You can’t cross a bridge without slowing down or stopping .

You take a trip to Niagara Falls and find yourself picking out

3. You’ve lost count of the number of boats you have in
your garage and backyard.

4. You sign up for a TV cable
company only after checking out the quality of their weather

5. You get excited instead of worried when you hear
about tornado warnings and flash floods.

6. You’ve gone
boating in conditions where you normally wouldn’t go outside.

You find yourself picking lines when watching movies, like say, “The
African Queen”.

8. You’ve been known to “dry scout”
creeks, picking out lines and eddies (the neighbors think you’re

9. All career, personal, and financial decisions are
judged by the criteria “How will this increase my paddling

10. Your friends call you a “gear head”
and you don’t understand what they mean.

11. You’ve toyed
with the idea of just leaving your boat and gear loaded on your

12. You see locals like the guys in “Deliverance”,
and they seem normal to you.

13. Your paddling apparel cost
more than your best suit, including the shoes.

14. When the
weather radio goes off at work, you start thinking of reasons you
“don’t feel so well.”

15. Your boat and gear costs
more than your car.

16. When you hear about a guy in a skirt
you think nothing of it.

17. The waterproof packaging your
food comes in is more important than the food itself.

18. When
you go shopping, Gortex stock goes up.

19. You can buy that
new boat with your REI rebate check.

20. When the TV cameraman
films the “crazies” kayaking the flooded creeks; you know
all their names (and you wish you were out there with them.)

You prefer to sacrifice the bare skin of your face and hands to
protect your dry suit from briars, thorns, or other puncture

22. You refuse the local paddle club officer
nomination because it would cut into your paddle time too much.

You stop to rubberneck at highway river crossings.

24. You buy
new clothes, not by how good they look, but by how fast they’ll

25. You have to take out a second mortgage to build a new
boat shed.

26. You have an old Grumman canoe on blocks in the
front yard.

27. You haven’t missed roll practice at the local
Boys’ & Girls’ Club pool in 3 years.

28. You divide your
life into work days and river days.

29. The bars on your
rooftop rack are wider than 8 feet.

30. You have the NRS and
the NOC catalogs memorized.

You’ve ever wondered how many milk cartons you’d have to save to make
your own kayak.


The Eddy Line, June 1998