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Hello from SW PA

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    Hello from SW PA

    Hello to all and Merry Christmas! I've been (pretty much) lurking on the site for awhile and thought I'd officially say "hello". I'm pretty new to canoe tripping as I did some with the scouts when I was a kid but this is not at all "canoe country" so I've resigned myself to backpacking when life did not get in the way. Now that the kids are (mostly) grown, I'm hoping to get out a bit more and originally joined the forum for info on the BWCA. I've since come to realize that there are a lot more places to explore and some of them are reasonably local.

    I've been EXTREMELY impressed with the forum and wish to commend all who participate here. Not only is there knowledge and experience beyond what I expected but I've yet to see a post where anyone got rude or obstinate. Perhaps this is due to Doug but I doubt it. Honestly, it reminds me of the thru-hiker mentality where everyone seeks to get along and allow everyone to "hike their own hike" (Actually, I hate that phrase as overused but I find it appropriate in this context).

    If you're at all interested, my background is varied and I'm pretty much the "Jack of all trades, master of none". I've lived in SW PA most of my life and worked everything from high adventure camps & logging to automotive service and home remodeling. I currently cover 7 states as a manufacturer's rep and run my own farrier service in the evenings and weekends. I love being outdoors and prefer the solitude of wild places where I can simply exist in the moment without the distractions of "civilized" society.

    I'm sure I'll be posting dumb questions from time to time as I try to decide what boat(s) to buy, whether to just rent as needed(?), where to look for deals and wonder how hard it would be to just build my own canoe as I've seen some do here but I am looking forward to your input and trust that you'll forgive me when I do exactly the opposite at times. For now, I doubt I'll be able to break away for more than a week or two per year but will attempt to post trip reports as I manage to get out.

    I wish you all Godspeed on your journeys and hope you have a wonderful 2019.


    One of the best introductions I have read, although I have been a member for only a few months. I have heard it said that no question is dumb if you don't know the answer!!


      This forum is a great place to spend time away from the office, the day-to-day, facebook, politics, mean people, news shows, mother in law...etc. and a great place to dream about sitting by a crackling campfire, the next canoeing season, plan an epic wilderness trip, discuss the best old or new outdoor gear or research that new canoe perhaps...

      The only place I like to retreat to equally well is my nothing box...

      Just my $0.02 (minus inflation)


        Mr gamma
        its sounds as if we have somewhat similar backgrounds
        as such you should give serious consideration to building your own canoe
        its merely a series of easy steps and many of us here can mentor you virtually or otherwise
        the cost savings alone make it impossible to not give it a go
        oh and welcome to the forum
        See stripperguy's photos


          PP: Thank you. I feel confident, however, that I may someday impress you with my ability to miss the obvious... I'm occasionally impressed myself!

          Dagger: I'm a huge fan of my "nothing box" as well and really enjoyed the link. I've spent entire days on solo hikes in that box.

          Stripper: I wouldn't even know where to start but I DO think it would be cool to try. I'm afraid I will end up with something that weighed as much as my bass boat and paddled about as well. The solution might be to build a wood boat so that, worst case, I will have a lifetime supply of kindling. We shall see...


            Welcome from Altoona Gamma. It would definitely be difficult to find places in PA do to a week or more canoe trip. I often do overnights in PA with my dog just to get her out there in her old age. Allegheny R. and Susquehanna R. can provide multi night trips at times though. For longer trips I mostly go to BWCA or Adirondacks. Looking towards some provincial parks in Canada now.


            My canoe can beat up your kayak.


              Welcome Gamma. This is a particularly wonderful group of people who are so generous with their time and expertise. I feel lucky to have found this group.