Late August Canoe Trip Meetup July 26, 2010 11:16 AM   Subscribe

As previously proposed here and acted upon here, I would like to reintroduce the concept of a Seattle area canoe trip meetup over the third weekend of August for a variety of reasons. As for details on the how, what and where, click on those links above for the further details. And, as for the when, let me propose the late afternoon to early evening of Saturday, August 21st...

As for the alleged reasons, one is that the 520 floating bridge will be closed for the weekend of August 20th to 23rd for the bridge's annual inspection. Having rented canoes at the UW for some years--decades, even--I know that it really enhances the experience.

Another reason is that renting canoes at the Waterfront Activity Center is something that is going to come to a close for a long time as the state gears up to widen the 520 highway. Sometime soon, renting canoes at the UW will be out of the question for some time to come. Which is truly a shame.

As for the few that did show up when it finally happened, well, we had a wonderful time. I think everyone who attended will agree. So, I would like to repeat the experience for more than the few while we can.

Now, I don't want this to preclude any sooner meetup--like a bumper car flash crowd, for instance, before the Fun Forest bumper car concession closes, if indeed, it has not already closed--or the usual noisy tavern meetup, for that matter.

Only with less noise, please...

And, we can include the tavern meetup with the canoe trip. Those who want to paddle can paddle and those who want to meet and drink can both be accommodated, I should think. But I thought it wouldn't hurt to throw this canoe rental concept up now before our local meetup calendar gets filled.

And you--what do you think ?
posted by y2karl to MetaFilter Gatherings at 11:16 AM (74 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Here are some pictures of that meetup.
posted by y2karl at 11:20 AM on July 26, 2010

What do I think?

I think this is reason 9,275,847 THIS WEEK that I'm upset I don't live in Seattle.

That's what I think.

posted by greekphilosophy at 11:26 AM on July 26, 2010

I already know I can't make it -- have a big project that is going to sap my evenings and weekends due August 27.

And, greekphilosophy, you gotta move here!
posted by bearwife at 11:41 AM on July 26, 2010

Quick question. Is this a kid-friendly activity enough to bring our 3 year old along? Or best to do without her? Will other kids be there?
posted by smart75 at 11:43 AM on July 26, 2010

At that age ? Better without, I would say.
posted by y2karl at 12:02 PM on July 26, 2010

And, although I have a tenant who done so, better without your dog as well. You will see more wildlife that way. And you won't have to worry about your dog leaping out of the canoe.

As for children, the longer answer is that it is an activity more suitable to adults and adults not under the influence at that. Which is a matter explained in one of the two threads linked above.
posted by y2karl at 12:09 PM on July 26, 2010

Sounds like a fantastic idea, y2karl. My vote is for Sunday, 22 August. I'm not sure if I would be able to come on Saturday. As for the tavern afterward—Montlake Ale House is probably closest?
posted by grouse at 12:09 PM on July 26, 2010

Here by a trained medical professional. More or less.

Well, OK, less....
posted by y2karl at 12:17 PM on July 26, 2010

That was about my comment concerning adults under the influence, obviously...
posted by y2karl at 12:19 PM on July 26, 2010

This is a cool idea, as far as I know I am available so mark me down for a canoe seat. I'll continue to watch this thread (and IRL if this shows up there).
posted by chaff at 1:08 PM on July 26, 2010

Oooh! Mezamashii and I will come! I'm all excited now :)
posted by kthxbi at 1:16 PM on July 26, 2010

Oh fine, now that I'm in Winnipeg for the foreseeable future...

OTOH my absence makes it safe for you Puget Sounders to come out now. Don't forget to bring bread for the ducks or if you want to feed them more naturally ours used to eat slugs.

posted by vapidave at 4:17 PM on July 26, 2010

Can y'all paddle out to Whidbey? Because if you can make the crossing I can meet you on the beach with cold beer, hot crispy spicy chicken, and a joyous dog.
posted by The otter lady at 7:26 PM on July 26, 2010

Dammit, I mainly like events where I can get drunk and bring the kid.
posted by Artw at 7:35 PM on July 26, 2010

Ok, we've been talking about a child-friendly meetup for ages, we gotta do this thing sometime soon.

