This is the real millenium, which starts January 1st 2001. Some people groan that it is silly to worry about the "real millenium" but we said that it was just an excuse for yet another party! The annual trip to Angel Island for New Years was planned for a weekend this time. January first was on a Monday so we arranged to spend Saturday and Sunday evening on the island. Not everyone wanted to spend the whole weekend there, so we reserved the "Kayak Camp" for Sunday night. Those of us staying both nights went directly to the ridge campgrounds. Maryly was unable to reserve our favorite Angel Island campground, but she got the two behind and above it. Number four, the highest of the three ridge camps turns out to have a very nice view and became our new favorite campground. The people who beat us to number 5, our former favorite, never showed up and we moved a few tents into it without telling the rangers.
We launched from Horseshoe Cove near the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge and paddled across to Angel Island. The tides were mild all weekend and we could have launched at any time. We chose to launch early enough to set up camp and prepare dinner before it got dark. We landed at Perles Beach on the south side of the island with a nice view of San Francisco. The nice thing about Perles beach is that it is close to the Ridge Campgrounds. The bad part is that you have to climb 70 meters straight up to get to them. Last year I vowed to make some sort of wheelbarrow out of driftwood and kayak wheels. This year I tooled up to do it. The original plan was to land and use indigenous driftwood from the beach to make a platform and handles. But I was concerned that I might not find everything I needed. So a few days before I cut all the pieces I needed out of scrap lumber and practiced putting the contraption together. The longest pieces of wood just fit into the hatch and down the long tube between the leg wells on my Scupper Pro kayak.
Once on the beach, I ran up the stairs to the bottom of the trail and started construction. I had brought a Makita power drill to screw the parts together. The result was a square platform with two poles sticking out to a handle. The large gaps in the square were filled with plastic sheeting stapled in place. It was strapped to Maryly's kayak wheels, which are very nice with fat pneumatic tires. Unfortunately the tires were nearly flat and squished down to the rims when we loaded up the top! We had to make extra trips and the soft wheels made pulling the wheelbarrow almost as much work as carrying everything by hand! We tried to flag down a biker to borrow their pump, but didn't find one that fit our wheel. Next year we'll know to take the wheels to a gas station first! Despite the extra friction, the wheelbarrow was almost successful and was a lot of fun to put together. We talked about tossing the frame into the bushes and hoping that it would still be there next year. But on the last day I decided to take it apart and take it home so I could show it off at the Inventor's Night at the March BASK meeting.
We had spectacularly good weather with great sunsets and clear skies both evenings. On Sunday a bunch of us walked all the way around the island, stopping to meet the arrivals at Kayak Camp. On Sunday evening we convinced all the people at that camp to hike a kilometer across the island and 50 meters higher to join us at Ridge Camp number four for dinner. We spread the meal out for hours, with appetizers, salads, main dishes, desserts, and wine. Making the meal last increased the probability that we would stay awake until midnight to see the fireworks and ring in the new millenium. In previous years we had hiked up to the top of the island to see fireworks all over The Bay. But this year we liked the view from ridge camp number four so much that we just stayed there for the fireworks.