West PA Solo Canoe Rendezvous 2015

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Jun 4, 2013
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The usual way in advance heads-up so y’all can mark your calendars - The 8[SUP]th[/SUP] Annual Western PA Solo Canoe Rendezvous will be held on the first full weekend of June in 2015. This is Friday June 5 through Sunday June 7. It will be held again at the usual site at Cooper’s Lake Campground in Portersville PA. The Rendezvous is a gathering of solo canoe enthusiasts in particular (though tandems are very much welcome also). It features various manufacturers and designers of canoes with demo models of their boats available for test-paddling; demonstrations of, and informal instruction in, FreeStyle paddling; assorted programs on various aspects of canoe design, construction, and use in the real world; food; generally some live, and very informal, “ entertainment” on one or both evenings, courtesy (?) of whichever members of the Floating and Amorphous FreeStyle String Band may be in attendance, and their condition at the time; Dead Fish Polo, if you’re into it; a heart-stoppingly Exciting and completely Silly Giant Schlalom Race; a Candlelight Paddle to music-over-the-night-darkened-pond on Saturday evening if the weather smiles; perhaps a pick-up paddling trip on local streams/rivers; informal gear/boat sales and swaps; a pot-luck Vegetarian dinner on the Friday night that can’t be beat: and Goodness Knows What-all. It is an opportunity to immerse yourself in solo canoes for 60 some hours (or more) to the exclusion of all other reality. An event which is informal and laid-back to a fare-thee-well. Though we have some standard elements, there’s still a lot of making it up as we go along.
Everyone is encouraged to bring their own solo craft, since at least part of the experience is being able to look over (and perhaps paddle) a large array of classic solo canoes that you just don’t see all that often.
There is no charge for the Event per se, though the Campground does charge a modest fee for Day-Trippers, and of course assesses a fee for camping. This early in the game precise details as to scheduling (such as that is), who will be attending, and the like are by no means set. We will provide such info as it becomes available on the Rendezvous’ website wpascr.org so check with us periodically. That website will also contain info on directions to find us, and a link to the campground’s website so you may contact them directly as regards camping reservations (though there’s many acres of space in the area where the Rendezvous is held, and unless you want hook-ups, reservations are generally not really necessary). We’re also on Facebook, so look for us there – and feel free to post comments and pics there too. We’d like to hear from you, and we’ll include news and updates there as well.
And speaking of the website – the Rendezvous’ great friend Nelson Hermance, from the Chicago area, continues to maintain the Rendezvous website for us. Nelson’s business, Fischer Software, is (among other things) the creation, design, and maintenance of websites. Nelson and Fischer very graciously offered to rehab/redesign the site a couple years back, made a number of changes and upgrades, and as I say continues in that capacity. For this Becky and I could not be more grateful. The archived pictures from the past 7 years give one a pretty good idea of what the event is like, and can be accessed on the site by clicking on “prior years”, and choosing the edition/editions you want to look at. Thanks Much, Nelson and Fischer Software.
Y’all will be familiar with Colden Canoe. Since 2009, Paul Meyer and Colden Canoe have been dedicated to keeping alive, and in some cases “resurrecting”, some truly classic canoes. The Rendezvous has been both pleased and extraordinarily honored to have served as the venue at which these boats have made their “re-entrance” to the paddling community. In 2010 there was the Colden Flashfire and Wildfire, for many years produced by Bell, then for a time by Placid Boatworks. In 2011 the Rendezvous served as a “coming out party” for the re-introduction of the Dragonfly, a classic boat from Curtis Canoe from the 80’s and 90’s, now being offered by Colden Canoe. In 2012 it was another in the Fire series, the Starfire. Just this year (2014) the Rendezvous saw a re-introduction of the Nomad, again a classic Curtis boat now from Colden. Not sure yet, but 2015 may see the re-introduction of yet another iconic craft from the past. More on that in the Spring, when we’re all more sure. We’ll let you know.
So please do come – it’s a Very Nice Affair Indeed. And we’d be thoroughly delighted to have you there.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
So many June events that offer chances to try out boats. Pick what works for you geographically! WPASCR is ideally sited to Toronto and SW Ontario paddlers.

