Saturday, May 31, 2008

The search for continuing education

Last summer RonO, TheManFromSnowyLegs, and the BessemerConvivialist completed the IDW and the ICE and were made official ACA instructors. I even did my little part by plying them with venison shish kabobs and beer after a particularly grueling session. Their success and the obvious increase in paddling knowledge made me to decide to do the same thing. Apparently though, their are several people with the same idea who don't procrastinate to the extent that I do. When I attempted to register for the course at Living Adventures in Red Cliff I was told they were full and that I would be put on a waiting list. I had inquired earlier and spoke to both instructors about taking the IDW and then taking the ICE at a later date since I have a long standing commitment the weekend after Labor Day when the ICE is given. Money talks however, and I neglected to come through with the credit card number and was shut out. No problem methinks, I'll just find another instructor course. A call to Nancy at Rutabaga informed me that yes they were holding the classes but they were full also. A quick check of the ACA website revealed a class on Isle Royale the end of June and while the thought of 6 days on Isle Royale quickened my pulse, I have other commitments then,paddle commitments, of course. Rumors of a offering in Ely at Vermillion Community College the end of September are floating around but nothing official on the ACA site as yet.

I suppose as a member of modern society I should come up with someone to blame, picket the ACA, or maybe form a victims group composed of those who were denied continuing kayak education. The sad fact however, is that if I had got off my lazy ass a month or so earlier I would be up on Lake Superior right now. The bright spot in this scenario is that there are lots and lots of people willing to expend time and money to hone their skills and instruct the flood of novice kayakers that are entering the sport. Personally, not being at the instructor class will allow me to attend BjornDahliOfMahtomedi's monumental 5 decade paddle/adult beverage celebration, the VOR's nephews graduation, and then get on a plane to visit No2 son, Lt.O, in Brooklyn tomorrow. I guess a guy has to have 'Plan B' in place at all times. Next year however, I'm all over the instructor plan. Ely, MN is lovely in the fall if that class comes through also. But at that time of year I need to pull my weight at the deer camp so once again options need to be weighed. There does not seem to be a lack of things to do in the Great Lakes region, that much is certain.

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