At some point in our fishing careers most of us end up using a boat, or multiple boats to float down a river, cross a lake, or span of ocean. As most human powered craft cannot travel back upstream, conquer a strong tide or row against a howling wind to cross a lake we must also move multiple vehicles around to get home.

We drew the diagrams above in the tiny town or Terlingua, Texas during breakfast on the 10th day of an assignment I photographed for Field and Stream a few years back. We were on a trip following, floating, and fishing the entire length of the Rio Grande River from source to sea. The diagrams (if you can call them that) were helping us figure out how to float a very remote canyon on the southeast corner of Big Bend National Park. The problem: What’s the most efficient way to shuttle three guys, one canoe, and a one-man raft across a 30-mile stretch of wilderness desert two-track using two motorcycles and a Toyota 4Runner? We went through about six or seven iterations in our head and on paper before we finally figured it out. If I remember correctly it took about 30 minutes to do so. Math problems get harder when you’re ten days on the road.

Once a “shuttle” gets past two vehicles and a boat or two – things seem to get overly complicated for no apparent reason. So, is it just me and my group of fishing buddies or is running shuttles strangely complicated occasionally when it really shouldn’t be? Am I a dolt or do you all have this problem too? No snark from the peanut gallery please…