For those who’d like to read more “BeachnRiver Kayak Rentals” random info, I’ve listed:
“Some Questions About Our ‘Operation’ We Have Been Asked Throughout the Years”:
In answer to: “How long have you been in operation?” Because of our advanced ages and lack of specific memory, we’ll probably round off and reply “a decade ago,” but we clearly recall BeachnRiver Kayak Rentals opened the very month just prior to the BP Oil Spill (and nearly closed that same year!)
This question (typically) follows: “What made you decide to get into the Kayak Rental/Tourist Business?” (Warning: this may require one to be interested in reading a long response) Well … it all began when River Rick was 12 years old. He was employed to lead tour groups 1-1/2 miles down into a (dimly lit!) cave his great, great grandpa discovered on his (PRIVATE) property. He learned much about dealing with a multitude of (frightening) unpredictable scenarios that resulted after tourists paid their money to walk down the slick, damp, rock “steps” for the great reward of reaching the “end,” and to listen to a “character” tell the “story” of the caves’ discovery — reminded always to “please keep hands off stalactites and stalagmites.” Of course, there were grey bats flying about — and “mountains of dung,” admits “River Rick.”
Fast forward a couple of years.
Our “River Rick” performed as a “character” riding shotgun on a four-horse stage coach team throughout the (now defunct, PRIVATE PROPERTY!) theme park formerly known as “Dogpatch, USA.” Managers of the park held a great trust in these (young teen) “characters” to manage horses, stage coaches, trains (AND PAYING TOURISTS!) traversing over bridges, through tunnels, along cliffs with 50-ft waterfalls. “Part of my hourly ‘job’ was to defend tourists from the marauding ‘Scraggsville Boys’ who wanted off with either ‘a woman’ or ‘a watch,” recalls RR.
While still a teen (!) “River Rick” piloted a motorized boat ride nicknamed “The Log” — comprised of 4-5 non-motorized, connected, log-barrel-shaped boats — up a creek to the top of a 55-ft waterfall (“about 20 stories high!” acc. to his childish memory), to make a wide turn traveling alongside the waterfall (missing the railroad tracks), to pass a Grist Mill, then returning his (very trusting) group to the loading/unloading dock.
Any chance he could, “River Rick” helped local canoe/kayak concessioners haul (more times than not — drunk and/or rowdy!) tourists (in retired school buses) to various launch and “pick-up” locations along America’s “First National River” — The Buffalo National River.
Although kayaking/canoeing was a natural and common diversion/adventure for our family, we noticed few guests to the Foley, Gulf Shores/Orange Beach AL area considered kayaking a “top of mind” attraction.
“River Rick” aimed to change that mindset.
Considering his early life experiences dealing with tourists — and his young adult life helping tourists get on a rocky-bottomed river with running rapids, miles from civilization surrounded by massive bluffs — he knew our still, (no current), sandy-bottomed river within feet of homes or nearby roads, would be an EASY “Introduction to Paddling” experience for folks who have never tried canoeing or kayaking.
Hence, “BeachnRiver Kayak Rentals” was born as a recreational addition to the Al Gulf Coast “beach” experience — and he’s been workin’ at gettin’ folks to “try kayaking'” ever since.
“So HURRY UP(!) and join our “LA (Lower Alabama) Riviera family!” insists the irrepressible “River Rick,” and become a “Bone-A-Fyde” Coastal Alabama “River Rat” after paddling the beautiful and historic Bon Secour (say it like the locals: Bawn Se-Cure) River — “WHERE WE KNOW YOU’LL HAVE A ‘BEACHIN’ GOOD TIME!”