August 21 looks open to me, but I may be a single parent. As in, I might be baby sitting, my wife is in perfect health as far as I know. Put me down for maybe. This was a lot of fun last time.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:11 PM on July 27, 2010

Canoeing is something I do not want to do with children. Taking a kid across Lake Washington--and that is what we did the last time--is fun for grownups. But. It's not NerfWorld enough for cildren. Going across the lake, which is part of the route I take, you cross the wakes of powerboats at one point, when you cross the water traffic lane for the floating bridge. It can be done with ease when one has one's wits about one but it can get exciting.

So, I would not want no one younger than 12 along nor anyone who had more than two drinks recently. It would make me too nervous, otherwise.

And I have found few people who want to listen to someone else's kids go ballistic, even people with children. And the wildlife has a tendency to beat it when kids do that. For the same reason, I feel the same way when people want to bring their dogs canoeing. The dogs may have fun but the birds generally beat it when the dogs make their presence known. And they do.

But... if you want child friendly, let me suggest this--we pay $12 per person for a party and rent the Fun Forest bumper car concession for a party and those who want can bring their kids. And those kids too short for bumper cars can ride the rides. While we grownups--as it were--can sideswipe, T-bone and head on each other in the little cars.

And the Fun Forest bumper cars are even more an endangered species than the UW rental canoes because the canoes make a come back but when the Fun Forest closes down, no more Seattle Center bumper cars forever.

So, the way I see it, we can do both--have a bumper car meetup with drinks afterward, so the drinks afterward people have a meetup and we have a canoe trip so the drinks afterward and exercise averse people can blah blah woof woof...

And since both of these are time dependent--the Fun Forest closes at the end of summer, I believe and the 520 bridge is closed on the weekend of the 21st, there is no reason we can't have a couple of meetups this month. So, mull that over and pick a date for bumping cars.

(I was going to have vapidave suggest this until he revealed he now resides in Winnipeg. )
posted by y2karl at 5:19 PM on July 27, 2010

...when you cross the water traffic lane for the floating bridge.

That is, when you cross the water traffic lane for the Montlake bridge, d'oh!
posted by y2karl at 5:58 PM on July 27, 2010

Oh, good. I've been wanting a meetup since I came back to town. I'm more of a lurker than a poster so y'all don't really know me, but I know you. Aaaand that makes me sound far creepier than I am. I think a canoe meet up is a great idea but I'm a disastrous canoer and I can't go inflicting that on people. I absolutely love bumper cars, though, so if that meetup happens, I will be first in line.
posted by diamondsky at 7:44 PM on July 27, 2010

I am probably up for the canoeing meet-up depending on when it actually happens, but I would rearrange important things on my schedule if that is what it took to make it out for a bumper car meet-up. I've chickened out of every MetaFilter meet-up so far (and have somehow still managed to meet four out of five mods), but this would get me there for sure.

Please, please! Let's make the bumper car meet-up happen! (Please, please: Not the weekend of the 28th, as I can't rearrange the non-refundable plane tickets, and missing it would be heartbreaking.)
posted by adiabat at 3:47 PM on July 28, 2010

Please, please! Let's make the bumper car meet-up happen!

Now this is more like it.

Well, as the weekend of the 21st-22nd is the ideal date for canoeing and the 28th does not work for you, that leaves the first two weekends of August, that is the weekend after this one coming up or the one after that. Now, if a few more folks chime in, I would feel comfortable having both put up on the sidebar--the 21st for canoeing and the 7th or 14th for bumping cars. Or a date in the middle of those weeks for the latter, for that matter.

