Self Shuttle

Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Messages
16
Location
Lawrence, KS
Anybody have any experience shuttling themselves on a solo river trip? When i was younger I took a couple of Ozark trips where I left the canoe at the put in, drove my truck and bicycle to the take out, bicycled back to the put in, floated to the truck, drove to the put in and picked up the bicycle, then went home. Once I left the bicycle at the take out and biked back to the truck - exhausted and in the near dark. That was a mistake. Anyway, that was then. I still bike some, but don't fancy an Ozark ride anymore. I have a number of solo trips I want to make in my new Vagabond, but would like to figure out a self shuttle that would work. I've map out a number of floats with 15 - 20 mile shuttles, but you can imagine the hills and valleys! (If you haven't tried looking at Ozark streams on Google Earth, I recommend it. You can almost see the fish.) I was thinking about a small dirt bike or scooter. Any ideas??



 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,667
Location
Appleton, Maine
I have a good friend who once tried to hitch hike back to his vehicle with a PFD on and a paddle in hand down rt 5 along the Connecticut River in Vermont. Unfortunatley, the Vermont State Police didn't consider his idea reasonable and gave him a hefty fine.

Maybe a local guy going upstream to work could give you a ride for a few bucks gas money. It might take some homework, but if you confronted locals with the canoe on your vehicle and an honest story, you might find some help. Shuttles are one of the reasons I never do much river tripping.
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,819
Location
Schenectady, NY
I've done just that sort of shuttle solo, with my son and with MDB (My Darling Bride)...but then again, I still bicycle around 1,500 miles per season. Mostly in the Adirondacks. My advise: be sure you have a good lock and start training, if only to wear in those parts in contact with the bike!
 
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Moose River bow trip in Maine and the Steel River in western Ontario Canada. Two great trips, soloed both.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
182
Location
Lower Saranac Lake, Adirondacks
The bike thing has worked for me, always with car at the take out. Dropping and chaining boat and PFD at start, driving to take ut and running back has also worked. My fav is paddling upstream, having lunch, then dropping down with the current; at least a 3X time up to 1unit time down, but paddling against a current is fun.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,667
Location
Appleton, Maine
Moose River bow trip in Maine and the Steel River in western Ontario Canada. Two great trips, soloed both.

How about a story or pictures over in the trip reports section. I was looking at that Moose River bow trip this weekend while killing some time at my daughters place in Maine. I also have some interest in that Steel River trip, would be nice to hear about your trips, especially this time of year.
 
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I remember a couple of trips as a kid when my Dad paid a guy to drive us to the put-in and then leave the car at the take-out. I think it was somebody from a gas station. Long time ago.
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2012
Messages
453
Location
southwest Indiana
I have used a bicycle many times but always for whitewater day trips of 7 miles or less. There are outfitters in the Ozarks who will run a shuttle for you, but some of them are starting to ask ridiculous prices (IMO). I have a friend who has paddled streams all over Indiana by himself. He frequently finds a bar in a small town and asks a guy sitting at the bar if he would drive him from the take out back to the put in and it seems to work for him.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Messages
16
Location
Lawrence, KS
Lots of good ideas. I hadn't really thought about padding upstream and floating back. I'm sure that would work lots of places on lots of streams, but some Ozark water is pretty fast and too deep to wade. No harm in trying though. I love wade fishing, it's about all I did as a kid, and you get to some pretty excellent water.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,386
Location
Raymond, ME
How about a story or pictures over in the trip reports section. I was looking at that Moose River bow trip this weekend while killing some time at my daughters place in Maine. I also have some interest in that Steel River trip, would be nice to hear about your trips, especially this time of year.

I would do a TR but the one I wrote went away with solotripping. I've done the Bow Trip five times and never considered a bike. It would be possible to leave one at Attean Pond and bike the dirt road over to Holeb. It does away with crossing Attean Pond and avoids the 1.25 mile portage.

But I like the portage (there are two choices) and like Attean very much.

Link here to the map

Good two to three day trip. Usually camp on Holeb and Spencer Rips.

http://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/docs/maps/holeb.pdf
 
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Guest

Guest
I've done lots of bike shuttles, just as Charlie has said - do the shuttle first. The last thing you need is to be delayed on the river and have to bike back in the dark. And like pblanc, most of my shuttles have been relatively short. A few might have been over 10 miles, but not many. I don't mind hills, but after a couple of shuttles along the Kickapoo River I decided I'd use an outfitter. A 6-mile bike ride in that area is 3 miles up and 3 miles down. OOF!

I've also bike-shuttled on gravel roads and definitely do not recommend it.

What I've found really interesting is that for all the times I've left my bike at a landing - along with shoes, helmet, tire repair kit, and pump, nothing has never been stolen or disturbed, even when I forgot to lock it. Neither has the boat ever been disturbed, not even the stuff I can't lock like shoes, hat, and dry bag contents. I find that encouraging. However, I also remember the old Arab advice: "Trust Allah but tie your camel."
 
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