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The first canoe you ever PADDLED and the circumstances

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I think it was an old Springbok aluminium, but I could be wrong... I was almost born in a canoe- my dad worked summers as a ranger for Ontario Lands and Forests until it became the MNR in'72, and we literally lived out of a canoe most summers. I was born the end of May and in the canoe by the third week of June. There were some dinky kids sized paddles in the attic and I was probably the recipient of one of them by age 2 or 3. sadly I can't ask him because he passed last year, but I did get handed a tube of his old marked up patrol maps, and one of his "Indian Chief" paddles by my sister when she cleaned out his house.
(thanks Mem for inadvertently reminding me that it was a Springbok, not Woodstream- same company, different division)
 
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1961 paddling tandem in a Grumman 17 footer. Pursuing the 50 miler canoeing merit badge, our Explorer BS troup paddled the upper Potomac from Old Town to near Hancock. We spent quite a few nights camping out the canoe. Waking up in the morning, on the river, completely captivated me and began a life long affair with paddling craft, especially canoes, on the water.
 
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The first time paddling was when I was 13 or 14. I went on vacation to the Muskoka region of Ontario with neighbors. I don't know the brand, but it was a yellow fiberglass canoe and I thought it was great
 
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A beat up old aluminum 18' Osagian that was missing a thwart bar and the gunwales had been tack welded back together. It was the first father/son canoe trip I went on with a big group of dads and boys. The good thing was that the camp box I took would not have fit in the canoe had that thwart bar still been there. Without it, my box fit perfectly. I had no idea what to expect, but I've always been a big camper. This took the camping experience to a whole new level. We canoed a 40 mile stretch through the Big Thicket National Preserve on the Neches River. My son and I fell in love with canoeing and I have since bought 2 canoes and have paddled 4 other Texas Rivers and gone back to the Neches many times. I've now helped lead this same expedition for other father/son trips and I still see that old beat up Osagian getting rented by others in the group and remember that is what started it all for us.
 
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More current than most, but good story. 5 years ago my wife and I tried a friend's Mad River Malecite twice. We then rented a Minn II and did the 90-miler. While I loved the experience, I really question my sanity (and intelligence). Neither of us really knew what we were doing and it was a brutal race LOL!!! Fast forward to now and we are addicted to canoeing and now own a Northstar Magic, Hemlock Kestral and a Jensen 18. We now are decent paddlers and I will try the 90 miler this year solo.
I will never forget 21 hours in the Minn II !!!!
 
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