That is, if anyone is aware of this anymore....
posted by y2karl at 4:34 PM on July 28, 2010

Mezamashii and I are free every weekend in August except for Saturday the 14th. However, assuming my softball team doesn't fall out of the playoffs in the first round, we're busy Saturday afternoons at least part way through August. And we'd be up for both canoeing and bumper cars though we're more excited for the canoeing.
posted by kthxbi at 9:52 AM on July 29, 2010

Sundays come to mind. Of course, first I shall call the Fun Forest and find out if this is still possible, and the place is not booked up and what would be entailed in order to rent it for an hour or two. Of course, assuming it is $12 an hour per person, an hour would be enough, I would think.

To be followed by something convivial in a friendly location. Child friendly, or at least accommodating if children attend. A category which includes the Mecca, the Five Point and Ozzie's in the near neighborhood, at least to my mind. (Of course, your kids may want to get tattoos afterwards, so there is that to consider....) Well, report to follow and all that.
posted by y2karl at 10:49 AM on July 29, 2010

Five Spot is great, but gets crowded awful fast.
posted by Artw at 11:09 AM on July 29, 2010

I like the 7th/8th for bumper cars, since I'd love to be at Doe Bay Fest on the 14th/15th. (Any other MeFites there, by the way?) But that is just my selfish imposition.

I agree that Sundays are a fine idea, though.
posted by adiabat at 12:32 PM on July 30, 2010

Well, I called the Fun Forest for more details on Friday but got neither an answer nor voicemail. So I will try again on Monday. Well, I will call tomorrow, too, but I don't have my hopes up. At any rate, this is what is written on the Fun Forest's Party Packages page:
Party Package A

$12 per person includes:
1 hour total time *unlimited rides, 1 game of Lazer Tag, and one five minute
session on the Climbing Wall.

Party Package B

$18 per person includes:
2 hours total time **unlimited rides, 1 game of Lazer Tag and one five minute
session on the Climbing Wall.

MasterCard, Visa or cash please.

Please note-- one needs to be at least 60 pounds to go on the Climbing Wall.
So, I don't know what is possible or how much money down it will take to make a reservation but I do hope to have some more definitive by Monday evening, August 2nd..

As for the canoeing, I will probably post a time and place by tomorrow so as to keep this thread linked on the first page. I am inclined to make the time 6 or 7 PM for the start but that will depend on how long it will stay open. I am shooting for two hours before closing so as to make the grand circuit in leisure. as for the day, I am inclined towards Saturday, August 21. And you ?

Well, I do know one thing. Those of you who have yet to try this little recreation have no idea of how awesome much fun this will be. No idea at all.
posted by y2karl at 5:50 PM on July 31, 2010

as for the day, I am inclined towards Saturday, August 21.

I'm inclined towards Sunday, 22 August. Bumper cars sound like fun too!
posted by grouse at 10:04 PM on July 31, 2010

I can do Sunday, the 22nd, as well -- any seconds ?
posted by y2karl at 12:34 PM on August 1, 2010

We can do the 22nd.
posted by kthxbi at 6:32 PM on August 1, 2010

Okely dokely then, we will meet at the Waterfront Activity Center, at 5:00 PM on Sunday, August 22nd. (Campus map)

Sunset that day will be 7:01 PM, so we should plan on being back by 6:30 PM, hence our departure time should be around 5:00 PM for the full tour. Stragglers and late comers, however, could meet the early birds on the Arboretum side later and, therefore, leave the WAC as late as 6:00 PM. We can exchange cell phone numbers when the weekend of the 22nd comes to facilitate this, if need be.

Now, according to the outgoing voicemail message for the Waterfront Activity Center, parking is free after noon on Weekends. Weekend rental rates for canoes is thus: for the general public, it is $10 an hour, for UW alumni, it is $9 an hour and for currently enrolled students, it is $6 an hour. The rate is per canoe, not per person. And I recommend canoes--rowboats are far slower and hard to manuver.

Fine print from the WAC page:

Must be 18 years of age and older with valid ID to rent a canoe or rowboat.
Boat restrictions: maximum 3 in a canoe and 4 in a rowboat.
Patrons must have current UW ID to receive established rates.
Payment must be made by cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover ONLY. .

