While I do use this product , it is here to illustrate
the post, and should not be interpreted as an endorsement.
At the beginning you may jump to
three conclusions, and they would all be incorrect. The assumptions would be that this is not a
paddling article, that this just involves women, and it must be some type of
advertisement. Again, ‘NO’ on all three,
so please read to the end. It could save
you thousands of dollars and also reduce your likelihood of suffering
pre-mature aging or cancer.
On the CBS morning program for
March 30, they did a very good investigative piece on skin care and
cosmetics. The Senate is considering a
bill designed to increase regulation of the ingredients that go into
cosmetics. These regulations have not be
updated or revised since the 1930’s, which has been much to the advantage of
the industry’s $60-billion annual income.
There are over 60,000 ingredients that go into cosmetic creams for blemish
removal, smoothing, wrinkle remover, eye cream, moisturizer, anti-aging cream,
and much, much more. Many of these
ingredients are a health hazard in themselves, attacking growth and
reproductive hormones, and some are even cancer causing. On the cost side of the issue, women on
average use twelve cosmetic products each day containing 168 unregulated
ingredients. Men use on average six
products containing 85 unregulated ingredients.
Not only are the ingredients unregulated, but so are the claims about
what they will accomplish for the user, and what the costs of the products
should be. For example, they showed two
containers holding the same product. One
was a tube for $10, and the other was the same product put in a small jar for
$170. Another related issue was using
the same product for multiple applications, such as a cream that is used as a moisturizer,
or which is put into very small tubes with greatly inflated prices and sold as
an eye cream.
For the paddler, fisherman, or
anyone that spends time outside, time and the sun are the two greatest elements
that attack and age the skin, the body’s most important defense system, and the
one everyone sees. To combat these
problems, many people turn to anti-aging cosmetics. Unfortunately, science has never found
anything that stops or reverses the aging process. Plus, not only does the sun try to give us
cancer, but the products we use to supposedly reverse the clock may also introduce
dangerous or cancer-causing chemicals into our bodies.
However, all is not lost. Now that you’ve scratched all the cosmetics
counters off your shopping list and saved thousands of dollars from trying to
buy false hope or a magic potion, the good news is that there are two products
that do work, and those are the only two you need. “The most biologically active anti-aging
products on the market today, bar none, are moisturizers and sunscreen, and
they are not expensive.” For men, it has
been said many times that the first thing a man should reach for after shaving
is sunscreen. While they don’t reverse
the clock, moisturizers and sunscreen both help the skin, slow the effects of
time and sun, and keeping the skin healthier.
It is important to remember that both are temporary, and so should be
used repeatedly. You also don’t need to
buy products with French names that sell for $105 and make wild claims. Inexpensive or reasonably priced
over-the-counter products are just as effective as the expensive products found
in department stores and salons, and can be found at the local drug store. Especially for those spending the day
outdoors, don’t start your day or leave home without them.
So, what’s a paddler supposed to do
when it’s blowing 55-60 miles per hour, or when it is blowing dirt at 25-40 mph
for day after day, week after week after week?
Walking would be great except you stagger around in the gusts like a
drunk. I did ride the bike three miles
to the store when it was blowing 55.
That was exciting, and once was enough of that. On the downwind leg I didn’t peddle once, but
more than made up for it in first gear on the way back. There’s also planning trips, studying maps
and Google Earth, and reading. But, I’ve
lately added a project for the grandkids---making layered animals. When I sent one goat to the youngest
granddaughter, her older sister swiped it and started sleeping with it. That’s cute, but it was obvious I’d have to
make more and spread them around to ward off sibling rivalry. I didn’t know if they would really want them,
especially the older ones, thinking that perhaps they were too old to enjoy
them. Instead, I ended up with standing
orders, with even a couple for adults.
The plans come from The Winfield
with plans for all the animals in several different sizes. There are other plans for a couple thousand
other things for those really needing something to do. If you like birdhouses, those are great. This set of plans has full-sized drawings for
84 different animals. I decided to do
all 14 animals on the first sheet at once.
