The reach of the Duper boys' influence has been well documented on this blog. What started out with Dan and Pat in a borrowed canoe has evolved into a consecutive month kayak streak that has reached 74 months for Dan, Pat and Kent (I am confident Kent will get out in January since he had to miss the annual New Years Day float). Since Pat's canoe, Dan's single kayak and Kent's tandem, I can come up with a count of about 15 kayak purchases that can directly or indirectly be traced back to the Duper Boys. With all these kayak purchases the need to moochayak* has been greatly reduced. If I count the seats correctly, we could have 21 people on the river at the same time.....LETS DO IT!!
Interesting to point out that all four Doyle boys own multiple boats. Tom, while threatening to buy one for years, finally took the plunge along with his daughter Katie (2nd female owner after her cousin Theresa) in the spring of 2011. Experiencing the freedom that the gently flowing rivers of the Chicago area offer, Tom has appeared to set his sights on a streak of his own. "Once a month?' he thought, "that is amateur hour". Not sure how he is doing on maintaining his weekly trips but last I heard he had a bumper sticker stating "My other car is a kayak". What a madman.
As I track the lineage of the kayaking family, I must give credit (or blame?) to Tom for bringing Russ into the fold. I have kayaked a few times with Russ and each time I have had at least one "shake my head in disbelief" moment as I watched Russ learn the art of river navigation. It was a trip in December that my shaking head moment turned into a "WTF?" moment. At one point it was necessary to navigate through a small opening of about 8 feet between some downed trees. As I went through I felt the river pulling me closer to the tree on the right than I wanted to be but I made it through with no issues. I held my breath, listening behind me as Tom and Katie both went through silently with no problem. It was then I heard the shockingly loud noise as if someone was scraping their fingernails on a chalkboard or sticking an electric cattle prod up a cat's a$$. I whipped my head around just in time to see Russ crash into the tree branches (STRAINER!!!)and slowly get dumped into the river. As he gathered his feet underneath him and the shock of the cold water started to set in you could sense by the pained expression on his face that a certain part of his anatomy was transforming in the frigid Salt Creek water much like plump grapes transform into shriveled raisins!! His eyes bulged and his breath quickened as the harsh realty and dangers of winter kayaking set in while he stood chest deep in the 34 degree water. After we got him back safely into his yak, he declared "Maybe I should wear my scuba diving dry suit next time"........ya think? That or a Neoprene / Gore-Tex body condom!! To his credit, he keeps coming back and seems to really enjoy it.
Later on that day a text was sent to Pat and he later advised that there was no need for further explanation: "Russ swims with the fishes". Don't feel bad Russ, you are not the first.
*(mooch - ah - yak) verb (used with object): To take or obtain a kayak with the promise to return the same or an equivalent: Since Jim did not own a kayak, his desire to masturyak whenever he felt the urge was continually hampered by his need to moochayak.