As for a venue for drinks afterwards for the less athletically inclined, well, we can work that out as time goes on and post it here.

Ditto for a bumper cars meet up -- but let us get this one up in the meetup column in the mean time.
posted by y2karl at 10:07 AM on August 2, 2010

I am looking forward to this. As UW staff, I bring the price down for one of the canoes to $8/hour. Yay!

y2karl, do you want to post this to IRL? I am pleased to do so if you do not.
posted by grouse at 10:20 AM on August 2, 2010

Please do.
posted by y2karl at 10:54 AM on August 2, 2010

Now posted. You can let people know you're coming by clicking the "Joining us?" radio button on that page.
posted by grouse at 11:04 AM on August 2, 2010

I was with you up until you said canoe ...
posted by Relay at 12:09 PM on August 2, 2010

Hmm, Oklahoma for business or Lake Washington for MeFi... It'll be the latter if I have any say.
posted by whycurious at 3:54 PM on August 2, 2010

I was with you up until you said canoe ...

Are you a canoer... or a can't oar?
posted by qvantamon at 2:50 AM on August 3, 2010

Don't like water all that much.
posted by Relay at 9:43 AM on August 3, 2010

When asked about his distaste for water (especially for drinking it rather than alcohol), W. C. Fields is alleged to have said "Nasty stuff. Fish fuck in it."
posted by grouse at 10:16 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Two days after I leave town? I want a recount.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 11:01 PM on August 4, 2010

August 22. School will have just let out, and I'll be ready to kick up my heels. Count me in.
posted by tejolote at 2:41 PM on August 7, 2010

So, we have yet to pick a location for the apres canoeing rendezvous. I will of course suggest the Eastlake Zoo but your mileage will of course no doubt vary. And there are locations nearer the WAC, across the bridge in Montlake.

Or there is the U District, for that matter--the Campus Inn comes to mind, for example. Heck, so does the Blue Moon...
posted by y2karl at 5:01 PM on August 7, 2010

We have no opinion and assume you know what you're talking about more than we do so carry on and we'll just meet you where you tell us to go oh fearless leader.
posted by kthxbi at 6:37 PM on August 7, 2010

Oh, doing something after canoeing? OK, that'll work for me - where & when?
posted by Relay at 10:50 AM on August 9, 2010

Wait, bumper cars? Did I miss the bumper cars?? Can we do bumper cars for my birthday? That's August 17th! Oh god please that would be so awesome~

(Canoeing is for when I'm in Maine, with the loons.)
posted by Mizu at 3:43 AM on August 10, 2010

Wow, this canoe party is a meet-up I would really enjoy. I love the lake in late summer. Sadly, I'm arriving in Seattle that morning and have an party that evening w/family & friends.

So, is there any interest in any other non-tavern, outdoorish meet-ups? ... bumper cars? ... Bumbershoot? I'll be in town till around Sep 7 - I might even be visiting Whidbey, the otter lady.
posted by Surfurrus at 3:45 AM on August 10, 2010

Events in real life have kept me busy and I have yet to follow up on calling the Fun Forest in regards to bumper cars but I will strive to do so this week.

In the meantime, I must say that I am starting to get stoked about going canoeing in a week. I have no idea of how many folks will show up but I do know we will have fun in any case if the last canoeing meet up is any indicator. So, I hope to see you whoevers soon.
posted by y2karl at 2:05 PM on August 15, 2010

And for the record I am SO glad it is next weekend and not this past weekend. I would have sweated my non-existent balls off.
posted by kthxbi at 9:30 PM on August 16, 2010

Here I can speak from some years of experience of renting canoes at the WAC: it is always cool down on the lake, no matter how hot it may be on land. Always. It may be in the 90s on the dry side but on and just above the water, it's in the 60s. Plus, there is something so relaxing about sitting in a canoe as it ever so slightly bobs and rocks on the water. You climb in that canoe and you are cool and calmed down at that very moment--it is instantaneous in effect. You will see.
posted by y2karl at 1:13 AM on August 17, 2010

