When you are a canoeist from South Dakota, going to Canoecopia is positively enlightening--you discover there are others in the universe who paddle, and many of them, like me, are bearded 60-yr-olds wearing a baseball cap.
I bought two paddles--a high-tech Sawyer and a traditional Badger; a Frost River thwart bag; and a cap from Brett in the paddling.net booth. I got to meet Kenny Salwey and buy an autographed book from him, and I picked up some pointers on re-finishing my wood-canvas Peterborough from the Wood Canoe Heritage Association folks. I learned how to make an emergency whistle from a tin can. And who can go to Wisconsin and not have a brat and beer?
So Canoecopia, for me, was a blast. The 7+hour long trip home was made an hour longer having to drive through a blizzard across southern Minnesota, but just try to stop me from going next year. Thanks to all the folks who work hard to make this such a rewarding event to me and thousands of others.