A Johns Hopkins Vein Chart of an Alcoholic Gorilla (Our Amazing Waterways)

Dear G.,


Ever see a disaster movie where the highways are full of unmoving cars and trucks? Horns are honking but no one is moving. Maybe there is a roadblock with a radio link to a national database you could be on. After your name it says “HOLD FOR QUESTIONING”.


Anyway, that is my scenario to introduce an idea for alternative travel. Like the waterways of our great nation. Man in Missouri said their state motto is “Where the rivers run.” I said, “Don’t the rivers run in every state.” He told me, “Sure they do,” but if you were to look at a hydro map of each state, you would see a network of water, rivers, creeks and lakes that could be a great way to get around without hitting the road. He said when he moved to Missouri he did an online search and found his hydro map, showing in blue–just the water, no roads–and it amazed him. Ever look out on a really neat river and wonder why you don’t see more people boating on it? True in  lots of places I have seen.


Before I go on, I have a question for you: What large nation was explored and settled largely without the use of horses? Tell you later. But, really, what if there was no gasoline, or you couldn’t get any but had to travel right away? Maybe a highway or bridge is out because of an earthquake but you had to get someplace and right now?


What if you had a lightweight inflatable, a kayak or canoe you could put to use? No motor or gas? Human power got a lot of people around for thousands of years and still does. Lewis and Clark didn’t have an outboard. There are useful inflatables that weigh less than thirty pounds. You could have one in your car trunk or at least your closet. I mean, do we always have to travel by car? Maybe that will end some day, G.? A little boat can take you places where cars can’t go, some really neat places too. Just an idea. Me? I’ve been talking to some people who speak of the boat culture, sometimes, generically, the “canoe culture”.


 Did you figure the country out? It is Canada.




Editor’s note: Our title was a quotation from that charming automobile reviewer Tom Mc Cahill, now long dead. He was describing modern road maps.


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4 thoughts on “A Johns Hopkins Vein Chart of an Alcoholic Gorilla (Our Amazing Waterways)”

  1. Concerning portaging, you are right of course. But at least you CAN portage a boat. Verlon Kruger, greatest canoest who ever lived, milage-wise, literally portaged more miles than many active people have paddled.

    1. Interesting. This kayak and others like it certainly offer the opportunity for portaging, unlike larger boats.

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