Earlier this month, Darrin Kimbler launched his canoe at the mouth of the Columbia River, near Astoria, Ore., with his dog, Mike, and a full load of gear. If all goes according to plan—and according to Kimbler’s blog, CanoeAcrossAmerica.com, not all has gone according to plan already—Kimbler and Mike will paddle into Key West, Fla., in eight months time.
“So you’re starting to see what I mean about all the sanding?” says Ron Pellinen, my wooden canoe-building mentor, when I walk into his shop on a brisk March morning in Northern Ontario. Perched on an office chair in his workshop garage, Pellinen has just cut the power to the orbital sander he was using to smooth the contours of a thwart, one of the ash crosspieces that adds strength and structure to a canoe.
Whitewater canoeing does not attract the large and consolidated following of its stepchild, kayaking. Since the advent of plastic kayaks more than 30 years ago canoes have been consigned to permanent minority status, with the noteworthy exception of 10 days each March on the whitewater that flows off the Cumberland Plateau around Lenoir City, Tennessee. For those glorious few days in the wet Appalachian spring, open-boaters reclaim their place atop the paddling hierarchy, and if any kayaker feels bold enough to question this old-world order, Michael “Louie” Lewis will happily, and emphatically, set him or her straight.
Kirk Albert Walter Wipper: 1923-2011. For Kirk Wipper, a canoe was a piece of living history. It spoke of aboriginal and European builders, of designs inspired by geography and building materials, and of the movement of people across North American waterways, and, ultimately, the preservation of wild canoe country. A canoe was meant to be paddled—as a means of discovering history firsthand.
Dispute to test rights of private property owners vs. the paddling public; trial set for May
Margo Pellegrino’s life changed in 2007 when she read 50 Ways to Save the Ocean by David Helvarg
By Conor Mihell Published: February 8, 2011 Canadian canoeist, filmmaker, photographer and author Rolf Kraiker’s latest project is a blast from the past. Kraiker is currently at work on an instructional video illustrating the art of traditional solo canoeing, the graceful, ballet-style of paddling that’s been practiced for generations on the crystalline lakes of Northern [...]
Canoe & Kayak managing editor Dave Shively and art director Robert Zaleski paddled over 100 miles down the Mississippi River’s wildest lower-river reaches with Quapaw Canoe Company owner-guide John Ruskey in his handcrafted 30-foot voyager-style canoe.