There is a “canoe trail” on the Upper Klamath Lake and my friend Stephen and I set out to find the elusive Least Bittern. He brought his canoe and life jackets but they were size large and I am bigger than that. I was able to put the jacket on but I couldn’t fasten it. I put my coat on over the life jacket but then I couldn’t zip it up. I sat in the front of the canoe and I probably looked a lot like the big bear that Grizzly Adams had in the beer ads However, that bear was trained. I probably weighed about a hundred pounds more than Stephen and we were a long way from having an even keel. He was still able to reach the water with his paddle in the back but there was very little freeboard up front.
The water was cold and deep and if we had tipped over, we would probably have had a serious problem with hypothermia. Stephen made the prudent suggestion that we paddle back to the dock. The only problem with that was, we were now heading into the wind. My coat opened up like the sail on a Chinese junk and I didn’t have a clue on how to tack against the wind. It was a bit of a struggle getting back to the dock and I always thought that would have made a great movie. It was quite a memorable trip but Stephen was never up for a sequel.