Friday, May 11, 2007

It's Begun
Though we paddle year round here, I still think about the upcoming months as the paddling season. It is a time when many paddlers, unseen since the first frost last year, reappear on the water. Old friends, apparently ensconced in monasteries for the winter, call and want to go out for a tour of the harbor. Symposiums are announced and occur, and lots and lots of people take their first try in those tipsy little boats called kayaks.
I spent the last two days in Madison doing...are you ready for this...a youth program for Rutabaga. Another instructor (Sarah) and I baby sat 6 sessions of about 15 teenagers (each) during the two days. There was, first, the hauling of all those white water boats which, spirits of the Inuit forgive me, I enjoyed playing in. We hauled paddles and PFDs. And, during a break each day, went back to the shop and hauled and cleaned. At the end, we hauled it all back to 'Baga. I slept well last night (after the 1.5 hour drive home...but I digress).
This Saturday I go back there to give an intro to sea kayaking course.
Next weekend is Paddle Fest here at Laacke & Joy. If grandson number one doesn't suddenly appear, I will be paddling a safety boat on the primordial soup we call the Milwaukee River. On Sunday, Greg and I will give a talk on traditional paddling.
Before long, JB and I will head up to Door County for the symposium there (DKSKS), then visit Picture Rocks National Sea Shore before staffing at the Grand Marais symposium on the upper pennisula.
Later in the summer, I hope to meet up with Alex and others for the QAJAQ USA camp for folks with vertigo. No kayak stays upright for more than a few minutes at these affairs, and we all get rolled more than a drunk salesman in an alley behind a seedy bar.
Only thing I don't know and cant control is my health and age. If all the wires and staples and duct tape hold, I will be a happy and blessed man, and I shall have myself a jolly good summer. I hope you all do as well.
Paddle safe...


DaveO said...

Sounds like a good summer, some of my favorite spots, including the brewpub in Grand Marais! We'll be in Madison paddling this weekend also and visiting No 1 son. Yahara lock, here we come.

JohnB said...

The teens you were with in Madison are richer for having the experience--long days and hard work are rewarded when sharing knowledge with youth. If nothing else, I'll buy you a cup of coffee next time we can get together ;))

Don't forget to 303 your body to add longevity too.

Alex said...

Even though I'm still a young guy, I'm finding that I need more and more duct tape these days as well.