Monday, February 25, 2008

Lake Independence

We are only maybe 4 to 5 weeks away from open water here in the cities, official "ice out" on Calhoun last year was March 29th. Some of the smaller lakes may open a bit earlier, I'll be watching closely. Right now Lake Independence is still full of fish houses, cars, and trucks. This photo was from the front seat of the Jeep instead of what normally would've been from the Nordkapp.
This is a good time of year to check out your kayak gear for the new season, make a list of things needing repair, especially safety gear. Deck lines are a neglected piece of safety gear that should be replaced every few years. Bonnie did a real nice piece on deck lines last June. Adams "" has some great info on dry suits and many other related subjects. I had a neck gasket tear on a Lake Superior trip two years ago, this is a good time to inspect dry suit gaskets and make some repairs. I replaced my own neck gasket last time, next time I'll bring it to Midwest and have them do it ... it was a real pain. The one good thing about doing it yourself, if while on a trip, and have an issue with one your gaskets, you have the know how to fix it, if you brought along the materials for repairs in your kit.
This list of repairs, and items needed for those little repairs, you should bring with to Canoecopia in Madison. Only a couple weeks away!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sunday Pool Sessions

The last few pool sessions I've missed because of various weekend plans, this Sunday things worked out and I was able to make the ISK session. It would seem that skiing is great for keeping fit and trim, but it does very little for my rolling skills. The first hour was getting comfortable again with some different rolls. The last hour was just plain fun! Which is exactly what it should be anyways! I'm still trying to figure out the "standing up in the boat trick", a few folks had it figured out this week. I was able to stand on the back deck, with Liza sitting on the front and sculling for some support, she by the way was getting it figured out too. I'm only able to get up to hands and knees on the back deck with out some sort of support. Ron on the other hand made a lap around the pool!
Last Summer I had the chance to do some stuff with Kelly Blades at the Inland Sea Symposium, I would recommend his sessions for anyone, beginner on up. This being my first full season to do some teaching as an ACA Instructor I plan to incorporate some of what I've learned from him, into what I teach. Getting out of the boat, and spending an hour fooling around climbing on, over, under, and everything but what it was intended for can do much for your comfort level.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


A cold weekend to be sure. Skiing the Vasaloppet with SKOAC relay team members this weekend during the coldest Vasaloppet Race ever was a challenge, but an even bigger challenge was the efforts put forth by all the volunteers who put this great event together, and the city of Mora. Many thanks! Also to the family who invited our team into their home for the weekend, for dinner Saturday evening, and a place to sleep and gear up for the Sunday race. To be able to spend the time we did with Glen and Jean, and hear the rich history of the Vasaloppet, the making of the trails, and to learn the meaning behind the Memorial Trail, added so much to Vasaloppet experience.

We finished a shortend race to allow for the brutally cold temps, but I think it was a richer experience for it. I'll remember my first ski race for many years to come.
Courtney put together some photos of the race.