Friday, July 2, 2004 to Sunday, July 4, 2004
length: 3 days
organizer: Jody of Turtle Paddles
participants: Beth Baskin, Karonne Lansel, Keith Nunn, Liam Nunn, Morgan Baskin, many others
We only made it http://www.muskokapaddlefest.com/" target="_self">there briefly on Sunday as we were at the Gull until Sunday morning and had to get Morgan to camp Sunday afternoon.
It seemed quieter than previous years, but it sounded like it had been busier on Saturday. We did see http://www.redcanoes.ca/becky/index.html" target="_self">Becky's paddling demo and I paddled her boat -- very nice. I also paddled one of Pam Wedd's (http://users.vianet.ca/~bearwood/" target="_self">Bearwood) boats. She has the most incredible mirror finishes on her canoes.
We met Karonne there and she paddled Becky's boat too. We're both easy to thrill.
The paddle art looked cool, but we didn't have time to stay for the auction (we're too broke anyway).
I went up to Paddlefest on Friday, July 2. Tried out a few boats: the tandem and solo versions of the Bell "Yellowstone" river tripping canoes, formerly made by Dagger. Nice boats. Also a Swift "Kipawa" (more for lake tripping, doesn't turn easily), and a Bluewater "Prospector" (big volume river tripper). Wanted to see why Bluewater boats are so expensive ($4000!), but couldn't tell from paddling.
On Saturday morning as I was looking for the Voyageur shuttle to ferry me over to a seminar on the other side of the river, Kevin Callan appeared out of nowhere and lent me his boat to get across and back. Way cool! Then on Sunday I got to paddle Becky Mason's boat, and as Keith has already noted, that was a big thrill. My water-ballet moves were laughable next ot hers, but my Mom managed to get a couple of shots of both her and me in the same position, so side-by-side in the photos, I look pretty good! Ha-ha!
On both Saturday and Sunday, I went to lots of seminars: e.g. solo tripping, wilderness first aid, how to avoid problems by good planning in advance, critter-proofing your campsite, wilderness navigation, tips on writing and photography, etc. Later Sunday afternoon, I went off and paddled a route that's in Hap Wilson's Muskoka book: down the North Muskoka River, up the South Muskoka, then up Sharpe Creek till it becomes impassable, and back. Followed a beaver down the creek aways, swimming with a big branch in its mouth. That made a really nice afternoon.
So I feel I made the most of my Paddlefest weekend, and consider it well worthwhile. But I also was concerned about the thin attendance this year. I hope the organizers did well enough that they won't decide to cancel it next year.