CEDAR RIVER COLOR CRUISE 2003
Written by MICHAEL COURTNEY & COMPANY!
(all pictures are AFTER the story!)
It started out as previous cruises with Dennis and Carol Alm's arriving Thursday night to get a good spot to camp. I met them at there campsite at 6:30 pm at which they had just finished leveling there new Truck Camper. It is really cool with a slideout and has all the comforts.
I told Dennis that the Cedar River was really low but he was amazed when he actually saw it. The rapids of last June were down to a few ripples and it was know problem going through the cut. It was an issue when you came back down though as there are two big rocks that you have to steer around.
Being it was late and no one wanted to cook we headed to the Pizza Palace. "Yum Yum"\par 6:00 am Friday morning the weather report said it was going to be 60 degrees and 15 to 25 mph winds. Let me tell you it was more like 25 to 40 mph winds. We had a hovering skills tested that day.
At 11:00 am the Weber's, the Alm's, Dave Janni, and Gary Jensen were down at the boat ramp. Everyone was waiting to see who would go out first. Verdon was out first, then Dennis and next Dave. After a quick shake down we head down river for a short run.
As I said before it was a hover testing day as the wind seemed to come from all directions at any given time. You be hovering along and start to make a turn and the wind would be pushing so hard that you had to give full throttle. Sometimes that did not help an then you had to set it down and make your turn then up on cushin again. Gary Jensen was the only smart one as he left his slider's on the trailer and rode with me. When we got back he kept muttering something about a "Wild-Man" I hope it wasn't me.
We ended up putting 30 miles on that day with a stop at Sutliff. After being beat up by the wind all afternoon we head for Gwen's restaraunt for the Friday night fish buffet. As allways everthing was good.\par Mike Lynch pulled in around 8:00 pm and after he was setup we headed up to Ray Matthew's to discuss the day's adventures and what was on store for tomorrow. Saturday morning hovercrafts started coming down to the boat ramp until there were 13 units there.
Including: Dave Janni (Starcruiser); Charles Dixon (Viper); Gary Jensen (2 Sliders); Andy Pittman, Donna&Bailey (Starcruiser & Hovertrek); Dennis & Carol Alm (Starcruiser); Ray & Terri Matthews (Starcruiser); Mike Lynch, Steph & John (Starcruiser); Bob Windt (18SP); Justin Noel, Branden & Dad (UH 13); Verdon & Linda Weber and Shelly Penberthy (Starcruiser); Mike Courtney (Starcruiser)
Saturday morning around 11:00 am we headed out for a downriver cruise to Rochester Park 32 miles. The temp was in the low 60's but got up to 70 that day. We had the whole river to ourselves except for a couple of fisherman. It was a great day to hover with only 10 mph winds. There was also a little sparkle of yellow and red showing themselves reminding us that Autum is here but winter not far behind. We saw eagles, geese, Blue Herons and other wild life working the shores and skies above the Cedar River.
As we rounded a curve below Sutliff something in the trees on the far bank caught my eye. It was a cream/orange helicopter at tree top level. It seem to be playing hide&seek as it would drop down behind the trees then popup again. I noticed a long cable over 100 feet or more dangling down and on the end of it was a pole like object. Later I found out that it was replacing Power Line poles.
The group went another five miles and stopped on a sandbar where Bob Windt, Justin, Branden and his Dad were there. It was noon so we at a packed lunch. With fully bellies we head once again down river to Rochester Park. We made it there at 2:30 pm and had a good time watching the Elk across the road.
We got back to Palisades Park at 4:30 pm and everyone got cleaned up and we head to Gwen's once again. Dennis was in rare form teasing the waitress and when he was seated next to the door that customers used that something would happen. First off he told the Gwen he was going to lock the door and she gave him the evil eye look. There was a group of 38 that were comeing in the next 15 minutes and when they started coming in Dennis became the doorman. He opened the door and herded them in like a farmer taking his livestock to market. Gwen didn't know what to think at first but then thanked Dennis.
After dinner Verdon & Linda headed to there secluded campsite and the rest of us went back to Palisades Park for some good time around the campfire. Shelly who was camping with Verdon & Linda wanted to stay at the campfire but did not know how to find Linda & Verdon's campsite. I new where it was so I offered to show her it so she could stay at the campfire.\par The guys stayed outside around the campfire while the women went into the Matthews camper to play games.\par It got to be about 9:30 pm and I had gone to do man stuff when Shelly came out of the camper. When she did not see me around she asked the guys where I was. Dennis pops up that I got tired of waiting for her and went home. She figured he was pulling her leg but when all the other guys agreed she got worried. She left to do women stuff and when I got back Dennis told me what was going on and to hide in the camper. So I did. A few minutes later Shelly came back and noticed I still wasn't there so she decided to go into the camper. Boy was she surprised to see me there. After couple of good laughs I showed her the way to the Webers campsite.
Sunday morning said goodbye to the Alm's who left early for Minnesota. At 10:00 am our group had shrunk to 5 hovercrafts. We headed down river for a short 20 mile cruise. It was a great day to hover with the temps in the mid 70's and 5 to 10 mph east winds.
We only had one little incident and that was when Andy Pittman hit the edge of a sandbar and tore off the front portion of the skirt. It was not biggie as the screws were still attached and only took Andy about 10 minutes to attach the skirt.
We made it back to the boat ramp around 2:30 pm and everyone said there goodbye's.\par Another successful Cedar River Cruise had come to an end.
The best part is there were no major breakdowns.
Happy and safe Hoverin
Mike C "Mag Master"
Happy Hovering "Mag Master"
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