March 8, 2011 Leave a comment
If you find yourself daydreaming about summer and the upcoming canoe season, you are not alone. In fact, Canoecopia, the World’s Largest Paddlesports Exposition, starts in just three days! This year’s exhibition, held March 11–13, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI, will feature Fulcrum author Jerry Apps (Campfires and Loon Calls: Travels in the Boundary Waters) on both Friday and Saturday afternoons (Friday, March 11, at 5 pm, and Saturday, March 12, at 3:30 pm). Jerry will share some of his stories (from over 25 years of Boundary Waters experience) and offer canoe camping tips.
This is very exciting news, we know, and really we could end the blog there. But this year there will be two other attendees at the show that need special attention: Fulcrum’s own editor Carolyn Sobczak and designer Jack Lenzo. Both Jack and Carolyn are newbies to Canoecopia, but not to canoeing, and when offered the opportunity to attend the show with Jerry, both jumped at the chance. We caught up with Jack and Carolyn and asked them to share a bit about their own experiences with canoe camping and their preparations for the show this weekend:
Excited to be newbies
JACK : I have this vivid memory of being six and listening to my parents read about recent deaths on the Colorado River. Then they turned to me and asked, “What day do you want to go rafting?” Never, thank you very much!
Two days later and after an hour clinging to the chicken rope, I realized how much fun everyone else was having, and I wanted in. Kind of the story of my life. So how does a chicken transition to river rat? Well, step one was to buy an inflatable kayak. I get the sense that they’re not as cool as I thought they were. But hardcore water folk be damned. I gotta start somewhere. Step two: CANOECOPIA.
(Pictured above: Jack at Canyon Ferry, just outside of Helena, Montana)
Really? I get to go for work? Hell yeah! I’m looking for some intel on beginner rivers out here in the West. (My plans to float the Green through Canyonlands are on hold while they rebuild the roads).
(Pictured above: Washed-out Mineral Bottom Road switchbacks. National Park Service photo by Neal Herbert)
Or maybe some classes that can give me some confidence? So here’s hopin’ that the river pros have some tips for hesitant but excited newbies.
CAROLYN : Jack and I did our first kayak trip at Lake Powell in 2009. A couple months before, we tried out the kayak in a pool, loading it up to see just how much it could handle. I was pretty confident, then, when we headed out from Halls Crossing.
(Pictured above: Jack and Carolyn in the inflatable kayak in Carolyn’s parents’ pool)
But after six hours on the water, I was finally in silent tears—water was sloshing over the sides of our kayak from the three-foot swells caused by motorboats (I guess no one follows the no-wake rules?).
Luckily, we had just rounded one of the steep canyon walls to find the perfect camping spot. Here’s a short clip of where we ended up in Moqui Canyon.
Despite ten minutes of sheer terror when I was convinced we were about to sink, I really enjoyed our trip, and we’ve since tried to get out to whatever reservoir or lake we can find (until we can schedule a river trip). I hope at Canoecopia we’ll get the inside scoop about other great places to paddle!
(Picture above: Carolyn and Jack in Lake Powell, 2009)
Tune in next week when Jack and Carolyn return from the land of Canoecopia!