These include, so far, a goat, reindeer, turkey, elephant, rabbit, a
saddled horse, cow, panda, pig, sheep, raccoon, goose, bloodhound, and a
cat. Over the last three weeks, I’ve drawn and cut
out 293 wood animal pieces. They are now
bagged in gallon storage bags to keep the pieces together, and I can next
shape, sand, assemble, and paint them, maybe getting out one animal for each of
four grandkids each month. We will see
how that goes, because when the foul weather stops, I’m going paddling,
kids. Especially once my sail gets here,
I plan on getting out in some rougher conditions to take full advantage of the sailing
Added: On the subject of gales and adverse wind, I received this precise breakdown
of the Everglades Challenge results from Patrick Forrester:
When you count all kayaks including the Hobies there were
59 kayak entries in the 2016 EC. Only 19 of them finished. When you count single conventional (not
including the hobies) kayaks and decked canoes and subtract the tandem
conventional kayaks only 13 out of 35 paddlers finished. Tandem conventional kayaks did the best at 2
out of 4 finishing. 0 of the 3 single
Hobie Adventure Islands finished. 3 of
the 16 tandem Hobie Adventure Islands finished.
In the end the big head winds were just too much. If it could have only
been a favorable wind there would have been a lot more finishes.
Two days ago (March 24), Bruce
Nelson departed Camp Dubois at the junction of the Mississippi and Missouri
Rivers, near St. Louis, with Lewis and Clark’s journal in hand.
He will follow their roughly 2,000 mile journey up the Missouri River,
across the Rocky Mountains, and to the Pacific.
To follow the adventure, click ‘Bruce Nelson’s L&C Trail’ in the
right margin under Favorite Links.
I spoke just last night with
Patrick Forrester, of Falcon Sails, who had called to say my sail should be
done by the weekend. I’m slow to jump
into such purchases, but I’ve been watching the Falcon Sails videos, reviews,
and events’ results for a long time, and have yet to see any negative feedback
on their performance or in dealings with the sailmaker.
Credit: Patrick Forrester
Joe Tousignant in this year's Everglades Challenge with a Falcon
Sail on a Clipper Canoe.
There are two sizes, the 1-square
meter and 1.3-square meter sails.
Watertribe limits the Class I entrants to the 1-meter sail. The sail was designed and built specifically
for the Florida Watertribe Everglades Challenge, a brutal 300-mile race held
each year from Tampa Bay to Key Largo, in the Florida Keys. The round-the-clock, up to 8-day endurance
race is as good a testing ground for all gear as any to be found anywhere, and
the Falcon Sail, since its first Everglades Challenge in 2013, has yet to
experience its first failure. There were
three Falcon Sails in the Challenge that year, with two in Class I. Joe Tousignant, even though he chose a longer
route, won first in Class. In 2014,
there were five Falcon Sails in Class I, and they took 3 of the top 4 finish
positions. In 2015, there were 16 Falcon
sailors, but the event was ordered stopped by the Coast Guard within hours of
its start due to extreme weather. This
year, for the second year in a row, there were more Falcon Sails in the
Challenge than sails from any other manufacturer, and for these hardcore
paddlers who are always looking for an edge, that says a lot. Florida
weather again brutalized the fleet with strong headwinds, resulting in 13
DNF’s in Class I, and reported about 63% DNF's out of the roughly 80 starters.
Joe Tousignant finished behind another Falcon Sail boat, a
tandem-paddled Kruger canoe.
This is a Snip from the Falcon Sails site. It is an interactive
page that enables you to design your own sail and see what
it will look like. Ibi's deck is yellow, but also for the safety that
comes with high visibility on the water, I chose two fluorescent
colors, yellow and hot pink.
Falcons Sails have been sent around
the world, and have appeared on virtually any type of canoe or kayak
imaginable. The best way to get an appreciation
of how they perform is to go to the Falcon Sails site. Be sure to watch the videos there, and
several others can be found by searching Falcon Sails on You Tube. By using the cues at the top of their home
page, you can also check out the large collection of photographs. I’m hoping the best is yet to come when I get
my sail, install it, and can offer some personal pictures and experiences. Until then, see: https://www.falconsails.com/
We finally had the chance to get
both granddaughters with us during their spring break. To get them out on the water, all we needed
was a decent weather day. Like my paddle
on 5 March, with the water still cold, we needed a paddle that would keep us
close to shore and in shallow water.
With the wind still from the SE, I had identical conditions from that
previous day trip, so another run down the shore through the rushes was in
The girls had no real experience
paddling. They had been to a church camp
a couple years ago, but “training” amounted to little more than splashing about
and wetting each other, so we started from the beginning. I told them I would teach them six paddle
strokes, and we started with a dry practice in the backyard. I threw in a little background about never
lying a paddle on the ground, never loading or stepping into a canoe until it
is fully waterborne, the different types of hull materials and their
advantages/disadvantage, the bowman setting the cadence, the stern paddler
keeping time with the bow paddler and calling a ‘hut’ to switch sides,
etc. We had lunch, and with two canoes on the Dodge
Ram, headed for the lake.
