It’s Tiller Time!
The nearest “town” to our OUTPOST camp is about 60 river miles away. So at the beginning of each season we show up and dust off the winter cobwebs, load the 18′ jon boat full of gear and supplies, put her in the water, and then the fun and adventure really begins…
Over 2 days we run 180 miles in this open boat (no top, no windshield), usually in 60 mile increments, shuttling gear to the OUTPOST base camp through untamed wilderness without seeing another soul.
If you’re trying to do the river miles math, we go up river 30 miles, drop some gear. Return to port to pick up another load and then run the full 60 miles to camp. Then we back track 30 miles downriver to pick up what’s left from the first cache of gear, then head back upriver 30 miles to camp.
The simple math: 30 + 30 + 60 + 30 + 30 miles. And that’s a lot of tiller time in 2 days.
The first time we did this was in rain and wind and poor visibility… it was one of the longer, colder days of our lives. Plus, I could barely move my arm for 2 days afterwards. These days I actually do some strength training prior to the season specific to piloting a boat by the motor’s tiller.