There is plenty of Lake Superior news this week, and a lot of it can be found in the excellent Great Lakes blog, Big Water, Small Boat. Its required reading for those of us who love our freshwater seas. Even though their appears to be plenty of ice, the icebreaker Alder is starting to bust up the ice in the Twin Ports and the other taconite ports along the north shore. It sounds like the Soo Locks open in two weeks and the beloved near shore forecast will be up and running the day after St Patricks Day. Even so, the main headline on the post was still the big event down in Madison, Canoecopia.
Our intrepid trio will be heading out around 2pm tomorrow with an ETA at one of Madison's fabled 'fish frys' at approximately 6pm. As late as last week we had all decided that we really didn't need anything but at our trip planning meeting Tuesday night at Grumpy's, that seemed to change a bit. Perhaps we we from giddy the double good fortune of having tater tot hotdish as the hotdish de jour, and seeing Summit Winter Ale reappear on tap handle row. Or maybe it was extreme patriotism and a desire to help jumpstart the economy with some gratuitious consumer spending. In any event, I suddenly recalled that I really needed one of those CLC foam seats since I plan to rip the miserable ABS seat out of the Ore Freighter and replace it. RonO remembered that the Eastern Horizons DVD would have its debut and figured he needed it to complement his This is the Sea collection. The VOR was holding out but I reminded her of a couple of vendors that piqued her interest so we shall see.
One of the main draws of the event is talking with old paddling friends and making new ones. In that vein, a few of us will be adjourning to our traditional Madison happy hour venue, the Crystal Corner, late Saturday afternoon. It features a lovely old horseshoe bar and had been a fixture on that corner since before WW II. It's pretty much a come one, come all event and there is no finer way to wash the kayak dust from your throat and take a load off feet that are aching from tromping the aisles of Canoecopia. If you plan on eating, this is the neighborhood as well, Not a Perkins, TGI Fridays, or sports bar within miles. As I mentioned above, I hope to see some old friends and meet some new ones. Only two days to go!