I was up early to assist with today's canoe trip on the Rio Grande. Linda woke up in the middle of the night, so she decided to sleep in.
I was going to hitch a ride to the Visitors Center with one of the other volunteers so I could leave Linda the truck, but she said she wasn't going anywhere.
I arrived a little before 8:00. Keep in mind this was not OUR canoe trip, so I was just going to let Greg, the regular Wednesday guide, run the show. My goal was to get there just as they opened the Visitors Center at 8:00 and help out.
But when I got there, all those signed up for the trip were already inside filling out paperwork and paying. And some of them were not happy already.
You see, we are only supposed to have 8 people maximum per guide. And Wednesday is normally a one-guide day, so the reservations should have been capped at 8.
We had 12 reservations on the books. That's why I agreed to help today.
But there was a bigger problem. We had a group of four on the books that had actually requested four canoes rather than four spots. Somehow that didn't translate to the person taking the reservation. Thinking we had two-person canoes, they needed 8 spots rather than four. Oops!
For a minute there it looked like we were going to have to bump someone off the trip, so our group of 8 was rather upset. I took over and we worked it out. Fortunately, we have room for 16 people beside the two guides - just enough. Whew!
Once they got over that, then some of them were not too happy that we had three-person canoes instead of two-person canoes. Couples often think they are going to have their own canoe, so they are disappointed when they have to share or have to split up. Linda & I understand that - we wouldn't want to have to split up either on a trip we are paying for.
Finally, we got all the paperwork complete, got the payments made, and got them calmed down and in the auditorium. Greg arrived and gave them the lowdown on the trip while I finished up the office work.
The mood was getting lighter and everyone was starting to have fun by the time we got in the vans to get to our put-in. This clearly was NOT a birding group - this group was here for a different kind of fun. :)
Greg is an excellent guide and we worked well together. It seemed like forever, but we finally got our big group on the water. :)
We all breathe a big sigh of relief once everyone is in canoes. The toughest part is getting folks loaded. :)
As I said, this was not a birding group. Many did not bring binoculars, they were loud and having fun, and they paddled from the beginning. It was not like the trips Linda and I lead where we just float down the river and ask our folks to paddle only when we are against the wind. :)
Greg and I tried to pace them, but they all just kept paddling. They liked seeing the birds and knowing what they were, but nobody was slowing down to sit and watch them. :)
Linda & I will usually have our groups on the water around 8:45 and we will float about three hours. We will have all the canoes loaded and everyone back in the van somewhere between 12:00 and 1:00.
Today, we were on the river around 9:00 and we were off the river AND loaded by 11:17! And that was with our maximum size group. These folks weren't messing around. :)
But they were fun and they all seemed happy with the trip. Greg does an excellent job, and he really appreciated having me along today. Nice guy. :)
I popped in the door at home and Linda was a bit shocked to see me so early. She said she slept in and then enjoyed her leisurely morning. Good for her. :)
I fixed us lunch while she washed up some dishes. Then, since it was the last day of the month and we weren't going anywhere, I worked on getting the February financials completed.
So they are done and the month-end entry is below this one. It takes some work and some discipline to keep track of things like we do, but boy do we ever have a better understanding of where our money goes than ever before.
If we had done this all of our married life before we went on the road, we probably would not have to workamp or have our little businesses at all now. :)
After wrapping up the financials, it was a nice, quiet evening at home. Linda made tacos and guacamole. Again, I don't know why we ever go out to eat - Linda's food always tastes better. :)
We're still trying to find some Mexican food here in The Valley that has a little kick. Everything is bland.
Back in Louisville we had a restaurant headquartered there named "Tumbleweed". They have great, reasonably priced tex-mex food and they would make a killing here!
Anyone want to go in on a franchise? Yikes! Forget I said that - too much work. :)
Well, it was another warm, February day in the 80s. What's that old saying? "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." Here, I think March is going to come in like a lamb and go out like a fire-breathing dragon. :)
But I'll get to wear my shorts, t-shirts, and sandals all the time. Much better than that suit, tie, and overcoat I used to wear in March. :)