Today is the winter solstice and already people are posting about Canoecopia in Madison next March. Derrick had a post already as did RonO. I was corresponding about it with Rene Seindal to encourage him to present on kayaking Italy. Apparently the lineup is already set in the fall so it may be next year before we hear about Sardinia and the canals of Venice, but there is plenty of good stuff as Derrick and Ron point out. Like the Kites on Ice celebration in the photo above, Canoecopia is an event that perfectly suits the city of Madison, WI. People like to be outdoors and are very accepting of people powered sports and the folks who enjoy them. In fact on the same weekend as Canoecopia, Budget Bikes has their big spring sale in the building across the street. Madison is a wonderful venue for these events. Downtown is on an isthmus between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona which makes for some very scenic walks, most of which are dominated by the imposing dome of the state capitol, which is only 3’ shorter than its almost identical counterpart in Washington DC. The drinking and dining downtown is special also. Its hard to find a chain establishment downtown or on the east side, and I consider that to be a positive thing. If you’re dying for Applebees, Perkins, or TGI Friday’s, you will need to head out on the south beltline toward the West Towne Mall. Madison is also the microbrewed beer capital of the state. Most decent (read: non “sports”) downtown and neighborhood bars have at least a half dozen tap handles; usually 2/3 of those are real beers that actually have flavor as opposed to the bland, frigid, and anemic lightness of the BudMillerCoors Light genre.
Which is a round about way at getting to the gist of this post. By then most of us northern kayakers will be slightly stir crazy as well as chlorinated beyond government allowed ppm levels. I thought I would throw out the idea of a Bloggers Rendezvous at the Canoecopia event to kick off the season. This could be as simple as a table out in the foyer area and should certainly include some adult beverages, perhaps a Happy Hour, after the show closes. I can think of at least a dozen or so people who I’ve been reading for the past year that I’d like to shake hands with and hoist a Winter Ale or bock to toast the upcoming paddle season. Any feedback on that concept from my fellow kayak bloggers? RonO, Alex, and myself are in…….let me know who is interested and what format you’d like it to take place in and I’ll see what I can do. I know there are some folks out there that are tight with our buddies at Rutabaga and I’d be happy to follow up on any ideas might come up.
And, as Ogden Nash put it, “Merry Christmas to nearly everybody!”