Starting this week out I didn't know what to expect from a week of working with the crew at River Dave's Place. Obviously I had met all the players at this point and was well acquainted with the goings on of RDP when everyone is in party mode, but I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around actually seeing Dave do work. I mean, this is River Dave, right? Doesn't he just party all week and sleep till noon before grabbing a double gut-bomb cheese burger and going for a ride in Nordic or DCB's newest uber-dollar, chick luring, water rocket, all the while smoking more cigarettes than Hunter S. Thompson on assignment in Vegas?
Monday started off pretty mellow. I had some errands to run in town to get settled in so I took care of that first thing. Got myself signed up at a gym, mailed some bills that I'd been putting off, and grabbed some breakfast at Makai Cafe. As a side note, Makai Cafe has some awesome breakfast and a great staff... Pink Taco approved!
After breakfast I headed back up to RDP headquarters to see what 'ol RD had in store for my first day. Dave was up and sitting at his desk in his garage talking on his phone, so I busted out my trusty Mac Book figuring I better get it set up since this, after all, was an internet company. No sooner had I gotten my laptop out and Dave says "Well Mr. Tom, how are we gonna make this thing fly?" We chatted briefly about the state of affairs at RDP before his phone rang. It was 2FORCEFULL from the boards and he had an idea about how to fix Dave's ongoing roof leaks. RDP would have to wait while we sorted out Dave's roofing woes.
Now, I'm going to pause here to say that things like the roof deal aren't an occasional interruption, but an everyday fact of River Dave's life. If it's not the roof it's someone on the phone to talk about their ad or folks in town wanting to swing by for a beer or the dreaded Enduro email... RD is a busy dude. It's amazing he can keep the wheels on this thing each day. Without everyone involved putting in their share RDP couldn't exist. Hats off to RD, Forensic, and the Mods for keeping our daily escape from life alive!
Well, as it turns out 2FF came through on the roof and brought some of his friends from down south to come and take the roof apart and redo the poor job that was done when the house was built. The price was right and as long as the monsoons don't have other plans, Dave should be able to rest easy that his house will stay dry.
That evening I left Dave to catch up on the work that he missed while dealing with spanish tiles and, well... the spanish speaking folks that helped seal his roof. 2FF and I headed down to Plaza Bonita to tell stories and have some tacos and sangria margaritas. The margaritas went down a little too smooth and soon the night became a blur.
The next morning was considerably less entertaining... I woke up feeling like someone had used my head as a parking block.
Tuesday brought with it some errands. We stopped to pick up one of the Armenian Navy's shore boats, stopped by Maxed Out Marine's new facility which is quite nice, and headed back to RDP HQ to meet Kristin from Seam Dreams to discuss some canvas needs that RD had. After a brief meeting with Kristin it was time to head to Parker to drop off the Mini and drop in on RDP's resident Webmaster, none other than Forensic and check out his recently repowered Spectra 20.
Dave and John talked shop briefly then John offered us a boat ride... This is what I've been waiting for. Water time! John just had BJ's Marine drop a fresh BBC in his boat and go through the pump with some cool tricks and add some nice trim tabs. I really like how the boat is coming along!
We cruised on up river and stopped of at Road Runner for a beer. We talked about boats and Forensic's trip and how nothing can reset you quite like the River can.
While Dave and John chatted over their beer I went and grabbed a few pics for the library. The evening at the River is pretty hard to beat..
Then this refugee boat pulled up. I don't know where they came from but, it was clear they were there to escape what ever persecution had awaited them down river...
After the refugees showed up we decided we needed to get back down river since John had snuck away while his family and guests napped off a long day at the sandbar. Once again, meandering down the river in the evening is one of the true greats about this boating thing we all love. Cooler temps, buttery smooth water, and stars overhead transport you to a simple, clear state of mind.
We hopped out of John's boat back in the Keys and said our farewell to him and his family and departed for what we thought was one last quick errand... Return a set of keys to another board member's house. Upon our arrival we were greeted by Mohave County's finest. Apparently when we stopped to pick the keys up initially the alarm had gotten tripped, unbeknownst to us. RD used his considerable gift of word wizardry on the officer and we were soon on our way. All in a days work here at RDP...
Wednesday, in the desert... I got up at around 7 am so that I could hit the gym at 8:30. It had been a month since I had been in the gym and I was greeted with a slice of humble pie. The workout crushed my soul. Even so I left feeling good and excited for the rest of the day. On the agenda for the day was a trip to Cheetah to see 2FF's new deck boat build and chat with Cheetah Bob.
Cheetah has a pretty big shop with a mom and pop feel. You know the kind of shop where you walk through the door and the owner's desk is the first thing you see... with the owner sitting there to greet you as you walk in. In so many businesses these days the owner sits in some glass bubble up above the show room and is rarely around for a conversation. Not at Cheetah. Bob was the first guy to shake our hands. It harkened back to the old motorcycle shop I used to spend hours dreaming in as a kid.
After introductions were made Bob lead us back to where 2FF's (or more acurately, Sue's) new deck boat was being built...
I also grabbed some shots of the general operation at Cheetah...
Here is a nice example of how far Cheetah has come..
Old Cheetah deck:
New Cheetah deck:
After leaving Cheetah we were scheduled to go pick up River Diva, River Daniel, and River Sierra and the boat so we could cruise up to Topock to meet with Chet the owner of the new Topock 66 resort.
On the way someone pulling a Conquest deck lost there towable off the back. We stopped and picked it up figuring they were headed to Windsor to launch. At Windsor they were nowhere to be see so we headed on to pick up the crew. Back at Windsor, now with Hammer in attendance as well, we ran into the Conquest guys and returned what was surely an expensive towable. Good deed done! Now lets get on the water!
Let me just say that the River on the way up to Topock is some of the most incredible scenery that the Colorado has to offer. Views abound and I was once again reminded why I enjoy boating so much.
Topock 66 is the newest watering hole on the River. As you pull in you are greeted by it's intentional industrial aura coupled with bright red umbrellas and accents throughout. Plenty of slips give river goers more than enough parking and a gas dock is a great addition this far up river. Inside the place has a great bar, friendly staff and music videos playing a great mix. Outside there is a pool which will soon host a swim up bar and a stage for patrons to enjoy live music as they drift the day away poolside.
Dave had his meeting with Chet while I chatted with Stacy about ways that I could be of use in regards to the site. Sierra made herself useful by pushing Daniel to every table in his stroller so he could greet the hungry guests.
After the meeting we cooled off in the pool before making the trek back down river to the City...
In closing, RDP is a lot of work. It's a lot of politics and public relations, it's a lot of ad sales and dealing with advertisers after the sale, and it's a lot of juggling trying not to get distracted and drop the ball for the advertisers and inmates. There is more going on behind the scenes to keep this ship steaming along than I ever expected. That said, there is also still a love for boating and enough fun things going on out on the water to hold the interest of even the most jaded enthusiast. We all found this place because we enjoyed the boating lifestyle and all things custom and Dave and RDP are still on the forefront of providing a fun entertaining place to escape the trappings of life however briefly. I'm looking forward to the future of this great community. Stay tuned...