Everything is solar powered

Posted by Ken Campbell July 5, 2010 0 Comment 672 views

Way back in the day, 1993 to be precise, I worked for a sea kayaking outfitter in Tacoma. Tahoma Outdoor Pursuits had a deal worked out with Metro Parks to do hourly rentals of kayaks and canoes on Ruston Way for the summer. It’s an area that gets thousands of people walking by on a sunny weekend, or in those summery evenings that seem to stretch on forever. As I recall, we charged $7/hour to take one of the boats out, complete with spray skirts, PFD and paddle.

These were all touring kayaks, all fiberglass, good boats. Not plastic abominations like you’ll find for rent in some places today, but performance-oriented, solid paddling machines.

The problem was the weather. 1993 was the year that summer didn’t come. I remember shivering under a blue tarp, next to a trailer full of kayaks, watching the rain all summer long. There was one day that we did over $100 in rentals – it stands out in my mind because there was only one – but most of the time I was alone in the rain, sequestered by the weather like some nylon-covered monk. The calendar said it was summer, but it wasn’t even close.

July 5th has been jokingly referred to by many Northwesterners as the unofficial first-day-of-summer, but as I look outside this morning, it doesn’t look like that’s the case this year. I have this horrible feeling that we’re due for 1993 all over again. I hope I am wrong (as is often the case), but I can’t help but have that sinking feeling.

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