canoe, catching his wife somewhat unprepared and a bit off balance.

Well, the front end of the canoe shot straight up in the air and sat there perpendicular to the water for what seemed like an eternity, before depositing the wife into the lake. The last thing she said as the canoe shot up in the air was, "Michael, I'm going to killllllllllll you!"

One of the funniest scenes I've ever witnessed and we all had a good laugh after helping her and the swamped Malecite into the beach.
07/16/2017 03:44PM
Got another funny one. Again, my son and I were up in the UP of Michigan and I had been entertaining him by speaking "Yupper.". Well, son had never heard anyone speak Yupper before and thought I was just messing with him.

Son was carrying the canoe down to the beach and there was a wee little lad around 2-3 years old on the beach playing while his father was nearby fishing. The little guy was wearing a pair of green rubber "swampers" (wading boots) and a pair of camo overalls.

Suddenly, as my son passed the little duffer, he looked up and in the best Yupper accent you ever heard he exclaimed, "Nice canoe boat you boys got der, eeh?"

My son started laughing so hard he dropped the canoe.
07/16/2017 07:13PM
This goes way back to my first trip to the BW. It was June, 1980, and it was the night after my graduation party. Back in the day when parents would spring for a keg and turn their heads (not condoning this, just making a point).

Around midnight or so at my buddy Steve's house (we had moved the 16 gallon keg from my momma's garage to his as per the agreement between our parents), he, Johnny and I decide to head into the BW the next day-with absolutely no clue what that really meant. We had heard Steve's momma talking about how beautiful the area was, and we wanted to experience that.

We get to the Gunflint Trail, and we realize we have no maps. As lame is this sounds, we could not find any water! Pretty sure this was before the trail signs along the Gunflint announcing outfitters and other such important info existed.

We drove around for some time until we finally found some water (man, this sounds lame!). Took the 300 pound Grumman canoe off the top of the pickup and put in, excited to catch some walleyes!!!

We were all barefoot, and about 13 steps into the drink my right foot landed on something sharp. Real sharp. I pulled up, probably saying things not okay to post on this site, and there was a gash on the bottom of my foot a good 4 inches long.

My buddies helped me out of the water, and we wrapped that foot up as well as we could. I still wanted to fish, and so did my pals!

We caught some fish, and I am pretty sure they were walleyes, but they could have been large guppies for all I know. Paddled back to where the truck was parked and made ourselves a good meal.

It was getting dark, and we were finishing cleaning up our meal in this parking lot. I am shaking my head as I write this, as it seems so unreal to me all these years later, but we finally realized we needed to set up for the evening.

So, here we are in a parking lot, the only vehicle anywhere in sight, and my foot is starting to look like the Goodyear Blimp. It was getting dark, and we could not find our tent. I am thinking, this place sucks! It is hard to find the damn lakes, and when you do, there is glass or something in them just waiting to destroy your feet!!

Well, we never found that tent-because we forgot to pack the thing. We did have walleye (or maybe giant guppies) lining our bellies, and we ended up sleeping in the bed of the truck.

We left the next day; that was my first trip to the BW, and for some reason, I wanted to go back.
07/16/2017 10:53PM
quote Frenchy19: "This goes way back to my first trip ....
We left the next day; that was my first trip to the BW, and for some reason, I wanted to go back."


Hilarious! I did considerably more than my fair share of super stupid stuff myself, maybe that is why I can laugh and cringe at the same time.
ozarkpaddler
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07/17/2017 06:56AM
quote awbrown: "the husband suddenly jumped out of the bow of the canoe, catching his wife somewhat unprepared and a bit off balance. Well, the front end of the canoe shot straight up in the air and sat there perpendicular to the water for what seemed like an eternity, before depositing the wife into the lake. The last thing she said as the canoe shot up in the air was, "Michael, I'm going to killllllllllll you!"
One of the funniest scenes I've ever witnessed and we all had a good laugh after helping her and the swamped Malecite into the beach."


