Monday and Tuesday were spent on land preparing for the symposium which kicks off officially this morning. As always when you have a huge event to prepare for a thousand little, unrelated, things pop up to distract you from the tasks at hand. It was true this week with what we call “the Monster Truck” (our large four wheel drive used to haul kayaks on and off the beach in La Jolla). The truck its self is a bit of a story and quite a sight to see. A four wheel drive vehicle is required by the city for all kayak rental operators driving on the beach in La Jolla. Not wanting to invest in a new truck to rust away in the salty environment last summer we found a well priced used four wheel drive in the newspaper. When Jen and I went to check it out we were a bit shocked at just how high it was “lifted” off the ground and by the sheer size of the tires, but the price was right, and we knew it’d never get stuck in the sand, so Jen bought it for the La Jolla store. The truck went unused all winter (we don’t do La Jolla tours in the slow season) and in its down time it decided to develop a list of problems that we discovered when we needed to put it into service on the beginning of this busy week. On Monday I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get the tail gate down, the latch mechanism having frozen shut with rust due to the salty environment it lives in on the beach. Then Tuesday, after dropping in a fresh battery and taking it for a test drive, we discovered that the tail lights weren’t working. After hours of fussing with light bulbs and fuses we diagnosed a faulty headlight switch. I didn’t have time to change the switch but we did find that you can wiggle it out to just the right position where the headlights and tail lights come on at the same time. Too far and it’s just headlights… not far enough and it’s just tail lights… you have to find just the right spot…good enough for now.
Wednesday morning I did find time to paddle with the “Wednesday Morning Group” and we enjoyed a beautiful run out and around the OB pier. The fog played with us coming in and blowing out twice while we were out on the water.
Later in the day Jen ran to the airport and picked up the first of the guest coaches coming in to town to teach at the symposium. They were picked up and treated to a ride in the “Monster Truck”. Being from the UK they don’t see many vehicles quite like that one and seemed to enjoy the uniquely American experience of riding in such a ridiculous vehicle.
Thursday was finally a full day of symposium preparations spent moving boats and setting things up at “Campland” which is a campground on the northeast corner of Mission Bay about three miles from our store where the Symposium is held. Thankfully we had lots of volunteers pitching in. By the end of the long day we had rounded up all the guest coaches as they arrived from the airport and we regrouped for a chili dinner and a few beers in camp. The British coaches still couldn’t get enough of the big truck.