Also in June two weeks later is the Wisconsin Canoe Symposium and the same weekend(June 5-7) is Maine Canoe Symposium.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2013
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A Reminder that the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] Annual Western Pa Solo Canoe Rendezvous will occur on the first full weekend of June, as always, and which this year is Friday 6/5 thru Sunday 6/7. We can say that Hemlock Canoe, Placid Boatworks, Colden Canoe, Dogpaddle Canoe and Woodworks, and Slipstream Watercraft will be with us this year with demo boats for trial on the Cooper’s Lake pond, and we are awaiting word from a couple more manufacturers as to their potential presence (word on that to follow, when we know for sure). We expect also that our local chapter of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association will be on hand with some of their restored wood/canvas boats. It is our pleasure, indeed our privilege, to have all these folks with us here. They embody and honor the traditions, the history, and represent the absolute best in canoes in all of their present-day diversity. From the best in continuing innovative technology, materials, and design, to the “preservation” of some classic designs from the past. No matter what kind of paddling you like to do, there will be a boat here (well, OK, probably several…) that will speak to you in a loud voice. So Listen! …and Enjoy!
In the meantime, you may access the Rendezvous website (wpascr.org) for updates and info as it arises. Go to that site, click on “message board”, and thence to “general”. Pay close attention to the dates in the files, but anything with “2015” in the thread title will contain current info. There is a thread also which gives an over-view of the general schedule of activities.
Hope to see you there.
 
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Jun 4, 2013
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In addition to the manufacturers who will be present mentioned above, we can also add Adirondack Canoe Company, specializing in light-weight pack boats, and can say also That Charlie Wilson and David Yost will be on hand with a selection of Swift Canoes. Taken together, a better collection of the absolute BEST in current canoe technology and design, along with some "vintage/classic" boats, together in one place at one time, would be difficult to find. Do come, it's a Very Nice Affair Indeed! wpascr.org
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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So many solos! About 100 different ones. Lots of pack canoes from Slipstream Adirondack and Placid as well as screamers from Savage River.
Soon it will be time for a paddle with lights on the water

Now tired and hoping we aren't adding a Swift Kee 15 to the pile
 
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Thanks again. What an amazing group of people and boats.

If you can I would love to hear of some of your Algonquin trips along the routes less traveled. We last went there two years ago and this fall could be time again..

It was fun to learn of peoples various trips and had a spirited discussion of bears and food.. And Turtle mentioned he had a ratsack.. I hope he does a review of his Ursak and Ratsak.
 
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Best WPASCR yet. I paddled 7 solos I had never been in,5 of which I had never even seen before. Several new solo paddlers there who I hope are really hooked.
Turtle
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2014
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If you can I would love to hear of some of your Algonquin trips along the routes less traveled. We last went there two years ago and this fall could be time again...

I was introduced to Algonquin by a couple who have become dear friends and mentors. They have been going to Algonquin for over 30 years, and perhaps weeded out some of the overused and/or trashy spots that some of the WPASCR group seem to have experienced there, though they have 'warned' me that I might experience an entirely different Algonquin if I ever decide to travel there in July or August. I have never encountered trash or cans, nor loud parties, though occasionally I have seen the remains of flagrantly irresponsible firewood gathering practices.

We try to stay away from the highway 60 access points and lakes that allow motorboats. However, this fall we are going to do part of the 'classic' Algonquin route up from Canoe Lake through Tom Thomson into McIntosh. From there we'll do Timberwolf Lake- Misty Lake - Petwawa River - Grassy Bay into White Trout/Big Trout before circling back to take the southern passage out through Grassy Bay and McIntosh Marsh to McIntosh Lake again. We have 10 days planned for this trip. We'll leave the park for showers and restocking then will meet up with a 2nd group who will be joining us for a week long trip. That group prefers to do base camp trips and so we intend to go in to Galleiry Lake and take various day trips from there.

