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Canoecopia

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Here for 15th or so year. I recommend Josh Trombley's (Hornbeck) presentation on Adirondack Pack Boats. Good history well presented. Repeated today at 1:30.
 
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I hope someone does a detailed photographic post! I’m still considering paying for the virtual tickets to watch the presentations.
 
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It was a great time. This was my and my son's first year, and I brought a couple more non-paddlers with me.

The Hornbeck canoes blew my mind. I had no idea a watercraft could be that light!

It was nice to see in-the-flesh examples of boats that I had previously only viewed online and in videos. The Esquif guys were super accommodating to our little band as we hemmed and hawed around the displays. Northstar was crazy busy, and looked to have sold most of their show boats by noon on Saturday. Thank goodness, or I might have had to explain a new IXP Polaris to my wife...

We bought a few tripping items from the 'Baga booths and went to four of the presentations. Picked up some Thin Mints for the trip home, and it was back to Indiana. Worth the 5 hour drive, even if it did make for a very long day!
 
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It's a really nice event. I'd say the high point - at least inspirationally - was a session titled Never Give Up on Your Dreams by Traci Lynn Martin. She is an active outdoors person, I think 9 time competitor and twice winner in the Missouri River 400 (?) among others, diagnosed with RA. She decided to simply try to do everything she could for as long as she could. Circumnavigated Superior, Huron, Michigan, and a part of Erie and Ontario before freezing equipment stopped her from completing all 5 and the St Lawrence. On video shows her in a shower to defrost pfd to remove it.
 
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I thought it was pretty good for their 1st year back. They were more spread out because of fewer vendors and they used more of the building. Crowds weren't as large as in the past but I think they will be pleased at the turnout. The biggest 3 canoe makers (Wenonah - Northstar - Swift) seemed to have limited canoes available which may have helped some of the smaller manufacturers. Was probably the ideal year for Horbeck to introduce their craft to the midwest.
 
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Great time! My buddies and I drove up Friday (8 hours), checked into the hotel and walked over just in time for the second round of presentations......though I enjoyed all of the presentations I attended, I did have a couple of faves......and of course there were some I wanted to attend, but couldn't squeeze in. We had to leaver early Sunday to get back home and were at a two hour disadvantage on the return not only because of crossing East over the time zone, but DST also kicked in Sunday morning.....forced us to cut short our beer drinking Saturday night......Berlin Nelson Jr. presented on "Paddling the Missouri Breaks: Path of Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806". I actually met him a few years ago in the BWCA, we shared a campsite one night. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to his talk which incorporated a lot of history along with his present day observations, unfortunately the overhead projector malfunctioned and he wasn't able to share his photos....a bit of a let down. The IT people spend the entire time up on a ladder trying to fix the projector....bummer, that was his only time slot that weekend. Local fly fishing guide named Craig Amacker presented on fishing the "Driftless area of Wisconsin", very thorough/technical presentation.....I don't have many opportunities to fly fish for trout in my area, but really enjoyed the presentation. Jerry Vandiver, a Nashville award winning song writer/singer and avid wilderness canoe tripper is always a big hit. he puts on an hour long show each day along with various pop up shows thru the weekend in hotel lobbies, restaurants, and the exhibition floor. He has written several albums worth of canoe tripping songs, all very entertaining....usually standing room only....definitely a crowd favorite. Probably my overall favorite presentation was the very last one I saw on Saturday......Michael Neiger and Todd Theoret, "How to outfit a canoe for wilderness Expeditions". They were first time presenters at this event and their background is Wilderness SAR. They are based out of the UP, but their team works all the way up to the Arctic Circle. On their missions, they utilize both solo and tandem boats...all older Royalex and they broke everything down from outfitting tips to repair kits, the carrying of their gear and they had a great slide show to go with it. A lot of the information I already knew, but there were still a couple of tips that I was like"wow" that was ingenious, never heard or saw that before......I'm not a white water guy, but still spend time transitioning from kneeling-sitting and back as I travel my local rivers and hit some riffles or small rapids or if I am passing thru one of the "white water" play areas that are popping up all over now as they take out the low head dams. With a size 13 foot, foot entrapment is always a concern even with my seat sitting just below the gunwales. These guys took a roll up heavy gauge plastic kids sled and pulled it tight across the bottom of their seat frames and screwed it down to creat a smooth transition on the bottom of the seat so your foot is more likely to slide out rather than get hung up in the frame or webbing.....I'm going to give that a try.....Also had a few "Spotted Cows" in the lobby area between presentations getting caught up with friends we encountered. The first boat sold Friday night was a Northstar tandem (not sure which model as it was gone before I got there), but it was in their new "Stealth" layup...carbon fiber with carbon infused gunnels/thwarts/seats.....$5300.00!!!! They had a second one that disappeared first thing Saturday morning.....wow! Embarassingly enough, I didn't think to take any photos of boats or anything else at the show.....in fact, my wife doesn't even believe I went....the only photos I had on my phone when I got home were of beer and breweries in the evenings.....

Mike
 
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Regarding Virtual Canoecopia: As of this morning, only four presentations are available from the Saturday and Sunday schedule. I contacted the organizers yesterday after waiting patiently for five days but have not received an answer.
 
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