Thursday, July 30, 2015

The 2015 Redhook Recap

The 11th Annual Redhook Ride of 2015

This year's Redhook ride was so much fun! 

Every year I am wondering what is going to happen. Will it be total chaos and mayhem, with people sleeping on the side of the trail or in some stranger's yard? Will there be blood and broken bones, as has happened in numerous years past? Or will it meekly slip by with no drama or disaster? And most importantly, who will be TBD*?!?!?!

This year's ride was a great balance of good people with good energy. We were worried that the weather was going to suck and rain us out, but the rain never came, and the cool air was actually really nice, especially considering the warmth of some of the costumes. Oh, the costumes! With no planning Zanna started pulling stuff out of her closet, and people just threw things on. It was so hilarious, and took the ride to another level of fun and energy that it had never had before. We were just cracking up at how ridiculous and funny people looked. And as the night went on, parts of costumes moved around and traded riders, meaning you never knew what you were going to be seeing from one minute to the next. It was awesome!

As always, it took a while to get people moving, but once Garret got his enormous trike rolling, the crowd filled in behind. Many stops were made along the way to keep everyone hydrated with adult beverages. Several trailers were full of beer, and ride-by passes meant most people didn't even have to stop to get a beer in hand. Garret's new ride was pumping tunes at concert volume, and many smiles and high fives were traded as we made our way down the trail. With such a fun crew, the ride to Logboom Park passed by far too quickly.

Arriving at Logboom, we collected the riders who were working late and meeting us there, and after a bit of a rest we were off again. The ride on to Redhook also passed much too quickly, and without much in the way of casualties. People were feeling really good by this time though, and everyone was looking forward to more food and drink. When we finally arrived at Redhook we locked the bikes up outside, and descended on the place.

Like every year, the staff at Redhook are always put out by us showing up, even though we call in advance to let them know we are on the way. I guess almost 30 riders in various bizarre costumes can make you worry that you are going to be dealing with a bunch of drunk a-holes, which we are, but it is after all a bar! We took over the outdoor patio, even though it was "closed" and the lights "didn't work," and made it our own private party. 

After a couple hours of eating, drinking, and socializing, it was time to get back on the bikes for the return trip. As usual, Boo laying down a little rubber meant it was time to ride! The lights lit up the night, and the bikes started wandering down the trail. This is where the Hook virgins always get in trouble. They don't realize that 30 miles of riding really cranks the alcohol into your system. I took my usual position at the back of the group riding sweep, and looked out for this year's TBD. Joining me at the back from time to time was Boo, Ian, and Sweet James, who in years past has had his own chances to take TBD honors. This year he was mostly sober though, and between the four of us, like lions following a herd of drunk gazelles, we waited for the carnage to happen.

It started with Luke, a Redhook virgin, who was having trouble with a Thule rack and pannier that he had recently purchased. Several times it went into the rear wheel causing a crash, before finally catastrophically being caught, breaking several spokes, and throwing him to the ground. In disgust he finally tried to strap the thing onto his back with the one broken strap, and rode away into the night, the first of many adventures for the evening.

As we caught back up to the group, we saw several lights illuminating Robert, Garrett's brother. Although he has experience on the Hook, it was Robert's birthday and he had been doing it up right. I asked if everything was ok, and he said "Yes, just a little blood." Now we're  getting somewhere! Blood was running out of the side of his knee, and his right knuckles were bleeding as well. He had gone down on the pavement of the trail, and was paying the price. He didn't seem to be in too much pain though (one of the benefits of riding drunk, I guess) so we all got organized and rode on, trying to catch up with the rest of the group making a beeline for Logboom.

We finally rolled into Logboom and the next party location. More alcohol was being consumed, and it didn't take long for clothes to come off and the skinny-dipping to commence. It's always great at Logboom because it's dark and people feel comfortable running around naked and jumping in the warm lake water. Those who weren't swimming were either drinking, or smoking a now-legal substance, so I knew we were in for more adventures.

Eventually, we decided to get back on the bikes. This is where the ride always breaks down into the ones who want to stay in a group ride, and those who are trashed and just want to get home as fast as they can, at any cost. The fast ones took off and we never saw them again, and the rest of us started dragging ourselves slowly down the trail. Garrett was like a trike-riding machine, endlessly pedaling at a steady speed with blinding lights and loud music. Gab, baked out of her mind, had turned into a moth, and was uncontrollably following the lights while riding one inch behind Garrett's trailer the entire way back, with her equally baked friends singing along to every song as they followed close behind.

As we were riding away from Logboom it didn't take long to see that Suz, another Hook virgin, was in serious trouble. She, much like Mattypants in years past, could not ride a straight line down the trail. Ian provided light for her (my lights had died by that point) and we rode just behind her to make sure she didn't get into serious trouble. She crashed four or five times but amazingly ended up relatively unhurt, with the exception of some bruises, scrapes, and a bent handlebar. A couple of the times that she rode off the trail I was thinking that she was going to eat it really bad, but she was able to hold it together and stop the bike without going over the bars. It was amazing. So, even though Robert had the most blood, and Luke had the most bike damage, this years TBD goes to Suz! Congrats on your victory...