We should probably pick a place for drinks soonish. I will defer to y2karl's vast knowledge and taste.
posted by grouse at 2:44 PM on August 19, 2010

And we should decide when and where those of us who are canoeing are going to park/meet. Mezamashii and I will probably bus over.
posted by kthxbi at 4:04 PM on August 19, 2010

I believe that there is no charge for parking in the Husky Stadium lot on weekends. At least when there is no games going on there or at Hec Edmundson. If this is so--and I will look it up today or call the WAC when it is open--one can drive in the entrance and go around the back, beyond the climbing rocks, all the way to the Waterfront Activity Center at western edge of the lot. Look at the Southeast Campus Map. The entrance to the lot is at 3800 Montlake Bo8ulevard NE, on the east side of Montlake Boulevard, you can see it there right between where it says E17 and Gate 8, just above the nearest public phone symbol. You go on there and turn right and go through the parking booths and around to the left until you get to the WAC. or try this Mapquest via City Search map for Husky Stadium and look at it at next to the highest magnification for a simple close up view. The green square is right where the southern split of NE Pacific Place meets Montlake Boulevard, which is where you turn in. There are traffic lights at the intersection.

As for drinks after, I have no suggestion at this time beyond the Campus Inn for convenience. Oh, I know we would be welcome at the Eastlake Zoo but that is some distance. (By the way, Google Street view is going to have a commercial interior section for businesses--they were just in the Zoo taking pictures. It'll be up in four weeks. It will be like walking in and looking around, Google Street View style. I guess they took hundreds of pictures.)
posted by y2karl at 7:53 AM on August 20, 2010

I would favor Big Time over the dungeon that is the College Inn Pub, but my bias might result from working right by it. Familiarity breeds contempt.
posted by grouse at 12:30 PM on August 20, 2010

Well, crap, just saw the forecast and they are talking about showers tomorrow--at least in the morning. Even so, it may dry out by afternoon, so I do not want to abort until around 4--if it's rainy then, I will be willing to bail on the canoeing part. Then we can go straight to Big Time instead at 5 PM and drown our sorrows in beer or root beer, as the case may be--that is if they have root beer. But whatever about that. As for the alternate meetup location and time, what say ye ?
posted by y2karl at 6:11 PM on August 21, 2010

I say we still canoe even if it's raining but I'm a glutton for punishment.
posted by kthxbi at 10:34 PM on August 21, 2010

Your alternate plan sounds fine to me, if necessary.
posted by grouse at 12:03 AM on August 22, 2010

Y'all need to do this. Or something. It's the Pacific Northwest and you are waterproof. Wish I was there.
posted by vapidave at 12:44 AM on August 22, 2010

Well, the morning's rain is less than encouraging but there's talk of sunbreaks in the afternoon, so I have yet to give up hope. It is so much more serene an experience to canoe around the Arboretum when the freeway's closed, so even with clouds it will be well worth the effort.

Plus, with the hour to an hour and a half route I usually follow--hugging the shore north and following it to where the UW meets Laurelhurst (where the purple meets the gray in this map) and then along some big house back yards to cross the lake and go under 520 and then slide through the slough along the Broadmoor Golf course and Foster Island and glide onward into the waters between Marsh Island and the Museum of Science and History ( here's a close up of those parts) and on across the cut to the WAC--there will be a lot less boat traffic where we have to cross it and it will likely be much smoother because of the weather, as there will not be so much boat traffic on a less than ideal day. Less than ideal for the power boats, that is--between the freeway being closed and the reduction in boat traffic, the canoeing will be even more enhanced.
posted by y2karl at 8:06 AM on August 22, 2010

I just called to double check that they were open today and found out they are and like, wow, that we could stay out until 8:30 PM if we wanted. I was expecting something more like 7:30.

