Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's Beginning to Look Like a Boat

My son Alan and his NC State roommates, Matt, Chris, and Mike, are planning to race the 2007 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge. They registered as a 4 member, 2 boat team, before even having a boat.

Check out their blog, as they document the process of building 2 double outriggered Wa'apa, three board sailing canoes.

Having to beg and borrow to make this happen, they'd appreciate any sponsor donations of materials or supplies for boat or paddling related equipment and gear.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Where are the Women?

Where are the women adventurers? There are 44 boats registered so far for the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge in March '07, and only 4 of them will have a woman in them, 2 of them in solo boats, the other 2 in mixed doubles.

KiwiBird and I will both be in Class 1 solo boats, this is her first EC, my fourth. According to the WaterTribe Record Book, KiwiBird will become the 6th woman to officially complete an EC in a solo kayak. There have also been 4 women to finish an EC in mixed doubles, SandDollar being the only one who has done it in both solo and mixed division.

That's only 9 women to ever complete an Everglades Challenge. Why is that?

Photo left, SandyBottom and TurtleWoman celebrating EC04 in Key Largo.

Photo right, Arctic Doc and SandyBottom celebrating EC05 in Key Largo.

It's not because there aren't alot of women out there doing paddling expeditions. Even Derrick posted in KayakQuixotica; "I'm sure you've noticed it too. 2006 was by all means a banner year for the women of sea kayaking.", this in his post "dream amazing dreams" as he introduced Sandy Robson beginning her adventure paddling around the Australian Coastline. And of course there is Renata and Wendy and .......

So yes, there are alot of women paddlers out there seeking adventure. But I'd sure like to see more of them join the Tribe for the Everglades Challenge 2007, an expedition style adventure race.

"Break loose from all the usual excuses and conventions that keep you bound to a lifestyle that does not totally fulfill". - Verlen Kruger

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Lunch Time at the Movies

This afternoon at work, I finally had a chance to show the WaterTribe Ultimate Florida Challenge DVD to my coworkers. It's a 50 minute video that introduces the 10 racers, and provides a documentary of the Challenge. And there is quite a lot of footage of me in my Kruger Dreamcatcher :)

Many of those I work with followed my adventures through my husband's daily reporting on this blog during the race, and also followed the WaterTribe forum and the reports, pictures, and videos that were posted.

Still, some of them probably can't really understand why I or anyone would want to do something like this. Certainly, it's difficult to get a real sense of the enormity of the challenge, it's adventures and dangers, and the exhilaration and sense of accomplishment one feels during and after an event like this. Watching the video gives one some of this understanding.

In the video, prior to the start, Warren Ritchie (SharkChow and first place finisher) explains how in an event like this, challengers will experience a physical and spiritual connection with nature and the environment.

And Mark Przedwojewski (ManitouCruiser and second place finisher) really says it best. "A bad day on the water is better than a good day at the office".

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My New Mantra

Fifty is the new thirty. It makes me feel good everytime I say it. I got the photo from a magazine ad for American Life TV Networks (giving credit). Yes, it's an ad targeting a mature audience. It sure worked for me. I don't watch much TV, but I sure liked this ad.

Lately I've not been very good at updating my training log, or even blog posting . We've moved the family computer out of the family room and into the study. Out of sight out of mind.

But I am in training for the 2007 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge, and my shoulder is doing much better. No swimming for a few weeks, but I'm okay to paddle.

Today I went back to Elizabeth Towe's Balanced Movement Studio, and started back in her early morning Tues/Thurs spin classes. What a great workout.

Fifty is the new thirty. Fifty is the new thirty. Fifty is the new thirty. Fifty is the new thirty. Fifty is the new thirty. Fifty is the new thirty. Fifty is the new thirty. Fifty is the new thirty. Fifty is the new thirty. Fifty is the new thirty. Fifty is the new thirty. ..................

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Big Change

Have you visited Derrick Mayoleth's KayakWisconsin blog today? Your in for a surprise! It has been renamed KayakQuixotica. See Derrick's posting Idiom where he talks about making the change.