Of course, we still had that gawddamn hill to climb to get back up to Casa Furneeklenny.

hate that hill...

-The Ride In Pictures-

Ratty greeted us from Garrett's garbage can. 
Apparently he went swimming without a lifejacket. 
Bad idea Ratty.

Danticlaus starting the afternoon in high style

Alex took the Redhook to a whole other level. Granted it was a level I wasn't sure we wanted to visit, but once the uncomfortable feelings passed he became the darling of the Redhook Ride.

Garrett laying down the LAW, as the big banana

Suz was a Hook virgin, but stepped up to the plate without fear. 
Little did she know what she was in for...

Zanna, displaying the ride's best sentiment

Gab, displaying the ride's best sentiment....wait a minute! What the?!

Maxwell, uh, well...I just don't know what to say. Creepy, in a horror movie kinda way. Yeesh. 

Casa Furneeklenny provides a perfect launching point for the ride.
And, it's a great place for a bbq to get us started right!

The chaos commences when/if Garrett gets that huge trike rolling up the hill.

After leaving Casa Furneeklenny, we make our way to Logboom Park to pick up the riders who are too lame to do the whole ride with us, and to take a break before the push on to Redhook.

A panorama of Logboom. We take over the place!

 Danticlaus has all the sick little boys sit on his knee and confess their sins. John's confessions were enough to put Danticlaus into mental trauma therapy for years to come.

At Redhook, Danticlaus and Zanna. Wow. Um, wow.

After leaving Redhook, we light the bikes up and cruise!

Then it is back to Logboom for skinny-dipping in Lake Washington. 
No, there are no pics of that!

The lights on the bikes are pretty amazing! Garrett's light show was visible from space.

This was shot after that F-ing climb back up to Casa Furneeklenny. 
Garret sums it up nicely!

And finally, just because he is so awesome, I give you our bbq entertainment...Benny! 

*Total Body/Bike Destruction

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The 2015 Pocket Yacht Palooza

This weekend I was fortunate enough to have been invited by The Port Townsend Pocket Yachters to display my Duckpunt "The Donkey" in the courtyard of the Northwest Maritime Center during the 2015 Pocket Yacht Palooza. It was a huge honor to be there, and I am so thankful for the invitation!

On the ferry heading to the Palooza. The Punt almost dwarfs the car! 

The Palooza is "a celebration of small-boat design, showcasing the widest variety of watercraft--wood, fiberglass, rowing, paddling, sailing and even a few small, traditional motorboats. There is some emphasis on boats suitable for camp cruising, but all interesting designs are welcome and equally appreciated." I am really glad for that description because the Donkey was without a doubt the ugly duckling of the day. At the show was a lot of bronze, varnished wood, and really shiny hulls all around, and in the midst of all this pocket yacht glory...the Duckpunt, sitting on the ground looking forlorn and forgotten between two beautiful boats on trailers. Still, it is an honest boat that I built with my own two hands, and it gets used a lot more than it gets spruced up, so I was very happy and proud to have it there. There were a few folks who were interested in how the heck you can sail a boat with no rudder, keel, daggerboard, or leeboard, and some disappointment expressed that I wasn't planning on doing a demo, but overall there just wasn't that much interest in the ugly little punt. I don't think anyone there realizes just how much fun it is to sail in water so shallow you don't get your socks wet when you stand up in it, or how relaxing it is to sail lying down with your feet kicked over the side, or how easy it is to get on the water for a few hundred dollars and a few weeks (or in my case, months) work. It's certainly no S.C.A.M.P. (which is a boat I am dying to build and sail, don't tell the Punt though), and it will never win any beauty competitions. Still, I will just keep singing the praises of these simple little sailboats that go where no other sailboat can go, simply, cheaply, and with more fun than any boat I have ever owned! Duckpunt! Duckpunt!

-Photo Dump-

The courtyard at the NW Maritime Center

On the left a Montgomery M-15, next to a gorgeous Welsford Navigator

The Duckpunt with its proud owner, both in all their glory. I just love that shirt!!!

Dik and Ann, who put us up for the weekend. Thanks so much for your hospitality, guys!

The Punt instantly draws a massive crowd

Even Soy Sauce was more popular than the Donkey!

The incredible Sage-17 on the left, next to the Gig Harbor Boat Works fiberglass version of the massively popular S.C.A.M.P. 

This beached catamaran got a lot of attention

Simeon Baldwin giving a talk about his experience on the first leg of the inaugural Race To Alaska in his spectacular S.C.A.M.P. "Noddy"

Joel Bergen's gorgeous Welsford Navigator "Ellie" next to what I considered the star of the show, an Iain Oughtred designed Wee Seal named "Opus", owned by Lee Bjorklund. 

The huge crowd continues to swarm around the Donkey

S.C.A.M.P.S. were everywhere on the water

Such salty little boats!

Many boats simply pulled up on the beach and dried out at high tide

And just because they are so much fun to watch, here is some footage of S.C.A.M.P.s chasing each other around Port Townsend Bay

This event was a really great time, and if you haven't been I highly recommend you plan on going next year. Who knows? I may even spruce the Punt up and bring it back next year! Just roll on some fresh porch paint and she will look like new. What is that old saying? Lipstick on a pig...?