Last year Rick Leader organized the SK 101 event and did a fabulous job adding a new spin with experienced paddlers standing up and giving a brief description of why they paddle and a fast-paced agenda, but good things don’t last since Rick has decided to make it a onetime affair. This year Shelley Weichelt has stepped up and will fill the role vacated by Rick; Rick has graciously offered to help Shelley get it off the ground without reinventing the wheel. Thank You, Rick, and Thank You, Shelley.
Well it’s that time of year when many paddlers hang it up for the season or at least slow down the frequency of paddle days per month; I like to winter paddle on occasion but certainly don’t get out much as I did in my younger days. Sometimes it’s hard to convince myself to leave a perfectly warm house, put on that horribly confining dry suit, slosh around in ice cold water and launch your boat into the frigid wind to take a short paddle because of the limited daylight-but it is still fun, and I am always glad I made it out. The short day can really cause issues if you are delayed during the paddle for one reason or another; last November during a KIPPBRRRZ paddle we wound up paddling about an hour after dark which I worried we would have trouble finding our landing in the dark but fortunately the landing was well lit so no harm.
Many years ago I was with a group paddling in Northern Michigan on the Rifle River when we ran out of daylight and paddled about three hours in the dark on a moonless night on a narrow winding river with high banks and deep woods so darkness was complete; it was really a unique experience since after a while our eyes became accustomed to the darkness and we could make out the water flow but the occasional tree in the water would teach us a lesson. We would have missed our take out but it was just past a campground and we could smell wood smoke, so we knew we were close.
The CPA Holiday party is December 8th and Ralph and Beth Heimlich have again graciously offered their home for the party. The Heimlich’s have moved since last year’s party so if you show up at their old address then the surprise will be on you. Watch the CPA meet up page for information on the party and to RSVP. The holiday party is always a good time to socialize with your paddling friends without all that funny stuff on. The white elephant exchange can also be very entertaining since some people take it very seriously and I suspect some may even hold a grudge from last year. Come to the party and have a great time.
I hope everyone has a glorious and safe holiday season.
~ Bill Smith