And if you don't already, you really should get in the habit of reading the 'comments' made by readers of a particular blog entry, they are often interesting and fun.

Derrick says in one response to a comment : "yep (to the question: you aren't changing the name are you?) , and everyone will hate it too!! and won't be able to pronounce it either. but I'll have the old name pointing to it forever so no one should get too lost. :) actually that's the major change with a few minor upgrades. I don't want to fiddle it too much."

So, what is with that name? And how do you pronounce it? Every time I see it, I immediately think of 'Don Quixote', and then of the word 'exotica'. I assume that was Derricks' intent. Very playful, even somewhat naughty :)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sharing My Day with a Turkey

Another birthday! I'm as excited about it as the turkey was.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back


Photos Primal Pictures Ltd

Didn't get out paddling this weekend, my shoulder has been hurting a bit, and can't risk injuring it any further. The yoga I've been doing seems to have exacerbated a slight rotator cuff tendonitis I"ve had. My Doctor says I've got a calcific rotator cuff tendonitis.

calcification tendonitis refers to a build-up of calcium in the rotator cuff. When calcium builds up in the tendon, it causes a build up of pressure, as well as a chemical irritation. It's been pretty painful.

In addition to the chemical irritation and presssure, the calcium deposit reduces the space between the rotator cuff and the acromion affecting the normal function of the rotator cuff, leading to an impingement when lifting the arm.

According to the Doc, they don't know why the calcium deposits occur, but certainly the rotator cuff tendonitis is an overuse injury. According to him, it's easily healed with good Physical Therapy. So I'll start that this week.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Let the Training Begin

This week I officially started my 2007 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge training. Only 16 weeks left. Since the Ultimate Challenge last April, my fitness activities have all been recreational, another words, "I've not had a serious fitness program", so I've got a bit a work to do.

So how does one train for a distance adventure paddling race? First you need to decide on your goal. Are you a racer, wanting to compete against the other challengers, or a cruiser hoping to just finish the Challenge in the allotted time? Next, you need to devise a training plan to met that goal, one that includes both physical and mental conditioning.

Don't underestimate the mental work. Endurance races are a huge mental challenge. In these Challenges, all the paddling and physical conditioning in the world isn't going to help if your afraid to be alone on the water at night in the dark, in fog, in all kinds of marine conditions, crossing unfamiliar inlets, being a couple miles from shore, dealing with boat (sometimes ship) traffic, needing to do surf landings and launches, and all in a sleep deprived state. You have to be able to keep your calm when your scared, cold, feeling totally lost, and hurting everywhere. If you can handle all that, then you are in for the adventure of a lifetime :)

Personally, I'm a cruiser, and I even like to say I'm more a tourist. It's enough for my ego, and hard enough on my body and mind, to just meet the deadlines. Cruisers still need to train. In the end, it's the cruisers who paddle longer hours every day, and often for more days during the challenge week.

There are a number of archived articles on the WaterTribe Magazine that are directly related to preparation and training for this kind of Challenge.

If your interested in doing a Challenge, there are also many articles about the Challenges from previous participants in the Magazine. Lots of information on preparation and planning, including routes, potential camp sites, suggested equipment, nutrition advice etc...

Then it's time to start working. A future blog posting will detail my training plan, and I'll start maintaining a daily online training log.

P.S. My son Alan (left) and his friends Matt, Chris, and Mike, are also planning to enter the Challenge next year, beginning with building their own boats. Check out Alan's blog, they just bought the wood.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Turner Wilson at Lake Jordan

Luckily it warmed up to 50 degrees by afternoon Sunday, with lots of sunshine. Turner Wilson on his way home after spending the week at Sea Kayak Georgia's Skills Symposium, stopped at Lake Jordan near Chapel Hill North Carolina, and spent the day teaching Greenland Rolling and Strokes with some of us local stick paddlers.

Turner is so inspiring. My homework is to keep working on that front deck recovery for chest sculling, storm rolls, and low brace rolls (turns out I had taught myself some back deck rolls with a high brace rather than correct low brace technique). I'm sure hoping next Spring I'll make it back to Charleston for the annual East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival, where I'll be able to show Turner my progress.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Kayaking in Surf

It's nothing new, lots of experienced paddlers do it. But I think many people might think skin-on-frame kayaks and greenland paddles are not up for that challenge.

