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.