Pearce Ferry, the end of the motor season.
Were de-rigging a large dory trip while a motor boatman sits and watches in quiet
We pull the Tuolumne, one of our old aluminum dories, out of the water.
Admittedly, it has looked better. Years of use and countless encounters with rocks give it
a weary appearance. Recent insults, (a couple of loud BONGS in Lava and Crystal), have
added new wrinkles that make it look older, although perhaps not wiser.
To us, its an old boat with character and history. Each dent has a
story. Kenton rowed it a while; so did Cooper. And Boudreaux. The gunwales, shaped a bit
like lasagna noodles, left their imprint on my hind end as I sailed out of it in Crystal
once. Free of me, the boat moved obediently down the right side, hitting every wave
straight as I paddled along behind. My first trip inand out ofa dory. I feel
very close to the old boat.
But the onlooker does not see the history, only flaking paint and Bondo
pasted around some dents. He wryly asks, Do your boats look like that after every
trip? We try to explain that its a cumulative effort, having taken years to
achieve this effect. He takes it all in, looks the boat up and down, and dryly says,
No wonder they wont give you guys motors.