Mass Canoe Rental Meet Up Concept May 13, 2007 7:47 AM   Subscribe

Seattle meet up concept within.
posted by y2karl to MetaFilter Gatherings at 7:47 AM (21 comments total)

Here's the concept: one can rent a canoe at the Waterfront Activity Center on Lake Washington and stay out until 8:00 PM for a maximum rate of $7.50 an hour per canoe. There will be ample wildlife and not so wildlife. Herons are everywhere and one can see the occasional nutria. Throw bread at the ducks in the wildlife preserve and they may run--in the Arboretum, they form boarding parties. Mid-May is when the ducklings are at their eensy-beensiest babiest so the Cute will be strong there. I know a route that takes about an hour and a half which takes you to the edge of Laurelhurst, then across the lake and through the Arboretum. But it does involve being on open water for at least a half mile, so there is that to consider. The more athletically challenged--or merely sheer lazy--could cut directly across to the Arboretum, cast their bread upon the water and languidly await the jaunty sojourners. Lifejackets will be supplied and required but the ability to swim is highly recommended. In any case, paddling on the water is something to be done sober, so, perhaps, for the convivially inclined, drinks could be arranged later nearby or near enough by apres 8. See also. And here is a map.

One advantage to renting a canoe in the evening is there are no waiting lines and no crowds onwater. If the weather holds up, a 6 PM start time for the full for, say, this next Thursday is very doable. And, if not then, the hours one can stay out on the water will be extended to 8:30 PM soon enough, so there is that as well.
posted by y2karl at 7:50 AM on May 13, 2007

I am very far away and can't make it but I want to say that canoe rental at the WAC is one of the absolute best parts of Seattle in the Springtime.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:52 AM on May 13, 2007

a 6 PM start time for the full tour, that is
posted by y2karl at 7:52 AM on May 13, 2007

FYI: The full tour would run along the shoreline for the most part to the border of the UW (purple) and Laurelhurst and then across Union Bay to Foster Island and along the slough that runs alongside the Broadmoor Golf Course into the Arboretum and then back across to the WAC across the Montlake Cut.
posted by y2karl at 8:03 AM on May 13, 2007

I would totally do this if I lived any closer. Dang ol' gigantic pacific coastline! Be shorter!!
posted by jonson at 11:32 AM on May 13, 2007

I'm in. That sounds great. I can swim if need be, although I would prefer to stay in the boat.

Anyway, you had me at duckies.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 11:34 AM on May 13, 2007

This sounds awesome. 6 pm may be a little early for some working stiffs, might be just my situation though.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:15 PM on May 13, 2007

I'm in for the drinks for sure, and if work permits, for the canoeing as well.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:35 PM on May 13, 2007

You can rent a canoe until 7:00 PM. If people met at 6:00 PM and went north along the full route suggested, it would take an hour and some minutes to get from the WAC via the point where the UW ends and Laurelhurst begins and then across Union Bay and under 520 to the southwest end of Foster Island, as seen here. But if one were to head south across the ship canal and under the foot bridge from the Museum of Science and Industry to Foster Island and then along and under 520 to the same southwestern point, it would take 10 to 20 minutes. so, there is that.

And, as for the day, Thursday was a suggestion. I just tossed that one out. It all depends upon the weather and that can't be well foretold for more than five days ahead. And, not unlike sex, it is something you can actually do any number of times before becoming too jaded to ever do it again. I just thought I would introduce the concept.
posted by y2karl at 5:06 PM on May 13, 2007

See here also. You could go south across the cut, under the foot bridge to Marsh Island, east to about where the 520 logo is, then south to near that little island south of Foster Island and north of Duck Bay, which is named Duck Bay for good reason.
posted by y2karl at 5:15 PM on May 13, 2007

I probably won't be able to come, but it's a great idea.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:30 PM on May 13, 2007

Canoes? Duckies?! Jeez, doesn't anyone just drink anymore?!
posted by hincandenza at 6:22 PM on May 13, 2007

For additional reference, here's the KIRO TV weather page. From that, Tuesday evening is looking best so far.
posted by y2karl at 6:27 PM on May 13, 2007

The canoe stuff seems really cool, but 6pm is just too early for me. I'm certainly in for the drinks, though.

