The Houston Canoe Club
is a Paddle America Club
Link to ACA
Campfire Tales: The Tree Climber
by Paul Woodcock
The year before I joined the canoe club a friend loaned me her 17-ft aluminum Smoker craft. It must have weighed over a hundred pounds and had about a one inch keel. It was the boat I used for the first couple of years I was in the club. I took it everywhere. The first trip was a week on Caddo lake (that is a camp fire tale in itself). I did day trips, clean-ups, and Mary Zaborowski and I took it down the Neches dragging it over logs and up a 6-ft bank to camp. Because of the keel it was hard to maneuver and I kept getting swept under limbs and into rocks. One time I even had it loaded on top of the truck and backed into a tree - that is why I named it Tree Climber. It was so heavy and cumbersome that I was always doing sweep on trips and had to have help loading it. Every year I would call the owner and ask if she wanted it back, and she would reply that her garage had burned down and that she didn't really have a place to store it. About 10 years ago I called her number and discovered it had been disconnected, so Tree Climber stayed outside in my yard, neglected and alone, until I decided to put a mannequin in it to celebrate different occasions. Thus was born Hal I Day Man o' Kin.