Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Back from Oklahoma

I spent most of three days on the road delivering Element, my Tiki 21 to the new owner, who met me at Calumet, Oklahoma, the approximate halfway point between Biloxi and his home in Ft. Collins, Colorado. I left late Thursday afternoon, driving all night to avoid pulling the trailer through heavy daytime traffic in cities along the way like Dallas and Oklahoma City.

The trip went smoothly, with no problems with the trailer and I arrived at the meeting place, which was little more than a bend in the road, at about 6:30 in the morning. The new owner, Bill Cotton, arrived shortly after and we transfered the trailer to his truck and drove off in opposite directions. Although I will miss sailing for awhile until I get Element II in the water, I was not sad to see Element go because selling her has provided the means to complete the Tiki 26, which I know is the right design for my needs. I was fortunate to find a buyer knowledgeable about multihulls and eager to try a trailerable Wharram design, so it made sense to go ahead and sell while I had the chance rather than wait until later in the Tiki 26 build and run the risk of not finding a buyer when I would need the cash the most.

After completing the boat delivery, I was anticipating doing some camping and possibly hiking in some part of Oklahoma, but having stayed awake all night I was running on caffeine and decided to keep driving that day, working my way to the southeastern part of the state on backroads. I managed to keep going all day, until about 4:00 in the afternoon, when I reached a state park at a lake and pulled in to camp at the tent site and get some much needed rest. It seemed fine when I got there, a scenic lake in the midst of rugged, rocky hills, but the tent camping area was unfortunately located just above the boat launching area. I turned in before dark and managed to get a couple hours sleep before all the commotion started. In disbelief, I listened as trucks came and went, people yelled and played loud music, and launched and retrieved boats. This began around 11:00 that night and was still going on at 3:30 in the morning, when I gave up on getting any sleep and broke camp and hit the road again. This experience and the last road trip I did before this one reminded me again why I like sailing so much. Just by the simple act of leaving the mainland, you leave behind the overwhelming majority of the population, and especially the ones that act like that. I used to really enjoy road trips, but mostly out West where one can drive far enough down a forest service or BLM road to get away from almost everyone. It's just getting harder and harder to do so these days in most places. That's why for me it's either backpack into the wilderness, paddle a kayak or canoe, or sail away to remote coastlines and islands. I can't wait to get back on the water in Element II.

Tiki 21 Element on the plains of Oklahoma enroute to meet her new owner.

My not so tranquil tent camping site at a state park in southeastern Oklahoma

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