Merwin: The Most Useful $100 I Ever Spent

So here's one of the most genuinely useful $100 I ever spent: an Extend-A-Truck hitch adapter that allows me to carry longer items in my short-bed truck. Kayaks in this case, although sometimes it's lumber or a canoe.

One end of the square-steel frame fits in my 2-inch receiver hitch. The other end has a 4-foot crossbar that adjusts for height. I took the photo yesterday as we were loading up and heading for the Rhode Island shore. The longer of the two kayaks is 14 feet. The truck bed is 5 feet long, not including tailgate.

My truck cab is big enough to take roof racks, but it is much easier just to slide the boats in back. Especially for old and feeble geezers like me. I bought this device from Cabela's, but I sure plenty of places sell them.

Notable, the hitch adapter is reversible. The short end can go into the hitch, thereby giving a very tall upright in case you do have a roof rack and want a high rear crossbar. I might get a roof rack just for that reason, which would free up the truck bed to take even more stuff. (No point in traveling without all, I mean really all, the stuff, right?)

It's a gorgeous sunny fall day here in Rhode Island. The kayaks are unloaded, and the hitch adapter is taken apart and stowed in the truck. In about an hour I'll be gliding across a salt pond, open to the sea, and looking for schools of stripers. It's all made easier because of that hitch rig, for which I'm grateful....