Down to the River

walk1I hate cars, but I love boats. Without gas power, it can be a challenge for a guy who lives two miles from the nearest river to get his toys there. Some of you may recall my early attempts to get Terrapin to the boat ramp by bike; funny, but not particularly effective. 

Although the car was somehow easier than the bike trailer, I decided that it was just too much work to get the rack set up and to heave the boat on the roof, so I started walking it down to the water. And I liked it. Forty five minutes of pushing eighty pounds of gear seems like a challenge, but with a properly balanced cart, it’s hardly any work at all.


On some streets, I gleefully take up the whole lane.  Other times I hog the sidewalk. One thing is consistent in either case; people enjoy seeing me walking through their neighborhood with a boat. I don’t feel like an attention seeker though. Because I’m moving at such a slow speed it gives me a chance to be a person and interact with my neighbors. I’m not some speeding freak show.

A Native American man told me a long story about fishing. Thank you.

Another guy invited me to go kayaking with him. Thank you.

A biker told me I was doing awesome. Thank you.

And when cars see me, they’re usually pretty friendly too. I get nice tooty honks. Thank you.

When I have a free afternoon, I enjoy the walk. I recently found myself more pressed for time, but still didn’t want to use the car. I thought to myself, “I live on a hill, why not roll to the river?” Instead of taking my bike, I grabbed a skateboard and with the boat on its cart, off I went. My kids thought this would be a laughable and accident-prone idea. 


I laughed too, but mostly because it was pretty easy to roll down the hill, all the way to the river.





  1. I commend you . I’ve been doing this for years with my 15 rowing boat, although we’re lucky that it’s only 250 yards to the water (350 when the tide’s out) much less effort than getting the car and trailer or even the kayaks on the roof bars.

    Things got heavier pulling back up the hill with the baby asleep in the boat and all the baby paraphanalia, but that was a few years ago, he helps push now on the rare occasions I can drag him away fro the x box to go rowing.

    Best regards


  2. Thanks for the inspiration,I just bought a cart for my John Welsford designed Seagull 16 ‘ row boat weighs about 95 lbs ,but on the cart it seems weightless.Im in Minnesota so it’s gonna be a while ,but I live within a 10 minute walk to 3 nice size lakes,so a since as ice is out ,I’ll be walkin!! P.S. I’ve read your blog for years ,and look forward to whatever is next .Thank you. Jerry

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