Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finally out of the woodwork!, maybe....

Okay, I admit I've been blatantly delinquent with blog post. Well not purposely, but seemingly. I usually find during the trip less winter months I usually have more time to write, but that obviously hasn't happened. Work has been busier than ever lately demanding more time than usual from me, throw in multiple writing/photo submission deadlines as well as putting together a slide show/presentation on the Romaine River trip. Yeah, I've been a little tied up!

Most of you know I've been posting on different subject matters on the Romaine River trip and haven't gotten to the 'incident' yet. However, if you attended the Wilderness Canoe Symposium recently, you know I "spilled the beans" there. Earlier in the year, I unexpectedly (and surprisingly) got invited with someone else to jointly present on the Romaine River trip at this annual event. Sure its a privilege, but my stomach still filled with butterflies just thinking about the sea of people I would be presenting to - like 500 plus people! This symposium brings people from all over North America and abroad to both attend and present on their incredible expeditions to remote rivers and far off places. To put it lightly, I was stressed as the bar is set high at this event.

Myself and David Robinson sporting nervous smiles just before our
presentation at the 2010 Wilderness Canoe Symposium
Photo: Aleks Gusev

Needless to say, despite the anxiety, the effort paid off as my partner David Robinson and I did a decent job. It was very encouraging when many people came forward with nice comments. It even seemed to impress members of another canoe club as I was asked to present there in the future as well! Even though it was a relief when I finished, I'm still not out of the woodwork yet. I have another one to prepare for in London at Nova Craft and one pending at The Complete Paddler later in the spring. No rest for the wicked!

I want to touch on one presentation at the symposium that was a bit more meaningful to me. Several years back, during the dark long days of winter I found a website on an expedition by a group of American girls. Talk about a dream trip, this one took them 95 days and covered approx 1200 miles from northern Saskatchewan to the Arctic Ocean! (that's 1920 kms!) I was captivated by the team, their motivation, and the incredible route they chose. I was hooked as I poured over their blog that contained trip reports and pictures. A few years later, they planned and completed yet another huge and equally exciting expedition in the far north. So when I found out they were presenting at the symposium, I was thrilled. Not only would I get to hear about their trip, but even get the chance to meet them! Unfortunately the whole team couldn't be there, but I had the pleasure of meeting 3 of them - Nina, Karen & Emily. As expected, they were an amiable group that were easy to get along with. Anyhow, they put on a great show and if you missed it at the symposium, check out their website/blog. Its totally worth the time to read about their adventure and to dream about yours!

Pleasure meeting the girls of The Borealis Paddling Expedition
(l to r) Nina, Karen, myself and Emily
Photo: Lisa Riverin-Thomas

Okay, so what's next? Well, working on getting some more Romaine River trip post up. There is also the Outdoor Adventure Show the weekend after this. I will be at the Eureka booth Sat and Sun again so come by and visit if you are there. Then on March 5 if you are in and around London, I will be doing a much longer presentation on the Romaine at Nova Craft.
There is also the Toronto Sportsmen Show in mid March where I'll be working with Eureka again. And most importantly, weather and circumstances willing, the paddling season may start next month! As other things unfold, I'll post them and let you know what's down the pipe. Hope everyone is doing well! Feels good to finally put a post up. Hopefully soon there will be more to follow!

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