We started out from the Longdale
ramp and again headed south along the shore.
In the first 45-minutes, we managed to make good only two-tenths of a
mile, and a good bit of that was in circles.
It was chaos. Like most tween
sisters, the bickering and yelling was making me feel sorry for the emotional
well-being of area wildlife and birds. “You’re
supposed to turn your thumb down---DOWN.”
“Stop telling me what to do.”
“No, you’re going the wrong way.
Over there, go over there.” “What
do you think I’m doing? Why aren’t you
paddling? Paddle!” “Shut up!
I am paddling.” “No, you’re
not.” “I am so.”
By the end of their outing, success.
Finally, I called them into a spot
where the water was shallow, and they were mostly surrounded by rushes that
shielded them from some of the wind. I
told them to use their strokes to practice keeping the boat stationary and straight. I was surprised how quickly they caught onto
the use of the pry and draw, and they began to get control of the canoe, so we
started on down the shore. The idea of
control over just moving forward made the difference, and they began to settle
in. Quickly they started picking their
own route and made a couple rest stops on sandy spots along the shore. They made it two-and-a-half miles to the dam
and Blackjack swim beach, where I suspected they would be ready for another
rest break. Instead, they opted to come
about and head straight back non-stop.
Five miles for their first real paddle was good.
The transition was fun to
watch. They were going straight, picking
their own route through the shoals and obstructions, and paddling in
unison. I could hear them counting
“1-2-3-4-5-6-hut” as they switched.
Before long, they were singing, and at times, I was busting my gut to
keep up. It was wonderful to see. The next day we were having Oklahoma gales
again, so we took them to the Cherokee Strip Museum in Alva, OK. They wanted to paddle again the following
day, but after much consideration, I called it off. A cold front had moved through with a rapid
drop in temperatures. The temperature
was barely going to break 50-degrees for a high. If they got wet, even if they were close to
shore and could wade out of the water, the risk of hypothermia seemed too great
in the time they would need to change into the dry clothes they had
carried. It was decided to err on the
side of safety.
When their Dad picked them up, they
both told me they wanted to go canoeing again.
They later told their father the best time they had had on spring break
was canoeing with me. What sweeter words
could a canoeing grandfather hope to hear?
it’s official. I had entered a raffle
at Canoecopia for a free membership with Northern Forest Canoe Trail. I didn’t win. That, of course, is not a surprise. Had I won, that would have been huge, because
I was really interested in the trail and paddling it. Four people won memberships, and I wonder how
many of them will actually through-paddle the trail. There are two advantages of membership. The first is that it supports the paddling
trail and helps to spread the interest for people actually camping and paddling
the trail. The second is the 15%
discount on the cost of the trail guide and maps.
a big loser, I went onto their site and bought my own membership. So there!
And, I ordered the guide and complete 13-map set for paddling the
trail. While I was at the NFCT booth, I also met Katina Daanen, and purchased her 2nd Ed. NFCT Through-Paddler's Companion, a guide she wrote after her 2011 through-paddle of the trail. The upside, of course, is
paddling the trail can’t help but make me a winner. How could anyone spend one or two months in
such beautiful country without feeling like a winner? One of our fondest memories from early in our
marriage was a winter camping trip on Eighth Lake, which the paddling trail
goes right through. We came close to being shot by a couple poachers spotlighting deer, but it was still a wonderful time
in our lives. The country is pristine,
beautiful, and the trail offers the widest possible variety of paddling
experiences and challenges from upstream, downstream, flatwater to class IV,
easy reprovisioning, isolation when you want it, or friendly, quaint villages
when you don’t feel like being alone. It
is 740 miles long, follows the oldest hunting and trade trails in the country
that were used by Native Americans, fur trappers, voyageurs, etc. It takes the paddler through 22 rivers and
streams, 58 ponds and lakes, over 63 portages (ouch!) totaling 55 miles, over
beaver dams, through bug swarms, through three national wildlife refuges, 45
towns and villages, spans four states plus a crossing into Canada and back, and
allows for camping or lodging about every 15 miles in the beautiful Adirondacks
and Northern New England. The following
link will take you to the blog section of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail,
where you can read posts from the through-paddlers that have actually done the
trip. Enjoy the beautiful photographs
they share. Share the experiences. Maybe you too will be moved to make the
trip. See http://www.northernforestcanoetrail.org/Paddler-2/Paddler-Blogs-73
side of the expo draws as many people as the trade show does. Rutabaga amasses a long list of speakers that
offer programs each day from when the doors open until everyone staggers
tiredly out the doors at the end of the day.
