Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What Were They Thinking

Yesterday we had an unusual situation with canoe rentals.

Four couples in their 40s rented canoes for the entire day.  It costs $25 per canoe for the day, and the canoes have to be back by 8 pm at the latest.  I explained the rules to them.  They seemed to understand completely.  They told me how they had a handheld GPS and they planned to paddle to a park in Columbus which is 4 miles driving distance from here.  We didn’t know how far it was by canoe, but you’d think with a GPS they could figure that out.  They told me they had a vehicle parked at the park with a picnic lunch waiting for them.  It sounded like fun.  They left a 11 am.

At 4 pm, two of the guys drive up in a truck.  They told us they had a problem.  Apparently, some in the group were too tired and sore to paddle the canoes back.  They wanted us to pick up the canoes at the park or let them use the park’s trailer to get them. 

We weren’t sure what to say.  I went and asked the full-time park attendant what she thought.  She said there was no way we could pick up the canoes or let them use the trailer.  The trailer is used to store the canoes next to the river.  It is not equipped to be on the road.  She said they had never had this situation in the 10 years she’s been here.  People know they have to bring the canoes and kayaks back to us.  We do not transport them.

I told this to the two guys.  They got quite snippy and rude about it.  They had the attitude that since they paid money to rent the canoes, we had to do whatever they wanted.  They went to talk to the park attendant themselves.  Still no go.  The bottom line is they signed a release stating they would return the canoes.

They went off in a huff and said they would figure out a way to drive them back.  One of the couples was camping in a horse trailer.  They hooked up that trailer and brought back all 4 canoes. 

They had a better attitude when they got back.  When they asked us to pick up the canoes, they still had 4 hours to get them back.  They would have been paddling downstream all the way back.  I really think they had just gotten tired and didn’t want to do it anymore. 

Another new camp hosting experience.  Sometimes you just have to wonder what are people thinking!