Well, I am going to be out and about away from the computer for most of the day with my only stone age cell phone so until then... bon voyage.
posted by y2karl at 8:23 AM on August 22, 2010

As in it's still on no matter what now right?
posted by kthxbi at 9:12 AM on August 22, 2010

I'd say yes. I'm on my way.
posted by grouse at 4:16 PM on August 22, 2010

Me, too.
posted by y2karl at 4:38 PM on August 22, 2010

We are on our way to Big Time!
posted by grouse at 6:49 PM on August 22, 2010

Yay, I made it to the post-canoe thingo @ Big Time.

Lovely folks, and I'm only half-sorry I missed the death-defying canoe trip.
posted by Relay at 9:41 PM on August 22, 2010

Yeah Relay, I'm sure some of us would have surely drowned if we had taken the time to fall out of our canoes. And what with the 30+ ducks surrounding us at one point surely we barely missed a wildlife ambush.
posted by kthxbi at 9:46 PM on August 22, 2010

Oh my gosh I surely used sure and surely a bit too much there. Surely I have surely on my mind.
posted by kthxbi at 9:46 PM on August 22, 2010

Don't call me Shirley kthxbi ...
posted by Relay at 10:51 AM on August 23, 2010

That was so much fun! And blasdelf gets a second canoeing merit badge or, at least, an oak leaf cluster for the one from last year. Not to mention bonus points for his très plus cool self-shifting bike.

I was worried about the weather but it turned out to be next to perfect with a postcard sky of near and far clouds in stately formation. And the morning's shower dampened down the power boat numbers to next to nothing--we crossed the wake of one boat when we crossed the traffic lane by 520 and went into the lily padded bay by Broadmoor Golf Course. The only mishap was that eXtreme meetup fan and occasional lurker Susan and I ran aground on a sunken log in the slough by Foster Island there but I rocked our way off after awhile.

Other than that, it was as totally fabulous as I could wish--the lake was as smooth as glass, the sunlight golden and the company nonpareil. We saw one hawk at least six herons and got quite close to two of the latter. One of which stalked off into the reeds while the other merely opened his beak slightly as we passed by. Susan took some pictures with her phone which I will upload shortly. (As usual, I ask that none of me go up should anyone else do so.)

At any rate, apart from that, there are plenty of shots of the rest of the crew just before the duck mob incident. And what a great crew it was--I had a wonderful time. It was just what the doctor would have ordered, had I gone to see the doctor.
posted by y2karl at 11:02 AM on August 23, 2010

Thank you, y2karl, that was a fantastic idea and bunches of fun. The quiet was a rare and wonderful thing.
posted by grouse at 11:06 AM on August 23, 2010

And four pictures are added....
posted by y2karl at 1:34 PM on August 23, 2010

Now I wish I had chosen the username "nonpareil".
posted by Cogito at 2:24 PM on August 23, 2010

Also, as it turned out, Big Time had root beer (Barq's, no doubt but what are you gonna do ?) and free refills, such as they were, to boot. So, that was nice.
posted by y2karl at 3:55 PM on August 23, 2010

I spent a bit of time this afternoon reading through the threads from past canoeing meet-ups, so now I feel inclined to weigh in on canoeing as A Good Time For All. Future readers wavering over whether to attend a canoeing meet-up: Yes, you should!

(Cogito and I ran head-on into a concrete pylon holding up the 520 bridge, very enthusiastically at that. I spilled my blasdelf-supplied can of beer in the excitement! There should definitely be some kind of merit badge given to blasdelf, who demonstrated his canoeing expertise just by virtue of being the only one to bring beer along.)
posted by adiabat at 4:53 PM on August 23, 2010

Man, I really wish I'd made this one.
posted by Artw at 4:56 PM on August 23, 2010

I can't believe you left out previous 4 narrowly spaced pylons that we successfully slalomed.
posted by Cogito at 1:07 PM on August 26, 2010

Yarg! Totally missed it. Of course, I've been ill and very busy when not ill and thus wouldn't have made it, but ...
posted by R343L at 10:57 PM on August 27, 2010

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