Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Name This Boat

On my morning coffee paddle around the lake this morning, I snaked into the backwaters to find this very interesting camp cruiser moored on lakes edge. Anybody know who makes it?
I doubt that anybody was underneath the tarp, but I didn't want to take a chance and peel it back to find an angry skipper in my quest to find out who built or designed it.
It's a contest. Win a date with a very suave and sophisticated man if you can be the first to report back. River John volunteered to be the date!! :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Manistee 150 -

Start at the MR 340 2008 - The only known action photo of me during the event. Just had to post it. Don't get many action photos of myself on the water.

The Manistee 150 is this coming weekend on the Big Manistee River in Michigan. It looks to be shaping up to be a great event. Jackbequick and River John are making every attempt to be there as well. If you want to hear a great River John story or two, come join us.
Boo is pretty stoked about going but had a reality check paddling for the first time since breaking her ankle.
Boo was pretty tired paddling this past Sunday on a six miler. But dug deep and gutted it out. I think she really saw the value of her paddle training she did before the Everglades Challenge this spring. Victory is for those that take the challenge.
We'll pick up Emily in Shorewood on our way up to Manatowoc to catch the SS Badger car ferry across Lake Michigan. Emily had to work this week so couldn't make it out to Lake Mills.
We plan to go three in a Kruger cruiser enjoying the Manistee river and the great weather that is fore casted for the up-coming weekend.
I'll post picks and river banter upon our return... enjoy! - The Capt'n

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oconomowoc River

A bit of a bushwhack to get to the rivers edge. Everything is just a bit over-grown with the high water and rain we had over the last month.

Got in 20 miles on this very twisty section. Paddled the Bell Yellowstone to change things up a bit so I could kneel and take some pressure off my lower back. Slow going up river at 3 mph.

Normal end of July / August this section of the Oconomowoc river is pretty choked off with weeds and aquatic plant growth. If I'd a waited another week, some sections would have been very difficult to get through.

This section is pretty remote for a Southeastern Wisconsin river. Here I caught a small deer getting a drink of water as I ghosted by on my return to the put in.

Passing under a bridge, just before entering the portage up to Lac La Belle. There's something about bridges, especially old ones.

All that history I imagine. - The Capt'n

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kruger Rally 100

I was pondering the idea of hosting on a canoe/kayak rally over Labor Day Weekend August 30th Thu September 1st, 2008 on the Wisconsin River. Push came to shove, so we are doing it...

There is some great paddling to be found below the last dam from Sauk City to Wyalusing. You'll even get a taste of ole man river, the Mississippi! Roughly 100 miles. If interested read on.... :-) or for ever hold your paddle.

So the idea would be to run in Kruger canoe style, a run what you brung event. Pack your own gear, have bank support or not... what ever works for you.

No real rules, just run a safe down river trip on one very inspiring river. It is an un-official challenge for those that want to participate. A chance to be part of a design team to maybe make it an annual event, who knows...

I would like to ask for donations in lieu of registration to go to the Kruger Memorial. No pressure, if money is tight... then just come and paddle... Mark has done so much for the youth camps I'd like to give back if possible.

A return email will suffice your interest and entry to this event. Everything is on your own, so plan accordingly. Gear Shuttle Accommodation Accountability following the law are your own. Though I am willing to assist as needed to make the event happen for you.

There is a ton of information on the web about paddling the lower 92 on the Wisconsin River. It is very scenic and a pleasure to paddle. We're going just a bit further to get it closer to 100 miles...

I have set up a message board to share ideas and information in our planning. I set up some guidelines/rules for those of you that want to...well race. :-)

Kruger Rally 100

This paddle is going forward if it is just Mark and I on the river or 10 or more of you join us... hope to see you there and look forward to your questions and enthusiasm.

Figure a 7:00am assembly with an 8:00am start time on Saturday August 30th, 2008. There is a boat ramp just north of Hwy 12 and the Wisconsin River on the west side of the river. Plenty of stores to shop for supplies near by as well as gas stations, coffee shops and boat livery.

Thanks for your interest. - The Capt'n

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Recap MR340

I can sum up my dismal performance in one word, "unprepared". I learned a lot about my personal demons, how the past can haunt you and if you don't get your mind and body right you're done.
I had suffered the debilitating effects of dehydration a few years ago on a trek across Costa Rica during an adventure race (medavac off the mountain) and felt myself heading in that direction again if it were not for a quick thinking support team from Texas. ( my best-est friends in the whole world!!)
They had quite a few tube socks stuffed with ice for draping over the necks of their paddler's, which they quickly gave to me to start the cooling process. Ice on the inner thighs and around my neck really helped, though it took me almost 24 hours before I really started feeling like myself again and could hold any real food down. Enough about me...
The real story is the great people associated with this event. I had a great week of padd......running support for the Clan from WaterTribe and hanging with the Texans.
Running support isn't easy. But supporting River John, White Caps, Wayfarer and Team Texas Tailwind was very rewarding. Not to mention cheering for - Bill, Graham, Russ, Missouri Shooter, all in Sea Winds.
There was quite the buzz around all the Sea-Winds that showed, seven in total. West Hansen and the Texas crowd were yelling "It's a cult" At one point I almost had West primed to paddle a Sea Wind next year... trying to pull him from the dark side of the TWS black boats... ( most Sea Winds are white)
Check the MR340 message board for more on the event... Lot's of drama from a kid that drank too many RED BULLS before the race and went into shock to the 6 man Belize Boat Mutiny.
Ain't life grand - The Capt'n