But now you got me interested. I might be able to convince my friends to go canoeing on the weekend.
posted by qvantamon at 3:47 AM on May 14, 2007

Well, for an update--because Tuesday will be likeliest the warmest day of the week and as Thursday's weather seems iffier, I am planning on definitely going out on tomorrow sometime between 5:30 and 6:00 PM with a friend and her kid. So, that's one canoe. Those who think they might want to paddle along then can send an email for details and coordination. If Thursday is do-able, I will going out then as well.

It's a great thing to do but to plan an exact time to do it is not so easy in the spring. And yet that is about the best time to be out when the weather is nice. As it will be tomorrow.

The weather is more predictable around late July to August but the flowers have bloomed and ducklings and goslings are losing their baby feathers. Still, then might be just the ticket for an actual meet up and I will try to remember to re-introduce the idea. Sorry for any confusion in the present.
posted by y2karl at 8:57 AM on May 14, 2007

Sounds like fun, but I'm recovering from medial epicondylitis (aka Golfer's Elbow). Also, I'm doing a native plant salvage on Tuesday.
posted by agropyron at 11:21 AM on May 14, 2007

I'm going out of the country. And now you decide to have a meetup.
posted by matildaben at 11:38 AM on May 14, 2007

I have to coach on Thursdays and have training on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But the Arboretum is one of my favorite places though they get touchy about drinking.
posted by tkchrist at 11:59 AM on May 14, 2007

So is this thing on for tonight then and *not* Thursday?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:46 AM on May 15, 2007

Well, what is going on now is that I expect I will be meeting up with some friends--two adults and one child as of now, but possibly two more--at the WAC around 5:30 to 6:00 and we will be going out in two canoes as of now. We'll be back by 8:00 at the latest. They have things to do this evening and I things to do tomorrow, so I suspect we all will be going home afterwards. But if you want to join us for the canoeing, by all means, in the words of Bob Barker, 'C'mon down.' I'm hella on spotting heron.
posted by y2karl at 10:50 AM on May 15, 2007

Well, a meet up it was not. One friend showed and we went out. It was wonderfully warm and we saw a bald eagle go to ground in the bird sanctuary at west end of the UW property near Laurelhurst from a distance and rise and fly off when we passed close by. Very impressive.

One thing that always strikes me when I go out now is how fast the landscape changes. The Army Corps of Engineers controls the level of Lake Washington and raise and lower it via the spillways at locks on the ship canal. All the birch and willows on the smaller islands have fallen over from the erosion this causes and the islands are all disappearing. I really hate that.

Well, the beaver have helped there, too. They have toppled a lot of trees in places. Saw a big old beaver lodge near where we saw the eagle. and saw about four or five beaver or nutria swimming here and there.

Still, it is pretty wonderful, all the same. There are more great blue heron on the lake every year--we must have seen about 30, one after another along the shore in the reeds or flying majestically just above last year's cattails. And we saw about four or five turtles sunning on logs--a couple with shells well over a foot long. Big turtles.

On the Arboretum side, the cotton from the cottonwood trees was falling like snow on the Arboretum side--the surface of the water was carpeted white on the lee side of Foster Island. It was really lovely to watch it drifting in the breeze in the shafts of late afternoon sunlight on the way back. Also lovely to see were all the violet-green swallows which have built nests of mud under the curbs of the 520 off ramps. They look like little Levittowns of upside down Fred Flintsone houses. And the swallows swoop and roll in a cloud of acrobatics about the lake around them.

Late afternoon mid-week right now is just the best time to go canoeing there when the weather gets in the 70s and 80s. I will mentioning this again for a meet up when it looks like it will. In the meantime, do yourselves a favor and go out anytime when the weather is warm. There is nothing to beat it this time of year.
posted by y2karl at 6:51 AM on May 16, 2007

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