Exciting times.

Last weekend myself and Rich went off to pick up our vessel that shall be taking us to New Orleans and I must say she is better than I was expecting. We have named her “Huckster” which is what Tom called us in a post at one point or another; myself and Rich liked this name so much that we decided to use it. Anyways as I am sure all of you loyal readers are curious to see her,  I give you “Huckster”.



You will see in the last picture the most recent changes that I have made to the canoe. The first and probably most important is the yoke.  I made a center yoke to replace the center thwart to make it easyer to portage. Rich’s dad Mike was kind enough to make us a blank out of a scrap piece of oak. The most difficult task of this was removing the old thwart. It took quite a bit of WD-40 and pounding via hammer to get the nuts loose. I remedied this problem in the future by using wing-nuts to hold on the new yoke.

I also made pads for both seats out of foam, duct tape and gorilla glue. Red Green would be proud.  Finally I drilled eight holes into the gunwale to attach bungee cords to hold our gear in instead of tying it in on a daily bases. 

Aside from the canoe, it has been a very exciting week. I received a very generous donation from a professor who requested to remain anonymous.  I will honor their request but I feel obligated to say an additional thanks and show off what their contribution has been used for. All this person asked is that I pay it forward in the future and make a similar contribution to someone who is doing something that I would like to be apart of. This will not be a problem, I promise!  Anyways I give you our new home…

100_3874 100_3875This Eureka Mountain Pass 3XTE Tent is quite the upgrade from my old “Hippie Tent” which has seen many many years of abuse and field testing. I was not sure if it would be able to hold up to the rigors of this trip however, so it is much relief to have this new Cadillac of a home. I guess you could say we are taking Dave Millers advice to go with the best we can afford and this is the only tent we could find and afford that met all of the requirements  met in his book The Complete Paddler. I know some people frown on Eureka tents and insist on using Marmot or MSR, but I say that if their good enough for the Boy Scouts they are good enough for me.  I will be donating my old tent to our good friend Rob whom I know will give it a good home. So here ya go Rob, I give you the “Hippie Tent”. Enjoy!

100_3755These certainly are exciting times. I will be field testing the tent for the first time tonight can’t wait to see how it compares. 



5 Responses to “Exciting times.”

  1. The Dude Says:

    It looks like you guys have some great equipment. I think Eureka tents are great tents. Our family has one, and it has survived a great deal. One night in Montana we survived a storm that flattened the tent, and all that happened was one of the poles was ever so slightly bent. I love you guys, but I can’t wait ’til you shove off because I want to hear about all the crazy things your are going to get yourselves into on The River

  2. Great canoe (and name) and the equipment looks perfect – its getting me all ‘revved up’ to get started, and to see you guys moving down the river. Its the absolute perfect time in your lives to accomplish this………. great choice.

    Had an unusual request for a raftmate, a gentleman from St Louis tried twice over the years to canoe it – was turned back first because of weather (tornado cell), second effort years later more for health reasons, then he passed on last year. Family asked if his ashes could make the trip with us to N.O. where they would party and spread him in the river – I said “Why not?”

    – when the days get long and not everything goes right, inspiration……

    “Wilson”… 🙂

  3. huckleberryfinn09 Says:

    Thanks “Dude”, thanks Tom.
    That is exciting news about your new crew member. I am curious to know if he had any goals or “Must see” attractions in mind that the family knows about. If so, a small detour might be in order 🙂 Regardless, that is going to be one heck of a party when you get there.
    Take it easy.

  4. Rick/pittsburgh Says:

    I have the Mountain Pass 2xte and the 3 xte. Great tents I use the 2 as my solo and the 3 as a 2 man. Great equipment. Mine have been through alot and not even a whimper from the tents. I also have a 5th season and a solitaire.. I swear by Eureka products. 1 suggestion. When you guy out the mountain pass double up on the lines as per the instructions. Stake out the fly with a stake dead center of both vestibule windows(front & back) and a stake center of both fly walls(right & left.) Since the guy points on the fly are on all 4 corners run 2 lines per attachement point. The set should have each have 2 lines from the fly(diff. corners) attaching to the stake facing that side of the tent. This increases the rigidity dramatically. I have used these tents with this system in some serious snow loads and it was no problem what so ever. I also swapped out my lines for Sierra Designs set($16+ or -) of black reflective ones(they give you 6 so I cut one to swap out the zipper toggles as well) that are really bright when I hit them with the headlamp. Helps dramatically with tripping and locating the tent at times. I have seam sealed the fly. The Kenyon works great.. I also made my own footprint for it which attaches to the the poles and gives some dry area in the vestibules. Just a few suggestions. Hope the outdoors treat ya well in the future. Have fun.

  5. Rick/pittsburgh Says:

    Oh and I know ya made reference to the boy scouts using Eureka but the U.S. military also contracted Eureka to provide their tents as well. That should add a little to your confidence in their products.

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