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Old 08-08-2013, 01:03 AM   #1
charlie wilson
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Variations on the portage

I was out on a Fish Creek Loop with Geneseo students Tuesday, Carrying from Coppras to Whey, we found strange drag marks in the sandy trail crossing the esker. Lunching at the Whey put-in, we were shocked to find a guy dragging a Coleman Canoe along the trail with a rope and shoulder harness! Skookum guy for sure, but the boat isn't that heavy and when worn through it's done?

Maybe proof of the old George Carlin line; "You know how stupid the average person is? Half of us are even dumber than that!"

So it goes here in the heartland of American Canoeing!
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:25 AM   #2
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"Skookum guy?"
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:55 AM   #3
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Seen the same thing on Dunlop Lake in northern Ontario. Stupidity knows no geographic boundaries.

And the penalty for a hole is far greater in Canada. Its a long swim to civilization.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:23 AM   #4
Rich Lockwood
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Drag-carry

I have used this method when going across carrys on snow.It works great,and is a hoot on the downhills!
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:49 AM   #5
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My ex-B-I-L dragged a boomalum Grumman across every carry in St Regis that way...and with 2 of his kids riding inside!! A Coleman is waaay more slippery that boomalum.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:18 AM   #6
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I must admit I will drag my Swift on the lawn.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:53 AM   #7
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dragging a Coleman Canoe along the trail with a rope and shoulder harness!
Maybe he was part Husky...
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:22 AM   #8
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"Skookum guy?"
Skookum can mean strong or powerful.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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Portage

Pretty funny - looks like he was well prepared too. I remember seeing 4 college students trying to drag a Grumman (no harness) on the St Regis Pond portage. That was really funny.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:24 PM   #10
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Skookum can mean strong or powerful.
I was in Carcross, Yukon Territory last month, home of "Skookum Jim". Interestingly painted houses associated with the visitor's center and Skookum museum there. Left over from 1898 gold rush days, quite an interesting tiny First Nation's town, very much in the middle of nowhere, that has apparently come into quite a bit of money to fix itself up and draw tourists. Fresh and quaint and of very local character, not yet a tourist trap by any means.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:00 PM   #11
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One of my fav small ponds has a bit of a hill down to the water, I routinely see people dragging Tupper yaks up & down..nothing as sophisticated as that though
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:33 AM   #12
Glenn MacGrady
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I used to lead trips on the 7 and 9 carries routes. One year I had two ladies in a Mad River Explorer drag every one of the carries with ropes. No harness that I recall.

Also, in my whitewater days in New England in the 80's we would drag our Royalex boats at a ferry angle along railroad tracks on certain rivers rather than try to carry them. These were the days when an Old Town Tripper, Mad River Explorer and Blue Hole OCA were still being used as solo whitewater canoes. Heavy, often saddled, with never a portage yoke.

Dragging over rocky shorelines, big boulders and jagged goat paths around long rapids in West Virginia, Maryland and Tennessee was also common practice. Royalex is -- was -- great stuff.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:49 PM   #13
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My first canoe was a Coleman (over 30 years ago). At 75 pounds, I didn 't carry it either. That boat is long gone, thankfully.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:29 AM   #14
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You still see canoes..mine included ..being dragged up the start of a steep incline on a mandatory portage in the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race. There is no place at the bottom to shoulder a canoe and the bank is often muddy if you are behind some hundreds of other racers.

The strategy is to drag and winch you canoe as best you can while you crawl on all fours.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:10 AM   #15
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I am sorry to say I did drag my canoe by rope up the side of the esker between Little Fish Pond and Little Long Pond, then lowered it down the other side as far as it would slide, then went to the lower end and dragged it again. The trails up and down were so damn steep I was afraid that if I tried an overhead carry, I'd end up falling with the boat on top of me. This is not the way to treat a boat, but it is a short distance.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:08 PM   #16
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I am sorry to say I did drag my canoe by rope up the side of the esker between Little Fish Pond and Little Long Pond, then lowered it down the other side as far as it would slide, then went to the lower end and dragged it again. The trails up and down were so damn steep I was afraid that if I tried an overhead carry, I'd end up falling with the boat on top of me. This is not the way to treat a boat, but it is a short distance.
This one? I was bumping the bow as I went up and over...

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Old 08-14-2013, 01:09 PM   #17
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Has anyone tried to carry a Coleman? Sure, it can be done, but not easily. No portage yoke, for one thing, unless it is made custom. I'd be dragging that mother too. And if I wore a hole through it? Oh well...good excuse for a better canoe.

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Old 08-19-2013, 10:03 AM   #18
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Clamp-on yokes are easy to find...

Besides that point, I did the Follensby Clear Pond Loop last Thursday and there were quite a few people out. That was not surprising as it was a beautiful day... what did surprise me was that I saw NOBODY shoulder a canoe. I was the only one. And better yet, people seemed impressed by my actions!

At almost every carry I had to skirt around another gaggle of people dragging, hand carrying and yes, CARTING kayaks and canoes. All were exerting an unnecessary amount of effort and all had way too much gear.

A tandem canoe with single blade paddlers may not be the fastest thing on the water, but I was certainly killing in the portages. We portaged, stopped and ate lunch in the time it took a couple to kart two kayaks from Polliwog to Middle Pond. I was in no hurry either!

They of course were faster across the pond and we caught them again at the Middle to Floodwood carry. They said they were going to give up!

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Old 08-19-2013, 10:41 AM   #19
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I see a lot of people carting their kayaks and canoes, its not all that uncommon. Although time wise it may take longer than simply shouldering your vessel, there are many reasons that it is the appropriate choice for some people.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:46 AM   #20
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I'm really not trying to be snarky here, but if you have ever done these routes then you would know what I mean about the cart. There are times when carts are perfectly useful, these trails are not such!
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