Had I know about it I would have tried to get a Wooden Canoe Heritage Association booth with wood canvas canoes but I just found out about it on Facebook last night, too late I think to get involved, but I might attend.
So I called the Connecticut DEP today and they have a spot for me, representing the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association. I'm hoping to receive a package from Boston with a WCHA Banner, some hand outs, and some magazines to potential new members this Friday.
Being so late, he said he could stick me in the lobby. OK by me, hope the lobby doesn't have an outside door.... it was minus 2 F here this morning. I'll dress in wool underwear and bring a thermos of coffee.
Right now, he thinks there is only room for one canoe, but maybe two, he'll let me know. I'll take that Chestnut pictured here on the banner.
Of course I'm going to have some shameless plugs for Canoetripping.Net somewhere in the display.
Top 3 questions I expect
1. Is that an Old Town, my dad had one?
2. How much does it weigh?
3. Who did you piss off to get stuck by the door..hawhawhaw?
So I'm all set, I spent the last 2 days burning alot of firewood in my cold shop working on my display. The guy from the state said I would only have room for one canoe in the lobby, so i built a rack that supports two canoes, one on the bottom, showing it's profile, and the one directly above tilted showing it's interior. I must say, as a wood canvas guy, it looks good.
The guy from the state agreeded.
So, up early tomorrow, load the canoes and gear, head down to Hartford, set up my display and hand out some literature provided by the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association.
Maybe win some folks over, pics and report to follow.
The boat show display went well. I was in the lobby, and on the way to the rest room, so I got alot of traffic. I don't think I won any new members over, (WCHA), but I did give out the magazines to folks who looked like they might be interested down the road. The handouts all went also.
Lots of really nice people who liked talking "Canoe", and it seemed everyone started with a Grumman. I met one, maybe two members, (WCHA),some folks with old towns out back or in the garage, and one guy who insisted fiberglass was better than canvas on a wood canvas canoe, and then he wanted to know how to replace some broken ribs...I told him remove the fiberglass and start over.
I met a few folks who knew of Canoetripping.net, and I handed out the sites address to a few folks who never heard of it. I couldn't believe that one, never heard of Canoetripping.net?
I had planned to hang the banner, WCHA above the canoes via 2 1"x2"s attached to the back of the rack, but I wasn't allowed to cover that smoke alarm (?) on the wall, so I hung it in the canoe which worked. My canoes are not really display canoes, they show plenty of wear from use, but those narrow rib Chestnuts are impressive at a quick glance to the average boat person. I had alot of nice remarks. Wheeling the canoes in past those million dollar boats was interesting.
I will do it again in a heatbeat, I'm even getting a bumper sticker..."Will Display Wood Canoes for Beer"
The Paddling Expo was a good idea buy the folks at the Connecticut DEEP, but the room was too far off the beaten path and wayyyy to small. Hopefully, they will continue to build on the idea.
Thanks, I talked tripping with a few folks, one had done the Connecticut River from northern Vermont to Mass, in a 1915 BN Morris wood canvas canoe, with his son.
He also told me Connecticut is working on "primitive canoe camping" sites along the river, which would be pretty nice. I met alot of folks who canoed Maine and NY, and the BWCA, great tripping story's.
I also spent about a 1/2 hour talking to a Connecticut Game Warden, he has an Roylex Old Town but plans on getting a wood canvas canoe down the road. He showed me pictures of him and his 12 year old daughter camping for a 4 day deer hunt someplace in Ct., with a wall tent from Cabelas. His daughter harvested a nice spike buck. He had to feed the stove every 2 hours to keep her warm, but he said it was worth it. Nice guy, good Dad.
It was a good day talking canoes and meeting folks, it snowed heavy on the way home and my canoes are full of road salt, both in and out, going to fire up the wood stove in the shop and clean them up shortley
That's a great rack setup you have there, you deserve a beer for it. Maybe we need one of those beer mugs added to the smileys list. Murat mentioned having your canvas tent along, and I immediately had a vision of some kid tugging at his dad's pants exclaiming, "dad, dad...look over there. That guy's having a reenactment"! p with a beer)