….May your favorite paddle always be at your side,
May your portages be short, and your trips be always long,
May you always keep the open end up, and the pointed end forward, and you’ll never go wrong.
Yes, MAY, the lovely month of MAY! With the Irish canoe blessing in our heads ( watch over us, St, Brendan, patron saint of canoeists), we prep for the upcoming season. The PFDs and day trip gear is out of storage, the paddles are coming down from their winter display position, the NuFinish and Tung Oil are ready for pre-season application, and within 2 weeks, we should be heading out on the water. The American Canoe Association safety standards indicate that we have about 10-15 more degrees of water temp to go, before we can safely paddle without dry suits. The dogs were bouncy with anticipation when they saw their PFDs for the first time in 6 months. Maybe their doggy brains realize this means no more snow!
The Paddle Pups participated in some community service today. The first Saturday in May is “Green-Up” day in Vermont…where volunteers go out and clean up the debris, trash, and garbage left behind by mother nature, or inconsiderate litter pigs. We headed out to help clean up the Waterbury Reservoir, one of our frequently visited canoeing and camping spots. The newly activated Friends of the Waterbury Reservoir has coordinated with the Rozalia Project, to monitor and collect data on trash issues on this heavily used recreational waterway. Gryphon was our trash hauler, wearing his backpack so we didn’t have to carry the debris we found! We collected miscellaneous debris ( sandal, water bottle, lots of broken glass, foam, plastic, Skoal cans, etc….), and it will be interesting to see how much trash is collected there as we make return visits during the summer.
So as the season draws closer, we make our plans. We have a trip to western Maine scheduled for the summer, remote camping reservations at Green River Reservoir SP, and lots of day trips in mind. We are formulating our seasonal goals, but in essence, they will include:
- Paddle At least 4 new bodies of water
- Climb at least 4 new mountains
- More solo paddling…in the Swift and in the Kayak
- A tippy canoe test –before our excursion to Maine. It was suggested to us that we not do this until the dogs are very comfortable in the canoe, as it may scare them, and make them skittish around the canoe. We think they’re ready now!
- Try the new camera in underwater, and waterline photos…if it works, you’ll see the photos here!
Most of all, we plan for a safe, enjoyable, and exciting season of paddling!