Check out this great article with photos.

Photo borrowed from a site, well worth visiting.

Hmmm, I'm thinking that after March, likely my last WaterTribe challenge (time to move on), I'll get my skin on frame kayak finally skinned, and focus on my surfing skills.

Lucky me, I'm off to the Lake to meet up with Turner Wilson who's in the area and putting on a Greenland rolling class. Yikes! It's 30 degrees outside.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


The WaterTribe Everglades Challenge, March 3, 2007 is only 4 months away. So now is the time to get serious and start my training (a future posting). Perfect timing, I just got the WaterTribe Ultimate Challenge DVD in the mail. I absolutely love it, and what great motivation.

The DVD, is a 50 minute video that introduces the 10 original Challengers, and offers the viewer a sense of our excitement, challenge and adventure. Pelican (Nick Hall) another Challenger said it best, "Chief and Jenning did an outstanding job of capturing the highlights and spirit of not only the challenge, but also the WaterTribe. The DVD is a 'must have' for those contemplating their first challenge, as well as for those wishing to relive a WaterTribe event."

This is not a million-dollar Hollywood production. Most of the on-water shots were from film taken by the challengers themselves with their own affordable cameras. Unlike professional film-maker Justine Curgenven's "This is the Sea" and "This is the Sea 2" (which I also highly recommend), the producers of the film could not be on the water in the middle of the action, always at the right place at the right time. There are certainly gaps in the available video coverage of events. Still, having amateur video made by the challengers themselves gives the film great authenticity and momentum.

The film was the brain-child of Jenning Gee, a clinical social worker, and California paddler. Producing this DVD required hundreds (thousands?) of hours of Jennings' effort. The making of the film was actually another challenge within the Watertibe Ultimate Challenge. Jenning heard about the race, and decided it was so unusual that it would be a great film for the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, this the main reason the film is only 50 minutes long. She is not a professional film maker, had not had any real formal training and little previous film-making experience. Along with the support and help from Chief (owner and leader of the WaterTribe), she also had friends help her with some of the filming and editing.

Most importantly, and in true WaterTribe spirit, Jenning had an interest and a goal, and set out to accomplish this, her personal challenge. She submitted the video to the Festival last month.

The DVD is available for sale, online at the WaterTribe Store. In addition, the Challenge Viewer page on the WaterTribe website is still up, this contains many files of photos and videos taken during the Challenge last year.

Are you up for a Challenge?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Don't You Just Love Controversy?

I do. I love that we don't all agree, I love diversity and variety. I'm not too keen on ignorance or stupidity, but I excuse most who I just decide don't know better.

Gordon Brown, a very experienced and skilled sea kayaker from Scotland is about to publish his book "Sea Kayak". Finally, a book supposedly written for intermediate and advanced sea kayakers".

While promoting his book, he was interviewed on a web podcast, and referring to Greenland style paddling, made the controversial statement:

"I have said quite pointedly that there is no place in modern sea kayaking for those [Greenland paddles]...The Greenlanders were a race of survivors. If and when guns came along, do you think they still used harpoons? And when outboard motors came along did they still use kayaks? And when nails came along, did they stop tying kayaks together? As sure as we are sitting here, if they had carbon fiber paddles, they would have used carbon fiber paddles..."

I would have thought he knew better.

Derrick's blog posting last Friday titled "Lynched", is a good discussion on the controversy. I'm just not going to go there. If you've read my blog, you know that I believe more than anything that there are "different strokes for different folks". And though I'm proud of my BCU 4* rating, and I love my British NDK Explorer, which I paddle primarily with a Greenland Paddle, these days I'm loving my Kruger canoe and single blade paddle. And having completed the WaterTribe Ultimate Florida Challenge, a 1200 mile circumnavigation of Florida, I'm not talking flat water canoeing.