The speakers include those that have completed impressive expeditions
and are there to show their films and slides while answering questions about
what the experience was really like and how it was accomplished. Other speakers explain how to pick a boat,
outfit it, catch a fish, pack, plan menus and cook a meal, introduce your kids
or dog to paddling, get fit and stay that way, experience birds and wildlife
and photograph them, navigate, explore new areas, become a happy camper, and
everything you need to know from beginner to expert.
If Kevin Callan is on the schedule, he's a must see. He's not only a
fountain of information and inspiration, but he's as entertaining as any
Vegas show. I was sitting by the projector when he needed to come back
for some adjustments, and as soon as he saw me swing around with the camera,
he flashed his iconic thumbs-up. If you ever see a guy that's always upbeat
and fun to be around, you've probably just bumped into "The Happy Camper"
If you should
plan to go next year and order the show guide and colored wristbands, which
serve as your entry tickets, early enough, both arrive in the mail. If you wait until the last minute, the
84-page guide can be printed off the Canoecopia web page pdf. Parking at the Alliant Energy Center is $7.00
a day unless you purchase the 3-day parking pass. That doesn’t save much money, a
dollar-and-a-half, but it saves a lot of time each day sitting in line to get
through the gates. Lodging abounds in
the area, but the longer you wait to make your travel plans, the further you
will be commuting each day to and from the exhibition.
No, I wasn't on this trip with Kevin and Andy, his equally upbeat
camping partner. I just shot this picture of the screen during Kevin's
presentation. These two met by accident, but make the perfect duo
by all appearances. Photo credit: Kevin Callan
worth the 1,700 mile road trip?
Yes. Everyone should make the
trip at least once even if you think of it as a pilgrimage. For us, the 3-day show was a 6-day round
trip, but it was a great experience. The
show is in the middle of the heart of paddling country for both Americans and
Canadians. Those that live close are
fortunate, but I did see one person whining that they didn’t know if they’d
make the trip since it was four hours away.
On several occasions while watching a Callan video, Jean and I have
talked about how much Andy looks like Red Skelton. (If you're young
enough you don't know who Red Skelton was, you missed out on a lot.
You should talk to your parents about that.) His appearance, expressions,
mannerisms, and great sense of humor would have you thinking he's
Skelton's reincarnation or his son. So, we had to chuckle when we saw
Callan labeling him as Andy, alias, Red Skelton.
final word that may be of interest, Jean wanted to know how a paddling
outfitter came to be named after an obscure turnip. Here’s the story. “Back in 1974, the original owner of Rutabaga
and his friends would play Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’s album, 'Absolutely Free,' on repeat. There is one
song called “Call Any Vegetable,” and at one point in the song there is a
repeated chant of “Rutabaga.” The
neighbors used to call them the Rutabaga kids, and that’s what they named their
business. We hold with the legacy today,
but we don’t play too much Frank Zappa over the stereo anymore.” To plan your trip, see http://www.canoecopia.com/canoecopia/page.asp?pgid=1001
been talking for three years about making the trip to Canoecopia. We always enjoyed the trade shows. Being from the Chesapeake, we went to the
Annapolis Sailboat Show for decades. We
were even there when they rolled out the new Cruising World Magazine, and we became
charter subscribers. Now Cruising World
is arguably the standard in the sailing world.
We also got cornered in a pub one evening by a recruiter/fundraiser for
the Irish Republican Liberation Army, who was seeking funds for guns. The more he drank, the scarier the stories
and threats became. We weren’t looking
for that level of excitement on this trip, but the trade shows are always fun,
and living in the desert, we have missed the crowds of like-minded people.
of you not familiar with Canoecopia, it is an annual paddling industry show
that is held each March in Madison, WI.
What is promoted as the world’s largest paddlesports expo in the world
is organized and sponsored by Rutabaga Paddlesports. At least 20,000 paddlers, campers, fishermen,
and photographers attend every year during the three-day event. There are basically two sides to the expo.
