I haven't posted much lately, but I lurk regularly. Last spring, with a lot of help from this forum, I bought my first canoe, a Bell Eveningstar royalex. My intention was to get my family out on the water (wife and 2 kids). We had recently moved out of state, to a small town on a pretty good sized midwestern lake. 13,000 acres, about 9 miles long and 2 miles wide.
I guess I had a lot of romantic notions about lake life. Well this lake is completely overrun with jetskiers, motorboaters, tubers, bass boaters, etc. The wind blows constantly like a blast furnace out of the south. The mosquitos are un-phased by the wind and thicker than I have ever experienced. Black flys, no seeums, etc, also. The shoreline of the lake is a tangled mess of sunken timber and treestumps. Like so many other places, the rivers dry up in the summer too. Anyway, it's not the tranguil paddling dream I had seen in the magazines.
I did manage to get the whole family out though. My wife loves canoeing now; so does the 3 year old, albeit only about a half-hour at a time. Our 12 year old daughter is not so keen on it. Maybe I should have got 2 boats originally, but there were budget constraints. Our daughter is spending most of this summer with her friends on their skiboats, tubing, etc.
I've really been bitten by the sailing bug lately. I'm sure my disdain for all things motorized would not change, but it seems like a sailboat may be a safer vessel on this wake-covered lake of ours. I listed the canoe for sale with the intention of putting the funds toward a sailboat. I don't have the space, time, or budget for both. Although I think I could squeeze 2 canoes in somewhere, and that is still an option. More and more it's just 3 of us going out paddling though.
I cancelled my for sale ad a couple days later when I took the canoe out again. It's such a nice boat, perfect for a family, for camping, great for fishing, I really enjoy it.
My son and I put our final coat of finish on a "home depot" canoe pole today. We'll give it a few days to cure, and get out for some poling on our dried up river next week. Almost every day the 3 year old says to me, "Dad, can we go out sailing in the boat today?" To him, being on the water at all, in any vessel, is sailing. I love spending time on the boat with him more than I ever thought was possible. Every few feet of travel is an adventure to him, it really makes you re-think your attitudes toward life.
I love the simplicity of a canoe. I love the silence of it slicing through the water. I love the rare bluebird days when the wind doesn't blow, the bugs for some unknown reason leave you alone, you're out while the powerboters are still sleeping it off, and the lake is like glass. It's rare when those moments all come together, and so wonderful to share them with my family.
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That's all good. |
Posted by: g2d on Jun-21-13 12:55 AM (EST)
Have you tried the Paddlers Place Discussion forum yet?
Mods feel free to move this...|
Posted by: plainsman on Jun-21-13 1:02 AM (EST)
if possible, it would be better in Paddlers Place.
don't sell your canoe!!|
Posted by: daggermat on Jun-21-13 5:13 AM (EST)
They don't degrade, storage is free, and enjoyment is life long. Cool seeing you made a pole and your son loves it. Sounds like my story awhile back. I had 14 great years paddling and poling and sailing with my son. We started on small lakes, went to flat rivers, then got the whitewater bug. Sailing was saltwater/offshore.I leave the big lakes to the yahoos. Canoes are best enjoyed where motors fear to tread.
I'm not selling...|
Posted by: plainsman on Jun-22-13 5:10 AM (EST)
Yep, I have definitely decided to keep the canoe.
Early morn |
Posted by: stevet on Jun-21-13 5:58 AM (EST)
Poking along that timber strewn shore checking out the wildlife above and below the waterline is a pretty good way to spend time with your son. Wish my Dad had done it with me. Your son won't have to say that. Enjoy!
Posted by: plainsman on Jun-22-13 5:12 AM (EST)
My dad never did things like that with me either. I want my son to have lots of great memories of our time together.
Posted by: Jaybabina on Jun-21-13 7:16 AM (EST)
Don't forget. You are mobile. You can take that canoe to other lakes and streams as well. The sky's the limit!
Try a great river in Nebraska|
Posted by: vic on Jun-21-13 10:33 AM (EST)
You might want to try a weekend or three day weekend trip to canoe the Niobrara River in the Nebraska Sandhills. Itís about 230 miles (about three and a half hours) from Harlan County Lake to Valentine, Nebraska on the Niobrara River. I have traveled from central Iowa to paddle the Niobrara at least five times in the last 15 years. Thatís 420 miles or about six and a half hour drive for me. Itís a great paddling experience with a landscape you would not expect in Nebraska.
Posted by: plainsman on Jun-22-13 5:15 AM (EST)
We have talked about taking a trip up there. Maybe this fall.
Good to hear from you|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Jun-21-13 12:01 PM (EST)
Posted by: plainsman on Jun-22-13 5:17 AM (EST)