Hmmm, I wonder what Gordon would think about the fact that I also enjoy paddling a ruddered sea kayak with the single blade. Course most "real" sea kayakers likely can't picture this, as they couldn't get past that other controversial word 'rudder'.

I just spent the weekend in Edenton with my friend Dan. Dan has years of recovery ahead of him after a very serious shoulder surgery. He is not able to paddle his kayaks, but has been able to get out in his canoe, on calm days. I visited to show him that with a ruddered sea kayak, and a canoe paddle, he could still paddle, and do it in a playful way. What fun we had, 25 kt winds, huge gusts, and Dan paddling a sea kayak.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Update on the Boys

Looks like the boys are getting a bit more serious about boat choices for the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge next March. I wasn't really worried, I knew that canoe with windsurfer mast was really just about having fun :)

Alan has put up a blog at, where they are going to keep their progress posted.

Their blog description:
"These are the adventures of Alan, Matt, Chris and Mike. Four college kids who decided to do a 300 mile expedition race in Florida during their spring break. Details of our adventure so far."

After reading his latest posting on the Wa'apa, a three board canoe, I sent him an email and asked if we get to keep one after the race :) It's a very nice looking sailing canoe.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

No Team Name Yet...

or boats, or paddles, or sailing rig, or gear, or anything really. But they have the drive, and the spirit. I call it the WaterTribe Spirit.

Alan (my son), Matt, Chris, and Mike, all Juniors at North Carolina State University, are hoping to participate in the 2007 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge as a team of 4.

Their plan, as Alan described on the WaterTribe forum: We are looking for two (identical sized) fiberglass canoes between 16 and 18 foot (whatever we can get at this point). We plan to modify both canoes with decks, cockpits, freestanding masts (one each), sails, rudders, and leeboards. The canoes will have the capability to be catamaran’d together to be sailed with the advantage of the two sails. In still air, the boats can be separated and paddled. We would plan to be catamaran’d for a majority of the race since this configuration improves stability in open water and would be a must through any surf. However each boat will be equipped with a removable outrigger(s) for use in situations when stability is needed (while not catamaran’d) or in emergency situations. Plenty of reasons for this stow able stability. We would enter as a
dependant team with two Class 3 boats and 2 challengers per boat.

So the guys showed up at our house Saturday morning with an old canoe borrowed from NCSU. They rigged up one of the windsurfer masts and sails, and set out for Lake Jordan. It was a rainy but breezy day, and they figured they'd go have some fun, and think about what they'd need for the EC.

Future engineers and an architect, they are looking forward to the challenge and experience of making do with what they can scrounge. To them that's the fun of it, and the first real challenge.

Alan has always done thing his way. His training will be very different than mine too. Starting by getting ready for the 2006 Krispy Kreme Challenge. An annual NCSU race which begins with a 2 mile toward downtown Raleigh to the Krispy Kreme bakery. There, participants each consume 1 dozen of the legendary hot glazed doughnuts, then run back the 2 miles to the belltower to finish the race, all in less than an hour. Last years winner had a record time of 34 minutes, 27 seconds.

P.S. If you've got two canoes your willing to loan or donate to the challenge, you would really help thier cause.

Monday, October 02, 2006

New Toy, or An Addition to the Fleet

Depends on how you look at it.

Lucky me, I now have a new Concept2 indoor rower.

And, I might have found a new goal :) the "One Million Meter Club". The Concept2 website has motivation forums, workouts, and even goals and competitions. The computer that comes with the rower has preprogrammed workouts, games, and options for customizing workouts. Fun, fun, fun!

What else is in my fleet? I have a Kruger Dreamcather, NDK Romany Explorer, Aquaterra Chinook, Wilderness Systems Pamlico, Dagger Crossfire, Dagger Redline, and an almost finished skin-on-frame low volume Greenland style kayak. Still, there are many more boats on my wish list: a Feathercraft K1, an outrigger canoe (OC1), a double kayak, and I'd love a Balogh sail rig for the Kruger.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Article Published

I wrote an article titled 'I've been Krugarized: My Introduction to a Kruger Canoe". It describes the Kruger Dreamcather from the perspective of a paddler used to high performance sea kayaks, and includes a paddling trip report on Lake Michigan. The article can be found on the WaterTribe Magazine here.