The greatest thing about the shows is you get one-on-one contact
with the staff and instructors of any supplier, manufacturer, or
outfitter. Here, we spoke with staff and instructors from Camp
Manito-wish. If you wish to send your child to an established program,
you get to have all your concerns addressed by the people actually working
with your child. This camp, by the YMCA, in Boulder Junction, WI,
has been in operation since 1947.
This was the new Chesapeake Light Craft tear-drop camper. It was
a big draw, and I had to run in early Sunday morning to get a picture
when people weren't crawling all over and in and out. It really was nice.
side of the show is where booths are manned by the experts from every canoe,
kayak, SUP, camping gear, boat rack, sports apparel, paddle maker, and fishing
gear manufacturer you can name. This
gives you the chance to be educated about and try on drysuits, paddles, and boats
that you may have previously only seen pictures of, and compare them
side-by-side. There are also well known
authors that you can meet, talk with, and even get a book signed by. There are unusual things to see like the log
canoe that paddled around Lake Michigan, or the newly designed and built
teardrop trailer built by Chesapeake Light Craft. You can meet any number of guides and
outfitters that will introduce you to their paddling or fishing areas, or you
can meet representatives from any number of national and state parks, paddling
trails, like the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, scouting, paddling instruction,
paddling clubs, and gosh, just name it.
You can also meet and discuss concerns with people working to protect
our lands and waters from those like Friends of the Boundary Waters, the
Apostle Islands, the Wisconsin River, Florida waters, and the Sierra Club. For the first-timer, walking through the
doors to the exhibition hall is a bit intimidating and overwhelming, but with
the map of the hall and show guide in hand, it doesn’t take long to settle in.
Can you believe I took off without the camera? So, I had to pull
a file picture of Ibi from the 2012 River Rumble on the Missouri.
have been horrendous, torturous, and incessant for the last week. Gusts have been hitting 45-50 mph, and that
is without storm activity. Today was
supposed to be better, before we get back to gale force again tomorrow. The winds were forecast to be low until
mid-afternoon, and would be out of the east all day, veering from NE to E to
SE. If I stayed on the eastern shore of
the lake, I’d be in the lee of the land.
things first, however. This morning was
the start of the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge. They pushed off from Fort DeSoto State Park,
on the north shore of Tampa Bay, at 8 a.m., Eastern, for the 300 mile paddle to
Key Largo. I watched them all get
started, and will now follow Class 1, which allows the use of a one-square-meter
sail with no outriggers or dagger boards, and includes a couple friends who are
launched from the Longdale ramp. This
campground has been unusable for about eight years due to the severe
draught. Since there has been no
maintenance going on, I found a bumper crop of sandburs. I ended up with them everywhere, including
inside my dry suit, so I felt like I was sitting on a mound of fire ants all
day. The draught had withdrawn water
from the east shore a considerable distance, which allowed the growth of brush
and trees in the fertile dry lake bottom.
With water levels back up, I could now paddle through a labyrinth of
foliage, which was providing good habitat for ducks. I was able to evade a good bit of the wind
and experience a whole new and interesting environment. I paddled to the south end of the lake and
pulled out. The cabled string of big
orange floats that mark the swim area had been sitting in a dry field of weeds
for much too long, and it was nice to see them floating again. I sat on one above the shoreline, and enjoyed
lunch as I watched water lapping against Ibi nearby.
lunch over, I got back on the water, turned Ibi to face downwind and into more
open water, and popped the WindPaddle Cruiser sail. We took off.
I reached 5.6 mph, which is the fastest I’ve ever gotten the canoe
going. The wind wasn’t steady, however,
and gusts kept backing more forward. It
both drove me further offshore, and as I was already sailing on the edge of
trying to hold a beam reach, backed the sail and blew it over my head. The Cruiser is 1.6 sq. meter. In a canoe, that’s big, and when it backwinds
and flops over my head, I find myself sitting inside a big yellow tent as the
wind, now gusting to near 20 mph, is trying to blow me sideways toward open
water. A couple times it got a bit
exciting. It would have been really nice
if I could have kept the wind behind me, but it was backing more. I finally had to furl the sail and just enjoy the paddle. By gosh, spring is coming. I can feel it.
got home, I checked in again with the WaterTribe. In eight hours, Class 1 had traveled 40-45
miles down the Florida coast. That blows
my mind. Canoe or kayak either one, that’s
moving. If you want to watch the track,
which is updated several times an hour, check the site at: http://www.watertribe.com/Events/ChallengeGMapper.aspx. Be quick, or this thing will be over. To qualify with a finish time, they have to
have completed the 300 miles in eight days.