We had that happen to a portly friend of mine and his much smaller wife (LOL)! Another story from that trip that caused my wife and I some consternation that we laugh about now is the same lady had a very heavy personal Duluth Pack that we both carried for her at various times. At trip's end, my wife came out of the showers at Hungry Jack Outfitters with steam rolling from her ears; "Can you believe that d#*! pack had ECONOMY SIZED shampoo, conditioner, and nail polish remover" she exclaimed! We laugh about it now, but my darling wife was NOT at the time (LOL)!
MikeinMpls
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07/17/2017 10:30AM
I like stuff organized, always have. On my very first trip, at age 12 with a 4-H group, I brought my stuff in an Army duffel bag. I had my clothes in nylon sacks with paper identification tags and my sleeping bag (a big fat cotton one....this was 1976) wrapped up realllllllly tight. My toiletries were in a toiletries kit, shirts arranged by day within my clothes bag. Needless to say, my tags fell off, the sleeping bag expanded (I could never get it as tight as I did originally), and stuff got wet because I didn't line the bag with a plastic sheet. I attribute it to being 12 and having very little guidance on how to do things.

Other things I've done and can laugh about now:

1. trying to run the rapids from the Granite River into Clove Lake, with three teenage boys (circa 1989) who had zero previous paddling experience. Though I assessed the rapids as fairly tame, I did put a sizeable gash in an aluminum canoe, requiring some MacGyver-esque field expedient patching that involved tin foil, plastic garbage bags and some seam sealer.

2. Thinking I'm immune from gear going bad, bringing only one stove on a quick four-day base camp on Shell Lake. Stove went bad.... and I am NOT a good fire starter, fire maintainer or fire cooker. I took the stove apart, without really knowing what I was doing, put it back together, and it worked! From now on, two stoves, two fuel bottles and two pumps on every trip.

3. Using the BWJ poly food box. It made no sense for my type of tripping and was an inefficient use of space. (Your mileage may vary.)

4. as a 16-year-old, trying to clean my glasses using leftover hot water... apparently too hot, as I melted them. I was able to use them, but not well.

There's probably a lot more.

Mike

SaganagaJoe
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07/17/2017 11:05AM
quote QueticoMike: " When they did their first portage they kept all of their gear and beer in the canoe. They had ropes tied on each end of the canoe. They put on gloves and each grabbed an end and took off down the 24 rod Prairie Portage. "

not a bad idea - just don't try with a kevlar eh?
syogod
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07/17/2017 02:38PM
This actually just happened about a week ago on my latest trip and were able to laugh about it mere minutes after it happened.

My wife and I are all snuggled down in the tent, sun's not quite down yet, but the blood suckers were bad so oh well. I'm laying down, reading a book when my wife sits upright and hits me. "Do you hear that!?" she whispers, clearly afraid. Apparently she was hearing 'sniffing' sounds and immediately thinks, 'bear!' I've been on 9-10 trips at this point, never had a bear in my camp, and am not too worried. Until I hear something too. Sounds to me like rocks being overturned. That kind of 'thud' you'd hear if you dropped a rock onto dirt from 6 inches up. So I'm starting to think, what out here could possibly be big enough to overturn large enough rocks to make that sound. Getting a bit nervous myself now, I yell out, "Hey Bear!" and the sound stops. Ten seconds later, it's back. Plucking up some courage, I grab our junk extra paddle and clamber out of the tent. Looking chest high all around for the dark brown/black fur of a bear, I can't see anything. All of a sudden, I hear my wife crack up laughing behind me, having tentatively stuck her head out the tent. About ten feet from me is a rather large painted turtle dragging his belly over the rock slab that is the campsite. For the rest of the trip, we called them turtle-bears.