Last August 2005, I joined friends Mark Przedwojewski (owner and builder of Kruger Canoes and fellow Watertriber) and Jack Cramer, for a weeklong paddling adventure on Lake Michigan. The trip was my introduction to a Kruger Canoe. Mark had generously offered to lend me his Dreamcatcher (the 2nd one ever built by Verlen Kruger) to use in the March 2006 WaterTribe Ultimate Florida Challenge (UFC).

Mark, an incredible paddler, was also a 2006 UFC challenger and finisher, paddling a Kruger SeaWind. After paddling 1,200 miles circumnavigating Florida, including a 40 mile portage between the St Mary's and Suwannee River, Mark came in 2nd place in 19 days, 7 hrs, and 38 minutes. I was in the back of the pack with 29 Days, 13 Hours, 33 Min. But a finisher none the less.

Another great read :) is the new autobiography of Verlen Kruger "All Things are Possible".

Monday, September 25, 2006

Happy Birthday Kristen

I met Kristen last fall on the lake. We had both just finished a distance paddle, and met while camping at the wilderness campground. We had instant camaraderie. Kristen had just moved from California, and had only recently discovered kayaking. A very physical and competitive woman, some of her previous adventures had included sailboat racing (she practically grew up on a sailboat in New Zealand) and climbing and mountaineering (the big stuff). And she bikes, and runs, and swims, and .....

We quickly discovered we had a similar drive for challenge and adventure. And when I told her of the WaterTribe Challenges I'd done, and my "then planned for" Ultimate Florida Challenge, she was hooked.

Kristen is now also planning to participate in the 2007 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge. Her tribal name is "KiwiBird", and she's just gotten a brand new very fast Grahame Sisson Arctic Raider
Sea Kayak, from New Zealand of course.

You'll likely hear more about Kristen as we train and prepare for this next paddling Challenge in March.

P.S. Great birthday party, mango margaritas are my new favorite. I can't wait till you see the birthday present I ordered you :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Updating my Links

It's past time that I did a bit of blog cleaning and updated my links list. There are quite a few very interesting and active kayak and paddling related blogs. An early riser, up most mornings by 5am, I am in the habit of reading my favorite blogs with my morning coffee. Then I do my workout, sometimes :)

I've done a little work on the sidebar (right) and have added lists/links to my favorite paddling blogs, forums and websites.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Congratulations Renata

Renata Chlumska has finished her 12,000 mile Around America Adventure, paddling and biking around the continental U.S.

Visiting Renata's website and following her journey was daily inspiration during my planning and preparation for the WaterTribe Ultimate Florida Challenge. In fact, she was paddling around Florida at the same time I was, though much further along. I remember thinking how much fun it would be to actually meet and paddle with her.

I can't wait for the book. Renata is a woman who lives her dreams. What are your dreams, 12,000 miles, 1,200 miles or just 12 miles. Go for it!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Weekend with the Kids

We drove up to Boone Friday afternoon to Appalachian State University to visit Tana on Parent's weekend. We've missed her terribly these past few weeks since she went to school. The weather was clear and the Blue Ridge Mountains were beautiful. What a great time we had visiting. We went out to dinner on Friday and went to a home football game on Saturday. Tana is in the Marching Mountaineers marching band and we enjoyed seeing her and the band play.

We are so pleased that Tana's so happy, has made some great friends, and really seems to be loving her school.

Then on Sunday, Alan called saying he'd like to paddle with us at the Lake. Still serious about doing the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge next year, he hasn't quite figured out what kind of boat to use. Alan's college roommate Matt, is brother-in-law to WaterTriber SavannahDan. Matt also plans on doing the EC, he hasn't figured out his boat either.

Alan originally thought he'd use his Hobie 18. Then he designed (on paper) a faster sailing trimaran, based loosely on some outrigger sailing canoes we saw in Hawaii, and somewhat similar to the Tridarka Raider Chief and Wizard have designed for WaterTribe. But, as a Junior at NCSU, Alan really doesn't have time to build a boat. His preference though, has been to sail the challenge.

