I still haven’t made it to Bob’s Up The Creek Outfitters in Moneta (VA) yet so it may be premature to say that Great Outdoor Provisions Company is my favorite local outfitter. But I could go out on a limb…
And, another thing, I am not so sure about this “kayak shortage”.
Great Outdoors has kayaks and they don’t look especially picked over. It’s not about price either. They have the FeelFree Move kayak available at $549. I don’t know if I like sit-on-tops but, if I do, this is pretty and half the price of a Dagger Katana. So, if I am going to be in love with each new kayak I see and the prices are going to vary wildly, how do I pick my “forever kayak”? What is it that I actually want?
So, here’s what I like about going to an outfitter. They know kayaks. The salesman I spoke to was a fan of Jackson kayaks. He explained that for what I am wanting a kayak for – lakes and rivers with less than class 2 rapids – the Dagger Katana is not a good fit. He explained that there are kayaks made for the sea, kayaks made for whitewater, and kayaks made for flatwater. He suggested two kayaks to look at. Both are pricey (but still less than the Katana):
The LiquidLogic Remix says that it “excels in whitewater yet carries speed across flat, calm lakes”.
The Venture Flex says that it allows you to “explore canals, take short coastal trips, enjoy a tranquil day on the lake, or float along gentle rivers”.
I may be completely off of the Dagger now. It’s an elite kayak but I feel embarrassed by my basic kayak when next to a LiquidLogic kayak, even if they are made for two entirely different things. LiquidLogic stands out as a top brand around here. It’s like having a Trapper Keeper when I was in 8th grade. Sure, a regular binder would do but a Trapper Keeper was just better for some reason.
I do not want to thrill seek and bang my head against rocks. A crazy whitewater experience is not on my “to do” list. But I can’t shake the envy/respect I am getting for the LiquidLogic line. Now that I know that they make a crossover, I have something else to think about.
And so I get to the other great thing about Great Outdoors.
They share a parking lot with World of Beers.
World of Beers is a regular restaurant with an extraordinary line up of beers. They have a nice indoors seating area, a great bar, and a beautiful large outdoors patio. Apparently, the latest thing is to not have a physical menu. Instead you scan the QR code and it is supposed to show up on your phone. Supposed to. When that didn’t work for me, my waitress dug out a paper beer menu.
This is just the BEER menu. I had a Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat. It must be pretty popular because I’ve even seen it up here in Martinsville.
It was too hot of a day to try the Deep River Waffles & Syzurp. A North Carolina brown ale, 6.0 ABV, “A brown ale with added spices, syrup, and malts that would remind you of your favorite brekkie. Waffles, syrup, bacon, coffee … and more”. I will be going back as soon as there is the slightest chill in the air.
Actually, I just looked up the Deep River Brewing Company in Clayton, NC and it might be a fun trip to go straight to the source…
Not to bore anyone with food photos but, when you order a salad, do you have preconceived notions of what it should look like before it gets to you? Because the picture below is of the Wobb Cobb salad. Definitely unique. It tasted great so no complaints here. Just a little in awe.
Next step is to learn to move my kayak from point A to point B, by myself. I got a Rhino Rack for my car but have since learned that I have to put at least $300 more into it to be able to carry a kayak. This already costs more than my current kayak.
Plus, it whistles. It’s like having a giant flute tied to the top of my car. On good days, I’ve compared the sound to those Himalayan singing bowls. On bad days, it reminds me of the sound of a British ambulance I’ve heard on tv shows.
Instead of doubling down and buying J racks, I have backed up, accepted that I wasted a good chunk of change and, hoping not to waste more, ordered something cheaper.
I hope this works.
Wish me luck.