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Teams Making Headway

Wednesday proved to be another tough day for the MR340 racers. Strong headwinds and whitecaps added to the immense heat and sun, truly testing each racers grit and determination. Here are some pictures of the events happening at Franklin Island and Coopers Landing Wednesday.

Cooper's Landing

Cajun Blues at Cooper's Landing

Team Texas Tail Wind

Toby at Cooper's Landing

Team Texas Tail Wind - Phil and John

Bill in his Sea Wind

Marek at Franklin Island

River John

River John at Franklin Island

Sunset Wednesday night

Upon arriving in at Cooper's Landing, some teams have decided to push on through the night while others are taking some much needed time to rest. Everyone is hoping for a reprieve from the sun and heat for Thursday!

Update 10:13 AM: Sounds like the day has started off well. There is lots of fun and energy in the air, and the racers spirits are high. Must have been that Cajun band at Cooper's Landing! Here are a few more pictures that have come in.

River John masters the double blade!

Black Coffee and Doughnuts, stretching their legs after many many hours in their boats. After Black Coffee and Doughnuts finish the MR 340 ( in their home-made wooden kayaks!)they are planning on riding their bikes (which they have stowed inside their boats the entire race) the 300+ miles back to Kansas! Quite the adventure!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Update 7/15/08 8:30 PM - Brian is officially out of the MR340. He made it to CP2 last night, but had to be packed in ice as he was suffering from heat exhaustion. A wonderful crew of people made sure his temperature was dropping and that he was feeling better throughout the evening. After logging over 12 hours of paddling in the grueling heat and sun, we all think Brian made the right choice by putting his safety first. Way to go Brian!

But, the adventure is far from over for Brian and the rest of the MR340 racers and crews. A support team from Texas has graciously added Brian to their caravan, and he will be following the race with them. They will travel from CP to CP, logging the race events and taking pictures for this blog. So continue to check back, as the MR340 adventure is far from over!
Here are two racers (a.k.a. Black Coffee) who are paddling with their bikes in preparation for a 300 mile portage back to Kansas. Yikes!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The MR 340 is Underway!

Brian is at the starting line under sunnies skies, ready to shove off to start his next adventure!

There are six Seawinds competing in the MR340 this year

Good luck to all the racers!! Check this blog for daily updates of the adventures of Brian and the MR340!

Update 10:03 AM: Brian has passed the Kansas City River Side Park at just 2 hours into the race. He is cruising at 7.3 mph and feeling great! The heat is starting to bare down though, and surely he's in for a long, hot day. Time to hydrate, then hydrate some more!

Update 3:10 PM: After paddling for 7 hours and 9 minutes, Brian has cleared Check Point 1 in Lexington! He is back on the water had headed to Waverly Park (CP 2). It is extremely hot on the water and Brian reports he is feeling OK. He's hanging in there and making a steady pace towards CP 2. Wish him luck (and a cool breeze!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Here we go!!

Well we're off to the MR 340!! Follow along as we will be up-dating daily starting July 15th, 2008.

Say "NO" to Barge Traffic!! - The Capt'n

Sunday, July 6, 2008

10 days...

The Fourth of July celebration needs to end as there are only 10 days and counting to the big show - The MR340. Yikes! I have a lot to do.

Been spending a lot of time on the lakes as the rivers in our area after the flooding are still pretty choked up and running above flood stage.

Spent this past Sunday out on one of Wisconsin's larger lakes, Lake Mendota. Met up with John and Steve from the Paddlin Shop. They went paddle sailing as I ground out the hours paddling in preparation for the MR340.
John out for the day with his daughter Nora. Lov'n the Balogh BOSS with his 38sq ft. sail. There is a great read on John's Paddlin Shop website of paddle sailing at Voyagers.

Steve takes to the water in his Windrider 16. Interesting ride I must say, but wow what an ordeal to assemble. It took us the better part of an hour with two of us rigging the boat. I needed a nap.

After a pretty full morning of O dark 30 paddling, I went down to the Student Union on Lake Mendota and met up with good friends James and Anna. It was really nice to sit back and watch all the activity out on the water. Hoofer's Sailing Club is based out of here. Fun to watch the newbies run into the dock as they attempt to get there certification to take out one of the club boats. Nothing like a couple of beers, a brat and a good dock ramming.

This week will be filled with sorting gear and making last minute preparations for the MR340. I'm going into the event pretty relaxed. My paddling has been consistent, but I can't say that I really have done any training.

Ready...Set... GO!! - The Capt'n