I'd feel a bit worse about this if a close friend of mine hadn't had a similar situation about 10 years back when we were both guiding for Northern Tier. He came tearing out of the tent yelling, with a Bowie knife in hand only to find a ferocious beaver sauntering through camp.
07/17/2017 02:40PM
My first trip was with some buddies, we had absolutely no canoeing experience. I steered by overpowering my partner in the bow, had no idea how to rudder or J-stroke. We were on the busy numbered lakes and we actually T-boned another canoe taking off at a landing. We must of looked helpless because the family we hit didn't seem upset at all---very embarrassing though.

On the way out my buddy was in the back instead of me since I did such a terrible job, I paddled as hard as I could the whole way out, while he just ruddered. It felt like I was dragging a waterskier behind. I was sore for a week but didn't complain because at least he didn't run into anyone.

T
07/17/2017 02:46PM
Planned for 2 fish dinners on an 8 day trip. Left my fillet knife and stringer in the car.

Was taking a tow early out of crane, got to the hotel we stayed on crane at about 10 PM the night before and was so excited Locked the keys in the car with all the gear...nothing open, no lock smith, I don't remember exactly how I got the door open but it took an hour fishing around with a clothes hanger. Almost gave up and busted th trunk lock to crawl through the fold down seats.

T
QueticoMike
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07/17/2017 03:07PM
quote SaganagaJoe: "quote QueticoMike: " When they did their first portage they kept all of their gear and beer in the canoe. They had ropes tied on each end of the canoe. They put on gloves and each grabbed an end and took off down the 24 rod Prairie Portage. "


not a bad idea - just don't try with a kevlar eh? "


Trying to carry 300 pounds worth of canoe, gear and beer with just your right arm (and your partner's left arm ) across a portage, no matter how small the portage is not a good idea.
Jaywalker
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07/17/2017 04:28PM
My first trip was I think in 1978 with Scouts; a 10 day trip with nine 15-17 year olds and one adult. I was in charge of buying the food. I had been told by one of our group who had been up there 2-3 weeks before that "they caught so many fish their arms hurt". I basically bought enough food for 8 guys and assumed we'd easily catch enough fish to fill everyone. In 10 days our group managed one northern and one laker. Lets just say my increasingly hungry friends too revenge on me daily.

Never be dependent on catching fish to eat.
Basspro69
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07/17/2017 06:05PM
98 Vikings , oh wait it's still not funny !
JediMaster
 
07/17/2017 08:28PM
quote awbrown: "Got another funny one. Again, my son and I were up in the UP of Michigan and I had been entertaining him by speaking "Yupper.". Well, son had never heard anyone speak Yupper before and thought I was just messing with him.


Son was carrying the canoe down to the beach and there was a wee little lad around 2-3 years old on the beach playing while his father was nearby fishing. The little guy was wearing a pair of green rubber "swampers" (wading boots) and a pair of camo overalls.


Suddenly, as my son passed the little duffer, he looked up and in the best Yupper accent you ever heard he exclaimed, "Nice canoe boat you boys got der, eeh?"


My son started laughing so hard he dropped the canoe."


First time in the UP the wife and I were VERY confused about all the signs for pasties...
bottomtothetap
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07/18/2017 12:09AM
On my very first trip we decided we were going to keep our gallon jug of juice/Koolaid/whatever chilled by keeping it in the cool water as we paddled on a hot day. Drug this thing behind us almost all of the way down Moose Lake and halfway down Newfound before we realized why we were having to work so hard to keep up to our buddies ahead of us who seemed to be having a nice liesurely paddle.
SevenofNine
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07/18/2017 07:23AM
On a solo I decided I would try a cake pan as a fry pan. Cake pans fry up quite nicely on a hot stove...
mastertangler
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07/18/2017 08:59AM
My buddy deciding to stand up in his Bell solo trying to navigate a very tight slot on Fox creek (Georgian Bay). The canoe went VERY high into the air.

That same pal screaming like a little girl (despite his extensive martial arts training) as a huge Wolf Spider comes clambering out of his recently put on mucklucks right up his thigh. I was right next to him and I think I might have yelled at the sight of the thing as well. I had no idea that such huge spiders existed in the north.
JimmyJustice
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07/18/2017 01:33PM
quote Basspro69: "98 Vikings , oh wait it's still not funny !"

