Since the very beginning of this blog I've had some fun with puzzling government rules and regulations. Government bans on various activities that have the potential to win a Darwin award for people who practice them incorrectly or negligently are a particular pet peeve with me. The St Croix cliff jumping ban is still a sore point . Today's encounter with the fine folks trying to protect us from ourselves however has me completely puzzled. That is why the Lake is the Boss is announcing the very first "Guess the Government's logic" contest.
Some of the usual suspects and a couple new ones took off to paddle the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes with a 9:30am on the water timetable. The VOR and I were on our game and dialed in for a 9am arrival until we hit the road closed sign about a half mile from the launch. The 'bridge out' sign dissuaded me from my usual practice of driving around the sign until I see for myself that the road is indeed really closed. The sign pointed to the Wargo Nature Center and the map seemed to indicate it was on the water and therefore a potential alternative launch site. Off we went to check it out and not only was it on the water but there was an honest to god kayak launch, complete with rental canoes and kayaks. It seemed like the perfect alternative launch site until I walked into the center and touched base with the desk person. "You can't launch a kayak here" she said. "But you have a kayak launch and rent boats here, how can you not allow launching kayaks at a kayak launch?". And then the classic; the unassailable answer to any questioning of a dumb ass policy or regulation....."I don't make the rules, I just work here". I pressed on. "So what if my friend and I roll in, he rents a kayak and I have my own. What's the rule then?" She replied, "He can launch but you need to go down to the canoe and kayak launch by the dam". "You mean the launch on the other side of the bridge that the sign says is closed until August?". "Nuthin' I can do about that".
And there you have it. We went on to a fine Saturday morning paddle on one of the most remote feeling lakes in the metro area. Lots of waterfowl were in the area and only one of the lakes has any development on it. The creek had plenty of water and the BessemerConvivialist and the VoiceOfReason had a little limbo practice going under the bicycle trail bridge. I still can't figure out however, why you can't launch a kayak at a public nature center, at a designated kayak launch. Therefore blog readers, I need you to tell me what you think the perfectly logical reason will be for this perfectly illogical regulation. I plan on calling on Monday morning and getting someone to publicly state the rationale behind this puzzling policy. In the interim, if you are closest to the publicly stated reason (not to be confused with the real reason) you will win an autographed, 'game worn' map of the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve. Things like 'Sensitive natural area', 'limited parking', 'invasive species fear', and 'clerk at nature center didn't understand and state the policy correctly' and 'someone got hurt and they closed it' are all early choices in the contest. Good luck to all and I'll be sure to pass on the information if they decide to talk to me. It should be interesting either way.