We’ve seen open water…we’ve seen the geese and eagles return….we’ve been to the PaddleSports Show and picked up some new gear…we are ready for paddle season to begin!
As the prediction for a rainy, windy, and ( yes!) snowy/freezing mix week ahead discourages us a bit, we know that we will be back on the water in about a month. We follow the “120 degree rule”, taught by the American Canoeing Association, which indicates that until the combination air and water temperatures reach 120 degrees, a dry suit (or wet suit)is recommended. We do not have such suits (although a company named Mythic Gear makes “affordable” dry suits), and even if we were to get such protective attire, no such protection would be available for the dogs…and keeping them safe is a primary concern.
Some recent hikes show that it may be a while before we reach that magic number….
But we also see signs of improvement, as well….
We even have a successful recovery of the last of 3 booties lost in the deep snow….this one off the trail, on a very overgrown, puckerbrush field!
At the PaddleSports show in NH, we checked out lots of nice gear. We saw the type of Astral PFDs that we won in the Get Outdoors photo contest ( though they have yet to arrive). I picked up a paddle leash, for use with my new double-bladed paddle…don’t want to lose a paddle when canoeing alone with Griff! We also examined the Sea to Summit XPot , and decided that really needs to become a member of our camping kitchen collection. It will be a nice addition to a wonderful supply of kitchen gear we won from the nice folks at It’s More Fun Outdoors blog. We now even have a bear canister, which will be helpful on our return trip to Aziscoos this summer, and on our expeditions in the Adirondacks.
We made a trip to the PaddleSports show a weekend mini-vacation, and included an overnight stay near the ocean. We had lobster and clams while overlooking the water, splashed in beautiful waves, and took tourist photos by the lighthouses….the dogs travel quite well, and it is great to have a change of scenery.
Our local Friends of Waterbury Reservoir group had a great turnout at their first large-scale fundraiser. Noted storyteller and adventurer Willem Lange presented a tale of canoeing in the Canadian Arctic…an amazing experience, I am sure, but one which we will enjoy only vicariously!
It was exciting to see so many folks excited about paddling and camping on the reservoir, and expressing interest in volunteering to help preserve this great local resource.
We had another win last week, one which was particularly nice, because we are not the recipients of the prize. An outfit called Trail Mutt, which produces portable dog waste disposal containers ( i.e. poop bags and carriers) selected us to make a $100.00 donation to a local dog-related charity. We selected Justice for Dogs…this local rescue group finds homes for “impossible to place” dogs.
Please check out the review we did recently for backcountryk9.com, which is a separate page on our blog. We will be using the Ruffwear Quick Draw Leash on our canoeing trips this year, and it seems to be a great addition to our canoeing dog gear.
So it is almost time to put the canoeing flag out on the deck…but we’ll wait until next week, when the weather is more promising. The snowshoes, skis, and kicksleds have been put away…. I know that someone is especially anxious to get back on the water, and try out his new boat!
Happy Spring…Think warm thoughts, and paddle smart, and paddle safe !