Before I could load up the kayak, it needed to be cleaned, which really means blast all the spiders with the high pressure nozzle on the garden hose. Then I gathered up all the kayaking "stuff" -- cooler of snacks, paddle, towel, dry bag, seat, life preserver, sun screen, hat, etc. That was the easy part. The next step was getting that sucker up on top of my Rav4. Alone. But I told myself from the very beginning that I need to be able to do this on my own.
The trick to hoisting a kayak onto the roof of an SUV is to start from the back. Basically, put the nose of the kayak on the back of the SUV with the stern on the ground. I use a towel between the kayak and the roof so there's no scratching of either the kayak or the car. Then I go to the other end of the kayak and lift and push it onto the top. Ta da! It takes a little wiggling to get it all situated, but it's not too terribly difficult. Then I tie it down and hope like hell that it won't shift during transport.
I decided to go to Montgomery Bell State Park, which is about 40 minutes from here. I wasn't in the mood for a river paddle, nor did I want to deal with all the jet skis and power boats on the bigger lakes. Montgomery Bell has three little lakes that are perfect for paddlers.
I pulled into the Lake Woodhaven boat access and backed my car a little bit down the ramp, hopped out and took the tie downs off the kayak. And the kayak slid right off the car. In slow motion. It bounced and landed right side up in the grass next to the car. Note to self...park the car on level ground before unstrapping kayak. Luckily no damage.
I loaded up my goodies, covered myself in sunscreen and took to the water. A perfect way to spend a Sunday!