One of my favorite routes was the one we did last fall , again the 3rd week of September so we missed the crowds that might typically change the flavor of this trip. However, when we went, we saw paddlers only the first day and the last. We entered at Magnetawan on the west side. Our route was Magnetawan-Hambone-Ralph Bice-Little Trout-Queer-Tim River-Shah Lake-Misty Lake-Little Misty-Petawawa River-Daisy Lake-Hambone-Magnetawan. If you don't know about Jeff's maps, check them out and see the route here. http://www.algonquinmap.com/

We encountered some significant rain and wind on this trip that made us windbound at times and flooded portage trails at other times, but it did make the beaver dams and logs (other than one really large tricky log on the Tim river) easier! I am eager to it again someday. I've heard that Ralph Bice is beautiful, but we didn't see much of it because we paddled across it on our way in through driving rain and low visibility. It lived up to its reputation of being a wind tunnel. The Tim River and the Petawawa were spectacular to me; they both are meandering and deceitfully longer than they appear on the maps (perhaps like the Pine Barrens?, I've not been there). I am quite fond of alpine bogs lined with tamarack, alder and cranberry and habitats created by beaver, not everyone's cup of tea. There are a lot of moose in this part of the park and we saw and heard evidence of them everywhere, in camp and along portage trails, piles of fresh mooseberries and fresh tracks in the muck. I tend to prefer small to medium lakes and Daisy lake -- at the end of the trip-- did not disappoint with its inlets and bays and a large island dividing the lake into two passageways.

One year, we did make the mistake of going to Algonquin during their thanksgiving weekend, which I believe is the first weekend in October. Unfortunately, we also chose to visit an area of the park (Rock lake) that is accessible to motor boats and adjoins a public campground. I'd say that was definitely my least favorite trip to the park.

Most often, we have entered through the Shall Lake access point on the east side. We've always gone there in September and it's never been busy. From there you can make a nice loop up through Crotch Lake to Shirley Lake (one year we continued eastward from there to Ryan and Shrew...) The northern bay of Shirley Lake, Ancoma Bay, is quite picturesque. It can be a mecca for fishermen in the springtime. From Shirley you can make a loop of this trip by continuing on through Bridle lake (there is only one campsite on this lake, so you can have it all to yourself if you like) and on to Kitty and Farm lakes and back out at the Shall Lake access. A side trip or destination over to Booth Lake for a few days is a possibility too, and the paddle down McCarthy Creek from there is fabulous. Booth Lake, like Bice and Misty, is known to be windy and we found that to be the case this spring. It is a picturesque island-and-bay studded lake on its western side.

I always journal my trips. These are by no means the typical trip report kind of entries, more personal in tone and content, but you are welcome to visit them. There are some photos there too.
https://emmaatlast.wordpress.com/201...onquin-spring/ (this is from our most recent short spring trip)
https://emmaatlast.wordpress.com/201...nquin-diaries/ (this is the first post from last fall's trip, you will have to pick up the individual days by hitting 'next' at the end of each entry... the technical aspects of organizing on the computer elude me)
if you 'search' 'algonquin' on the top of the blog, you may find some older entries too.
 
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Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Thanks Vicki.. I remember you mentioned Shall Lake.. The first solo trip I ever did used your route last fall though I went as far as Big Trout. The Tim River up from Shippagew was interesting though long.
I am a terrible journaler..ist.

For pix of the WPA Solo Canoe event there are tons of pics on Facebook from me and several other contributors. I dont know if you need to be enrolled on FB to view. I made my pics public so I certainly hope you dont have to be signed in.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2014
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i am a facebook user so that's no problem, but I don't see them. Are they on the Western Pa Solo Canoe facebook page?
 
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