Yes, the season ends. And hunting season begins for me. My ritual is a couple days before cleaning day, I dry rub a brisket and buy a couple of growlers of my favorite beer. 2 am the day of cleaning, I fire up the smoker and get the brisket on. Then I go to bed. I get up about 8 am, and check the brisket and make coffee. Then I pull my two rigged boats apart-everything comes off. Then I switch to beer. I check the coal in the smoker. Then I clean the raft and fish cat and 303. Then I pour more beer. Then I roll the fish cat and disassemble the frame, check all the straps and pack it up in the box of the trailer. Then I pour a beer. I go through all straps and ropes on the raft. Replace anything that needs it. This year meant it was time for a new chicken line webbing. Then I pour a beer. Then I reassemble, 303 the dry box gaskets and re-rig. I put it on the trailer and cover it. Then I pour a beer. Then I 303 the dry bags, dry top and dry suit gaskets, and pack everything so it's ready to go. Then I pour a beer and sit in a lawn chair. This puts my brisket at about 13 hours so I check the temp. Still low so I organize all my group gear so next year only takes an hour to load up for a trip minus food and booze and I'm ready. That means stocking the groover box, replacing anything in the kitchen box that is on the list taped in the lid, making sure everything is clean and soap, sponges, spices are stocked, checking stove and blaster lines, bleaching the tables, checking repairs kits and taking the glue out, etc. And, the boat is set if I decide to get a fall trip in or take by raft hunting or fishing. Then I check the brisket. I'm usually 15 hours in and it's ready to be pulled. So I pull it and let it rest and have one more beer in the hot tub. Then I pour another beer and eat a lot of brisket.
That's been my tradition for awhile now. It doesn't mean the rafting season is over. It just means my boat is dialed for next year or next trip, I'm full and a little drunk.
Next year I'm going to put a layer of spar varnish on the square tops so I might need more beer than a typical year.
Here's the view from my smoker a couple weekends ago.