Clifford the Big Red Boat

Marian and the Big Red Boat

Marian and the Clifford Big Red Boat

So, I’m standing in the post office line at London Drugs in my hockey gear looking like an overgrown Tim Bit when it hits me that “My life might not be normal.” You see, I had to pick up the parcel in between two hockey games. In a margin of time that also had to include dinner and wasn’t totally even forty-five minutes before I’d have to be strapping on the blades again.

And I’d been waiting a long time for the parcel. About nine months really. Since I camped beside a lovely pond in Gros Morne National Park and looked out towards the horizon and saw the light draining from the day. It seemed as though the pond stretched forever and in a way, it did. Because the next day I looked at the map and noticed that the pond we were we on drained into another which drained into another and so on until the last pond drained into a river and that river got named the Humber. The Humber, like all rivers, flows to the sea and so that pond really did lead to forever.

TA Paddling the Living Room

TA Paddling the Living Room in the new boat

And the idea to run the Humber from source to sea. When a river starts atop a high plateau that is a three day walk from the nearest road, you can’t take a canoe along without the help of a large flying motorized object (that National Parks generally seem to frown upon visitors chartering for an drop-off in a wilderness zone). So, I thought a pack raft might just be the vessel of choice weighing in at just over four pounds and being the size of a two-person tent.

After hemming and hawing and saving my pennies and looking at all the topos I could sign out of the map library, I finally pressed “check-out” on the web order form at Alpaca Pack rafts. And waited. And waited. The boat sat in Canadian customs for nearly two weeks-I figured they must have wanted to try out Clifford the Big Red Boat. Today it finally arrived and I couldn’t wait other day to go pick it up from the post office.

And so there you have it, I ended up in a post office line dressed in hockey gear because I hiked the Gros Morne traverse and saw the source of the Humber and decided I needed to run it in a pack raft…that’s how life goes sometimes.

Of course, I brought it right home after the second game and we blew it right up. It was bigger than I imagined and I can’t wait to take it out on the water!

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4 Responses to Clifford the Big Red Boat

  1. Shelagh Egar says:

    LOL….your life may not be “normal”, but is sure is fun to read along! I’m picturing future headlines….Overgrown Tim Bit Paddles the Humber. Can Clifford be packed on the back of your bike should you ever get around to biking the Cabot Trail?

    • TA Loeffler says:

      Indeed Clifford a.k.a. “The Lady Bug” in some circles is very packable…all collapsed it looks like a two person tent so could easily go via motorbike, mountain bike, backpack, etc. I’m contemplating taking Clifford to Iceland…driving to work this morning, Marian had a worried look on her face as I described my first project as the Eric Descent of the Rennies River!

  2. Carla Quirke says:

    Yes I would agree that your life TA is deffintly not normal by any means but that just makes life all that more interesting. As you once told me normal is relative. If everyone was normal just think how boring life would be. Nice boat by the way.Carla

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