Patman's excellent adventure (Part I)

Patman

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#1
The saga begins.

Let me start by saying the whole premise of this vacation was to do a few things my dad (Dadman?) in his words “Want to do before I get old.”. My dad is 66 working on 67 here pretty soon and still works full time because he doesn’t want to be bored (might also have something to do with the “toy” affliction he passed down). On the weekends he makes Tim Allen look like a lazy bum re-roofing the house, BUILDING a garage/shop with almost no help, and other remodeling projects (except painting). When he does decide to relax he likes to take his boat out to “fish” (fish = take a pole, maybe some bait, plenty of refreshments, and kick back while playing a Frank CD). So when I got the phone call asking if I wanted to vacation with him I figured “Why not?”. Well this turned out to be a 2 year process by the time it was actually planned because of schedules and the itinerary. In addition we sold our house and would need to be moved out 2 days after returning from our trip! That is a story in itself.

Day 1:
Was a travel day from Austin, Texas to Meridian, Mississippi and proved pretty uneventful except for the Chevy Blazer which was ablaze on the west bound lanes of I-20 just as we crossed into Louisiana (maybe this is why it’s called a Blazer?). Besides that Day 1 was just a lot of miles and a swim in the hotel pool.

Day 2:
Was to have us arriving at our first rendezvous point Bryson City, North Carolina. Here is where the first Waffle House incident happened. Let me say I LOVE Waffle House it’s the way breakfast should be unless your in the French Quarter. I drop my wife and son at the Waffle House and go across the street to fuel up my truck thinking of the great feast I am about to have (scattered, smothered, covered, and double peppered). Just as I hit full here comes the family unit walking up. “They don’t have any waffles.” my wife says, Yeah and they’re out of pancakes too!” Little Patman informs me. While I stand there with a dumber than usual look on my face and say What are you talking about?! It’s a Waffle House.” to which my wife says ”The lady told me and I thought she was joking until I looked around and the only people there were drinking coffee and not eating ANYTHING. She said they were out of batter.” I rolled my eyes and headed for the golden arches.

After many miles of interstate and some lunch we started to get into some more “visual” countryside in northern Alabama which made me decide to fire off a Hank Jr & Sr CDfest. Making good time into Tennessee we were dead on schedule until we made the last route change… Ahhhh, “scenic drive” it SOUNDED good on paper, what they failed to mention was the dolts that cannot walk and chew gum at the same time would also be trying to drive and sightsee at the same time! Grrrrr, ”Out of my way Dilbert! If you want to look at the pretty water pull over, don’t drive 30mph in the 55mph road!” Yup the relaxation of a family vacation :rolleyes: . Finally getting near the hotel we are to meet at I start seeing some of our next days adventure out the side window of my truck…Whitewater!

Yup I forgot to mention this week of vacation was dubbed “Death Wish Week”. See my dad has had many good years and remember the things to do before he gets old part? Well this is part one. Only problem is I am NOT old but would really LIKE to be one day. Oh well it’s for dad.

Day 3:
Whitewater. Whoever named this needs a big smack upside the head, sure it’s got some white to it but it has a whole bunch more COLD to it! See I’m from Texas and my blood has thinned to the point where working or playing in 100 degree days is not a big deal but anything less than 60 is down-right nippy. Well at 6am my watch tells me it’s time to get up and get going. 7am dad is at the door ready to go get some breakfast so we head out. AHHHHH! Who turned down the heat?! It was 58 degrees and I was in nylon shorts, a perforated nylon T-shirt and sandals figuring I was going to getting wet (NO, it had not registered yet). I grab my Polartec pullover from the truck and we go eat. Now on to the point of departure for the raft trip and it’s really not much warmer to me. Arriving at Nantahala Outdoor Center we find we have a good hour until we need to be ready to go so I grab a pot of hot chocolate while dad sips his coffee. 9am and dad is ready to go so we’re the first ones to find out a few things about rafting (NO it still had not registered yet). First the nylon pullover water repellant things reek and second anybody that could ever fall out of one of the floatation devices they fit you with after being properly cinched in must look like a pear because my head almost popped when “Wes” clamped down on my binders! So we get the instructions (feet down stream, hand on the paddle “T” handle at all times, …..blah, blah, blah…). OK on the bus for the trip up river. We’re all getting excited (or maybe it’s just the extra tight vest I have on ;) ) and are ready to get the raft in the water and have some fun. This is where it registered in a BIG way THAT WATER IS C-O-L-D!!!! Yup a balmy 64 degrees I believe it was. OK, ell my plan was to not fall out at any costs what failed to realize was that it was not necessary to be OUT of the boat to get drenched with polar bear pee as the water would come to you. Actually it’s not too bad after your feet go numb because then all you have to do is paddle, work up a sweat only to be doused with more cold water in the next set. Did I mention the water? It was cold. So we’re conquering the rapids and I’m staying in the raft and keeping dad IN the raft (if not completely upright in the raft) which I was asked to do by my step mother and wife. So dad gets to spend some quality time with the 12 inches of water IN the raft and tells me if he was in it again it WOULD be warmer with his non-voluntary assistance. Ooooo sunlight! Now that feels a bit better. At least I can warm my upper body and hopefully keep the blood at a flowing temperature in my legs if not gain feeling in them. Things are going well until on of the other rafts is in trouble. So we head for the shore where Patman the point man gets to stand in the nice water (I did tell you it was cold water right?) holding the raft while the guide shouts instructions to the other raft. Let me tell ya’ I knew EXACTLY what dad was talking about in a very short period of time but figured there was no way little old me could warm that whole river. So back underway we come to the biggest, baddest set of the run and make it through with all members of the crew in the raft. Arriving at the NOC take out Patman the point man gets to take another dip to pull the raft up on the bank. Let me tell you guys the water was still cold.

Believe it or not I really did have a blast and think this is something anybody reading this would enjoy. I know I would be seriously into the sport if two things were available near where I live. One is whitewater and the other would be warm white water. It’s cool (as in neato) guys really!

There’s 6 more days left with parts 2 and 3 of D.W.W AND the High Lord Gomer / Ivan encounter so stay tuned……..
 

JuliusPleaser

Too much of a good thing.
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#2
LMAO!!! There's more???
 

Treejumper

2 wheeled idiot
Damn Yankees
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#3
Yeah there's more! Patman tells us how the cold water affected him later that evening! :eek: ;)

Keep them coming! :cool:
 

biglou

#5
When does "Part II" hit the shelves?!!

Day 1:
Was a travel day from Austin, Texas to Meridian, Mississippi
Meridian, huh? You have my sympathy!;)

The best thing to ever come out of Meridian: Hwy 19 North.:eek:
 

Patman

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#6
Part II coming soon.

I guess I should mention that was the same Waffle House that my son found a spent .380 shell in the parking lot of two years ago! :eek: Yup nothin' but the finest :silly:

Actually the Ramada there is pretty nice.
 

dhoward

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#8
Patman, your compilations rival 'Monkey Butt'!:)
(With apologies to the Super Hunk)