Once again it was a beautiful spring, summer, and fall with perfect paddling weather each week. I looked forward to every Wednesday and the chance to head out to La Barriere park to meet new and experienced paddlers alike. There were only 18 paddles this year, I missed several weeks while away on trips with my family. Over the summer 179 participants joined me for many pleasant evenings down the La Salle River.
This year the August outings were moved to 6:30 allowing for a slightly longer paddle before the sunset. This unfortunately caught a few people by surprise on the first week for which I can only say it was still a beautiful evening to enjoy the park and a chance to go for a walk. I was touched by the concern of a few individuals, who having forgotten the earlier start, called to see if I was all right.
A few people bought new canoes over the summer and brought them for their maiden voyage on a Wednesday paddle. I am not sure who was more excited - the new proud owners or myself to see a new canoe being paddled by an owner obviously thrilled to show off their skills in a new boat.
I had an excellent paddling year and enjoyed meeting many new people. It was a delight to have people come out after taking a course to work on their skills. I was glad to be able to make a small suggestion or two, or just to watch as they developed and practiced until they had perfected a new skill or maneuver.
Many new paddlers over the summer had their first chance to paddle on a Wednesday evening. One week we even had a number of international students come out to experience a classic Canadian adventure. I hope they have a chance to continue to get out and experience the wilderness where ever they find themselves in the future.
I would like to thank a few people that made the evening paddles easier and added to the enjoyment of all of the participants. Brent who gave me a number of rides when I did not have access to a car and provided support and advice to other paddlers. Mark for offering to drive a number of times in the fall and generally helping out. Sharon for being so keen to paddle and learn new skills, or just quietly paddle and enjoy the evening. Greg for coming out helping setup and put away canoes, sharing his equipment, knowledge and stories. There were many others who came early and left late, and helped load and unload canoes that deserve my thanks.
Finally I would like to thank the Paddle Manitoba board for continuing to support these weekly outings for the membership and public. It is an excellent way to get people out on the water and promote the objectives of the association. I hope to be back starting again the first week of May 2009.
Have a nice winter; see you on water next spring.
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Email: burc...@cc.umanitoba.ca Last modified: Sat Oct 23 07:21:50 2010