we bought a boat. We left her in LA for a few weeks, as the
former owner had a few more projects to finish, including
several coats of hard epoxy on the bottom and a touch-up of
one Thursday, we get a call: "Hey, kids, the boat's done,
and I've nearly come to blows with the marina owner. The boat's
gotta be out of the yard by Sunday!"
calls quickly ensued. We quickly found a temporary spot to
park her. An email came in from an old (elementary school!)
friend living in Australia: "I'm gonna be in LA for a
couple of weeks. We should get together." Little did
he know what he was in for. Knowing he's always up for an
adventure, I bounced back immediately: "Hey, Todd! How
about driving to SF, following a boat?" What a good sport,
he agreed. Bright and early one morning, I tore off to LA
in my 20-year-old Full
Size Jeep (the "Canyonero!")- here goes nothin'!
a full day to pack the boat and a rented pickup truck with
all the Boat Crap the volume of which only fellow owners can
it was time to learn how to tow -- what better way to learn
to tow a trailer - for the first time ever! - than with your
brand new, 4000-pound boat behind a 1981 truck?
were a few challenges. Like discovering the trailer was wired
wrong - the brakes went on FULL when the headlights were on,
and the brake lights went on when I stepped on the brake...
(and, YES, it was the trailer wiring, not my wiring of the
new brake controller!) I bet there were a few people who wondered
why I was flashing my lights at them as I tried to slow.
of course, dragging a boat over the dreaded Grapevine. But,
the Canyonero did great, and the boat did great, and I learned
relatively quickly how to get down the highway. Didn't clip
a single curb, during any of the MANY gas stops, I have to
I was never - never - happier to be anywhere in my life than
at the top of the Grapevine. Anyone who's driven over that
pass knows the graveyard of overheated cars and carnage. Hell,
I've lost two engines there. But, the Canyonero made it -
with Bushwhacker in tow. Kinda warm, and kinda slow, but it
was all downhill from here:
maybe I was almost happier to get to the temporary storage
lot in Alameda:
here! Time for some prep work,
and our first disaster...