disappoint. Kevin is one of the most anticipated speakers every year at Canoecopia and this year was no different, as hundreds of people packed the conference room to a standing room only capacity. Kevin’s recap of last year’s “Meanest Link” trip around Algonquin Park was predictably humorous and informative. His unique ability to make any misadventure a funny and memorable experience can only be attributed to his infectious personality and love of sharing his experiences with others. Or, it could be the ample amounts of single malt that is consumed on his excursions. Either way, if you ever get a chance to see him in person, I would highly recommend making the time. I would also like to thank Kevin and Outdoor Research for the free hat that was tossed in our direction prior to the presentation, it will definitely get some use this paddling season.
Another inspiring presentation was given by the husband and wife duo of Dave and Amy Freeman. Named National Geographic Adventurers of the Year for 2013, Dave and Amy summarized their nearly 3 year and 11,700 mile trip across North America by kayak, canoe, and dog sled. They began their journey on Earth Day of 2010 near Seattle, Washington in route to Key West, Florida by way of the Yukon and Northwest Territories of Canada. The experiences they had on this trip ranged from close calls with humpback whales and grizzly bears to hunkering down as Superstorm Sandy crashed the east coast. The most remarkable part of the trip in my opinion, was that they were able to share
their experiences with thousands of school children via their program called Wilderness Classroom. Dave and Amy record and upload as much of the journey as they can to share with the children and the children even had a few chances to determine which route the Freeman’s would take.
And finally, I was interested to know if canoe manufacturers had found a Royalex replacement. Based on information provided, it doesn’t seen that any of the manufacturers are looking for an exact replacement for Royalex. Many feel that the R&D costs associated with finding a new material is too large of a gamble at this point, and that current material offerings create enough options for consumers. So it looks like Royalex is an endangered species that will likely be extinct in the next 6 to 10 months. If you were looking to purchase a Royalex boat, I would suggest doing it early this year, as prices will predictably increase as we near the end of Royalex production.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7nPMROkWp8 - Once Around Algonquin
"Refuse to accept the belief that your professional relevance, career success or financial security turns on the next update on the latest technology. Sometimes it's good to put the paddle down and just let the canoe glide." - Simon Mainwaring