I've been warning him that regardless, he needed to be prepared for paddling or rowing (the wind is not always blowing). So, he wanted to paddle my Kruger Dreamcatcher some. He's paddled kayaks a good bit with me and knows he doesn't really like kayaking unless he's surfing. He hasn't spent any time with a single blade, or rowing.

After a 10 miler today he surprised me when he asked if I might be able to find a Kruger with Balogh sail rig he could consider using in the EC.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Needing a Goal

If you don't make your dreams a goal, and set a deadline, you'll only always be a dreamer.

Being the goal oriented person that I am, and having finished the MS150 bike tour last weekend, I am now in need a new short term goal. The WaterTribe Everglades Challenge (EC) 2007 is 6 months away, so I'm needing a goal that's a little closer to focus on. Any ideas?

And, it's time to start putting my WaterTribe Ultimate Challenge (UFC) adventures on paper. I needed to put it all away for awhile, but now find myself wanting and needing to process my experiences. So I"m beginning to put it all on paper. There is so much information and many stories to tell. I'll likely put together a journal style more detailed article for the WaterTribe Magazine, then look for a more focused theme for a shorter article targeting a paddling or adventure magazine. Suggestions?

I have published an article on my first EC experience, see "It's not for the Fun, it's for the Adventure".

There is no doubt Kruger Canoes will play a big role in my articles. Like any endurance event, a challenge like the UFC is certainly more mental than anything else, but, having that mental determination and fortitude to keep myself going, my Kruger Dreamcatcher certainly made the experience a more pleasant and comfortable physical journey.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What a Ride

1,500 bicyclists and over $1,000,000,000 raised at the MS150 bike tour in New Bern, North Carolina this weekend. The weather was perfect, camping at Union Point Park on the Neuse River was one great party.

A special THANK-YOU to all who pledged and donated in my name, if you didn't there is still time, donations accepted till October, just click here. Credit card donations for as little as $2 or $5 are as appreciated as the $25 and $50 donations. They are so close to finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis, please help the cause.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Beautiful Weekend

It was beautiful camping weather on Lake Jordan over the 3-day weekend. The rains of Tropical Storm Ernesto had moved out Friday evening, and both kids came home for a visit from college. I spent most of the time paddling in my Kruger with it's bimini top.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Process vs Product

Differences in approach, process vs product. I've always considered myself a process person. It's not the end result, but the process of doing that gives me satisfaction.

In the world of crafting, I find I start many different projects, moving from one to the other once the product is realized, even if only visually. My skin-on-frame is still not finished, but it looks like one.

In the world of sports and exercise (and expedition), as a process person, I love the planning phases. I love to research and develop exercise training plans and logs, or work on trip plans, routes, lists, etc... I often spend more time thinking about a bike ride, than actually riding the ride.

In my attempt at getting 'back to basics' (my last posting), my training log is back online. I rarely miss days of recording if I workout, I just don't always get in a workout, but I will do better at keeping this online. And yes, I'm going to keep including the scale photos until I hit the 150 lb mark (which is my ideal weight goal given my height, age, and muscle mass).

Since my last posting, I've received many emails of support and encouragement, especially towards keeping the blog. I thank you all for that. One friend (I know who you are) even said "I can't imagine you not having anything to say".

It's looking like my pelvic stress fracture is going to take a long while to heal. I've had to limit my bike distances to less than 40 miles, but happy I can at least do that. At the 40 mile mark, I start to lose good technique, and start rocking my hips. Luckily, the MS150 has added a 35 mile option for both days. I'll still be able to ride and participate. What was your excuse? A big thanks to all who have donated (it's not to late), it's an excellent cause, and I'll continue to do my best.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Slow Recovery and Back to Basics

Truth be told, the last few months have not been my best. After completing the WaterTribe Ultimate Challenge, I found myself quite depressed, and have remained in a funk these past few months, even to the point of not wanting to paddle that much. Not because I tired of it, I just didn't see the purpose. I mentioned this to a friend today on the lake, and he said he'd heard this was not uncommon among Appalachian Trail thru-hikers when they complete their journey. It made perfect sense to me.

