This is a list of trips, skills, and locations that I would like to experience this paddling season. This will only be my 2nd season paddling and I have fallen even deeper into the addiction. I plan on getting right back into my routine of 2-4 paddling outings a week. Some with my 6 year old daughter, some without.
-Starved Rock. Last Fall, my family and I took a trip to Starved Rock State Park. It was really the wrong season to see that area. I have heard that you need to see it after the rainy season in the spring to really see what the park has to offer. The waterfalls in the cliffs and caves take on a whole new face when there is actually water falling from them...lol. I will also bring the canoe on this trip to see "Starved Rock" from the river and really get a good look at the cliffs.
-Canoecopia. I am totally stoked about Canoecopia. This seems like it is the mecca of the paddling world. Located in Madison, Wisconsin, it is close enough to home that I can't NOT go! My little paddling partner and I will be touching everything at the show and maybe even bring some of it home.
-Burlington Wi to Algonquin IL. This is a pretty big trip that I have on the back burner. I have paddled a lot of the Fox River and the Chain of Lakes and this trip would be about 50 miles straight down the Fox. This would also be an overnight. I know many people that live on the river, so a "campsite" should not be an issue. I would also get to experience the Mchenry Locks via canoe...if that is allowed.
-Deep Water Canoe Re-Entry. I have already told my little girl that we will be having some wet drills this season. Since we have been lucky and have not dumped the canoe, she does not know the feeling of hitting the water. I want to get her out to a shallow, calm lake and tip the canoe. Once she gets used to that feeling and knows what to do, I think a real tip will be easier to handle. I also want to learn if there is a good technique in righting a canoe in deep water. I have not found any good videos of successful techniques to do so.
-Chicago. Paddling the Chicago River.....how cool does that sound?! Sure it is a little different than the silence of the woods and the scenery is a little harder....but I have heard that it is something to see. I have been on this water in a motorboat, but it just isn't the same. This will make a cool video too. I would not want to tip the canoe in that water though.
-Buy a Kayak. I am on the fence about this one. I am quickly finding that many paddlers have "fleets" of boats and I am seeing why. I love the canoe. Absolutely love it. I also see the appeal of kayaks and specifically, the different types of kayaks that are out there. The canoe is great for trips with my little girl and even on solo runs, but a kayak would be cool. I have had a small one for a weekend and I borrowed a Wilderness Systems kayak while in Florida for 2 weeks, so I have the taste for them. If I added one to my collection, I would not be sad.
-Paddling in the Snow. I am going to wait till the weather warms up a little, but I will get out when there is snow on the ground still. If I am really lucky, I will paddle in falling snow. I have seen pictures and it looks like it makes a peaceful sport heavenly. I have also read everything about hypothermia and realize how little time you have before it is a problem. I wouldn't hit the water with out being prepared.
S0 that's my list at the moment. As you know, it will grow and grow but there is only so much time in a season. Whether all the items on the list get crossed off or not, one thing is for certain, I will get a lot of time out on the water. I hope to bring some new people into the sport and share something that I love to do. I hope to have a safe and relaxing season. See ya on the water!