Saturday, June 16, 2007
Voyageur's Highway and Skin Boats
The VOR and I leave today for a 5 day interlude on the Canadian north shore of Gitchee Gumme. My friend has a rustic cabin on Little Pidgeon Bay, along the route where the voyoageurs hauled their furs to Montreal, and we plan to kayak and hike from that base camp. On the way we will stop in Grand Marais, have a beer or 3 at the Gunflint Tavern, and take our traditional moonlight harbor paddle. My dirty little secret is that I will also be dropping in on my friend Pat from Thunder Bay who is making a skin boat at the North House Folk School. I had met him while carving a Greenland paddle there last spring. I must admit the thought of a skin boat makes me a bit twitchy. "Hi, my name is Dave and I'm a kayakaholic". A non kayaking acquaintance asked me why I had 3 boats and I had to tell him it was because I sold two last year. I may need to sent the VOR to the Siverston Gallery so I can lust in relative tranquility. I don't need a SOF, I don't need a SOF, I don't need............although the back deck on my Aquanaut is fairly high for some of the trickier Greenland maneuvers. Sigh. In any event the paddling and company should be excellent and next weekend is the Wooden Boat Festival in Grand Marais, which I will miss this year. I'm sure they won't miss me, however, because my Chesapeake is not quite the meticulously varnished and sanded craft that these boats are. In fact my CLC 17lt looks really good on the roof of my car while its parked on the street and you are looking at it from the house. It also looks really good at 65mph on the roof rack. Just don't look too close. It does float, paddle, and handle superbly though, and I guess thats what counts. The Irish Greenland stick looks pretty sharp however!