Monday, April 23, 2007

Guardian Angels?

Yesterday, I hung out at a swap meet in Two Rivers while trying to sell one of my boats (I didn't...but I digress). While there, I noticed (re-noticed?) two phenomena. The first was that paddlers are, as a group, the most approachable and likable people I've ever known [then there's JB and Derrick:)]. The group up in this somewhat small Wisconsin town is very active and surprisingly well organized. So, I was able to chat with old acquaintances and meet some new paddlers, too.

The second thing I noticed were the yet-to-be-paddlers looking at boats. Now, there is that glazed-over look of a young man looking at a bunch of Trans Ams on a used car lot, but this wasn't what I observed. Rather, it was the where-am-I or how-do-I-start look of an even younger man on his first date. Hands in pocket, they roamed like characters in the Day of the Living Dead looking desperately at the array of available boats while wondering, what the hell is the difference between them? Thing is, a lot of them, from that precarious base of knowledge, purchased boats and will, sooner than rather, try them out.

Listening in on conversations, I did hear the sellers trying to help the zombies sort things out. I did constantly hear advise on proper dress and the need for basic instruction being offered. Still, I knew (know) that some of these more-guts-than-brains type will fore go all this advise for the thrill of trying and (heaven forbid) facing the agony of defeat. Oh well, caveat emperor.

Paddle safe...


1 comment:

DaveO said...

We Minneapolites will experience that firsthand this weekend. Not only serving as safety boaters at the Lake Calhoun boat demo but also watching the newbies wander about the boat auction at Midwest Mountaineerings Outdoor Expo. I'm always torn between encouraging and instructing rookies and my selfish side, which wants to cut down the competition for Apostle Islands campsites.