Sorry to hear... but Japan?? That's neat.
Might want to get in touch with tsunamiechuck (sp?). I think he did quite a bit of paddling in and around Japan and might have some destination tips, assuming you want to take time away from the family for such things. But its a rare chance...
As far as WI paddling next summer goes, last year we did a Darryl memorial paddle on the Namekagon and talk of a repeat has been favorable, though no firm plans are yet in place to the best of my knowledge. Might want to jump in on that one... sweet little river. Probably be in September.
Of course a trip on the lower 100 could be cooked up almost anytime if you're interested.
Haven't been out at all this winter. Sandy (I think you met her) went out a couple weeks ago in the wake of a largish snowstorm. She planned to do ~30 mi upstream in two days and return back downstream on the third. Asked if I wanted to go. (I think maybe that woman's trying to kill me...) I declined as the night time lows were forecast in the single digits, wind was bad, and I haven't been running with that Kruger crowd, and so I was not as psyched for such things as she was.
Turns out she made it about 15 mi upstream. In the morning the river was starting to seriously refreeze so she (wisely) made a hasty downstream retreat after the first night out.
But that was the only really plausible opportunity I've had for a winter trip so far this year. Screwing around out there in this kind of cold with anyone who might be apt to swim is not a thought I will seriously entertain for long. But its going to get nothing but better from here on - maybe I'll sneak one in before Canoecopia.
Electric Kayak Motor
2-3 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
Wabakimi Canoe Pack
Sport Cases (Electronics)
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