Nope, it's not.
ozarkpaddler
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07/19/2017 07:52AM
quote SevenofNine: "On a solo I decided I would try a cake pan as a fry pan. Cake pans fry up quite nicely on a hot stove..."

Oh, I'm just picturing that (LOL), thanks for my morning chuckle! Now time to head to the river, where I hope I don't have any mis-adventures to add to this thread!
paddlinjoe
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07/20/2017 08:26AM
I tape pipe insulation over the gunnels in the front of the canoe for my bow partner. They serve as a cusion to protect his knees. The get "installed" at the entry point at the beginning of each trip.

Three times, I have installed them "backwards" behind the stern seat. The most confounding was when I thought I'd fixed my mistake only to realize I'd done it backwards again.
paddlinjoe
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07/20/2017 08:32AM
A friend and I were on a trip in the fall when it started to rain. At the next portage we took the opportunity to put our rain pants on. Well, as my friend starts the task he begins grumbling about having to unlace his 10" high boots because they won't fit through the legs. He sits on a rock to take each boot off, careful to keep his foot off the ground and slip it through the leg of his rain pants. Then begin the process of re-lacing his boots. Finally everything is secure and tries to stand up to pull the pants all the way up. They were so constricted that they wouldn’t go above his thighs. It is at this point that he realizes that he packed his 10 year old sons rain pants, and not his own. He had to go through the whole remove boots process again to get the off.... Neither of us could stop laughing.

07/20/2017 09:34AM
Not canoe related...Yesterday, loading up the John deer 345 I thought it ok to short cut it and run up into my truck at the steeper angle. Just about made it but ramps kicked out and John deer ended up on top of me. Took a while, but I got free. Dumb! Day after getting a final back adjustment. Haha.

Going down St Louis River Brookston to Cloquet... nothing difficult. I'd gone through a set of rapids. I looked back sort of patting myself on the back and bloop... over I went. Lost a shoe, binoculars and some other stuff. I was solo...

07/20/2017 10:40AM
Back in 1996, I had my pickumup truck up on ramps to remove the drive shaft. It didn't dawn on me that I should chock the front tires because a pickumup truck without a drive shaft doesn't have the rear wheels locked in place.

Sure enough, the truck rolled down the ramps once I removed the drive shaft. Here I am laying under the truck on a creeper, watching the contraption roll down the ramps on top of me. Trust me when I say my life flashed in front of my eyes in that instant.

The truck came down the ramp, rolled me over, crushed the creeper and the right rear wheel came to rest up against the back of my head.

The first thing that came to mind was that I wasn't yet dead, but I was stuck in the driveway pinned to the concrete and barely able to breathe.

I tried shouting for help, but I couldn't get enough air in my lungs to exhale anything louder than a croaking whisper.

Fortunately, a neighbor saw the truck roll down the ramps which didn't seem right to him, so he came to investigate. He jacked up the rear end, pulled me out and called 911.

A quick ride to the ER and a few hours of tests showed no serious damage other than some bad bruises and abrasions.................but ever since that incident, my family refers to me quite often as "Papa Speed Bump."
Northwoodsman
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07/20/2017 07:33PM
Holy crap awbrown! I don't think that I could ever laugh about that one if it were me. You are one lucky dude. Did you buy a lottery ticket on the way home?

nctry - you are fortunate as well. I'll bet you won't do that again. At least not any time soon.

07/20/2017 07:37PM
quote Northwoodsman: "Holy crap awbrown! I don't think that I could ever laugh about that one if it were me. You are one lucky dude. Did you buy a lottery ticket on the way home?

nctry - you are fortunate as well. I'll bet you won't do that again. At least not any time soon.

"


I actually earned several nicknames from my family from that day. "Speed Bump", "Roadkill", "Rampmeister"..........yeah, I got lucky, which makes it possible to laugh at my stupidity.
 
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