The good news, I am starting to feel better. I'm focusing on the MS150 bike ride in a couple weeks, and am hoping to join some friends on a paddling trip in October at the coast. And of course there is the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge 2007.

When I first created my website and this blog, it was focused entirely on my training and preparation for the WaterTribe Ultimate Challenge. Then during the Challenge, my husband updated the blog reporting on my progress and adventures. I thought and hoped that my story and training log might interest and even inspire others to stay active and pursue their own adventures.

Now, with the Challenge over. The website no longer applies. I have used the blog to continue to tell stores from the Challenge (I still have a few left to tell), but, I also started running out of topics. It started to become increasingly stressful to try and get a new page up weekly, if not more often. I just didn't have that much to say.

I also started noticing that there are lots of great paddling blogs out there. My favorite is Derrick Mayoleth's website and blog His site also has links to many other very good blogs as well. I was actually quite honored when he added this blog to his listing.

I'm not a writer, I don't do the kayak symposium circuit anymore, I'm just not that in the know. I'm less interested these days in keeping up with the newest and latest in paddling (though I'm right in there with the Greenland popularity, having been a committed Greenland paddler for the last 10 years. Heck I was going to Delmarva Retreats before it was even Greenland only). I love my NDK Explorer, but I like my Kruger Dreamcatcher even more, and seem to paddle it most often. That kind of puts me on the fringe of "popular paddling acceptability", it's not a real kayak.

So, I'm going back to the basics. This blog is going back to being a more personal diary or journal of my activities and training, and trips, and friends. There is enough out there on the web to educate people about the world of paddling, and that was never my intent.

So back to basics, and, as my website originally stated:
"Follow the training, trials, and tribulations of a fairly ordinary middle aged woman, who has discovered a passion for paddling and adventure, and has dreams beyond what is considered ordinary."
Here I am in my Kruger, checking out an old beaver lodge on Saturday at the Beaver Dam Recreational Park on Falls Lake. Paul and I were there to celebrate at a launcheree party for Elizabeth Brownwigg's launching of her just completed and beautiful Pygmy Arctic Tern (sorry, no photo). It was a great party.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Sounds of Silence

Sorry, this blog has been pretty silent lately. I've been on vacation. I returned last week from a long family vacation in Hawaii. I had a great time! But all things come to an end, and I'm back at work. It's been incredibly busy for me since. Haven't even put in much paddling time.

I am trying to ramp up my training for the MS150 bike ride in NewBern NC on September 9-10, you may have noticed a link to my training log. The log is my joint venture of fitness and bike training, and trying to lose a few extra pounds.

I did hear of a very interesting kayak and canoe adventure race, the Missouri River 340. An adventure style paddling race across the state of Missouri, from Kansas City to St. Charles, covering 340 miles. I sure wish I had heard about this race earlier (but it'll be on my radar for next year). How do people find out about these adventures? I'm always looking around for just this kind of thing.

The race started this past Wednesday with 6 teams and 10 solo paddlers, finishing at noon on Sunday 8/6. Two of the solo paddlers are women, including Dawn Keller (TurtleWoman), who paddled with me in an ad hoc team during my first WaterTribe Everglades Challenge. See article I wrote about that Challenge. Fellow WaterTribe member Marek Uliasz (Wayfarer), of the MoutainWayfarer website and blogs is also competing, we can expect some nice photos on his site when he returns. The current race leader, Wes Hanson from Austin Texas, is paddling through the nights and is expected to finish today (Friday afternoon). Thus thus far only 15 of the original 22 paddlers remain in the race. The race website is not posting updates, but I've been able to keep up somewhat by just googling "Missouri River kayak race" for news briefs.

This race, unlike the WaterTribe races, is on a moving river, 3-6kts, it allows the participants to have ground crews, and has no required checkpoints and deadlines along the way. This doesn't mean it's easy, 340 miles is a long way.

This sounds like a perfect adventure for me and my Kruger DreamCatcher next year.