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.