Some Big Steps!

Kayak season will be here before you know it, so we’ve been busy at Adventure Mendota. Our kayak trailer is being finished at the Scott County Career & Technical Center in Gate City. When it leaves the welding class, we are hoping she will move over to the body shop for a little “make up” and then she will head over to St. Paul, Virginia to pick up our kayaks. There’s a Twister getting ready to blow into Mendota…are  you ready? (That would be an Old Town Twister Sit On Top Kayak.) I am!


And before we go any further…here’s a little eye candy. When you cross the Nordyke Bridge coming to Adventure Mendota from Bristol, this is what you’ll see to your right. Just a typical view on the North Fork.

Helene's pix Small

Another huge milestone occurred with getting internet down to the shop (“base camp”), house and over to the guest house. We are thanking our lucky stars for the good folks at IGo. If you can see the Mendota Fire Tower, you can get high speed internet in Mendota, Virginia. They helped Mike with a complicated set up of antennae and routers. Does this make any sense to you?

RiverCliff Farms LLC Networks Pix Small

It didn’t to me either but it looked really smart so BOOM, we are feeling brilliant.

Life vests…they arrived yesterday. Kid size and adult size.

Life Vest

We’ve got the Fork Taxi cleaned up, added rims and new tires and had it inspected mechanically. All is good. We’ re getting decals that will say things like “Follow Me and Float the Fork” on the rear door. The sides will have the website and our phone number.

Fork Taxi Cleaned up

Last…our logo. Originally I planned to have someone help me with a logo. Then, I thought I could do my own logo. We are just spending so much money, I got concerned. Then I decided I could do without a logo. Then, I decided that I could not do without a logo. Reality–we needed Logan Hibbitts to do the logo for us. Ta da!! Do you like it?

Adventure Mendota Logo

We’ve also ordered our Intex River Run Tubes and Mike had his first “class” meeting for the Washington County Chamber Entrepreneur Challenge. I’ll be accompanying him going forward, but I could not go Tuesday night. It was my last night with our beloved dog, Luckie, and I wanted to spend that evening with her. In my other blog, I did my tribute to this wonderful animal. She was special, and if you want to read about her, go here. I am filled with sadness because anyone who met Luckie when she was just a little bit younger would know that she would have loved riding up and down the road in the Fork Taxi or doing a quick float on a kayak. Oh how we loved her.

Luckie in the am

Thank you for coming and visiting our River Blog. Each time you visit, it helps us with our search engine optimization, so please come often, and please leave a comment. And finally, thank you for letting me talk about Luckie just one more time.


The Humble Beginning of the Kayak Trailer

When Mike and I had that first thought “we should start a kayak rental business and call it Adventure Mendota,” we were just so excited.  Now, we’re still excited, but we’re definitely in the nuts and bolts part of starting a small business without a lot of financial investment.

The first purchase was the Fork Taxi.   Translate “Mountain Empire Older Citizens”…you can barely see the decals.  Don’t laugh.  It hauls 11 and the mechanic said it’s been well maintained!  It’s got a CD player and air conditioning.   We’re old but we still can rock!

Fork Taxi

So we can haul those kaykers around, but we had to find something to haul the kayaks, too!   Kayak trailers run between $2500 and $3500.    Gasp! That’s not in our budget.   We’re going a different route.  Mike and Gerald bought an old boat frame from  Craig’s list.  They modified it a little bit, and drew very specific plans so that it will easily hold 12 Old Town Twister Sit-On Top Kayaks.    Oh…these babies are so sweet.


Here’s how our future kayak trailer looked before it pulled out this morning.  Pretty humble.  But that’s today.  By the way, that hooded character is Michael and that is our beloved, very old dog, Luckie.   I so wish she was younger.  She would love riding on the Fork Taxi and meeting you, but at 15 1/2 and very arthritic, she will not be with us much longer.

Trailer 1

That picture was taken in Mike’s Shop which will be Base Camp for Adventure Mendota, but the boat is not there tonight.  She’s gone to school to learn how to be a kayak trailer.  With materials we’ve purchased and the skills of the Scott County Vocational School, she’ll come back to Mendota in a few weeks looking totally different.

And, of course, I’ll share that with you.

For now, thank you for reading Adventure Mendota’s River Blog.   And remember…we want you to Float the Fork with us in 2015!

January on the North Fork

We are anxiously awaiting our kayaks to be delivered, and I know how anxious I’ll be to put one on the river.  However, it’ll be a few days unless I purchase a wet suit.    Here’s what things have been looking like on the Fork.

Icy 2


Ouch!  Baby it’s cold outside!