A Canoe

H is parking the new canoe

H is parking the new canoe

A few years ago my husband and I decided to buy a canoe. I dutifully did my research first—learning about gunwales and thwarts, tumblehome and flare. I didn’t even know the difference between bow and stern before this! We couldn’t afford the lightweight material of Kevlar, so we went with the next best thing—Royalex.

The criteria for picking out a canoe boiled down to what was the least likely to tip over. We test-drove some canoes at the REI and Midwest Mountaineering demos. We rocked the boat and leaned way over the side. If I screamed because we came too close to rolling over, that was not the boat for us. We went home with a beautiful red 16.5-foot Bell Northwind, weighing in at 63 lbs.

The canoe cost a little over a grand, but as they say, plan on spending double the cost of the canoe. This is true, because you also need life jackets that are comfortable and fashionable enough that you will actually wear them. Don’t forget about paddles, hats, dry bags, books, and the absolutely necessary roof rack.

A Roof Rack

Being very frugal, I thought we could get by with sponges and straps to carry the canoe on the roof of the vehicle. One of our first ventures out with the new canoe was to Scenic State Park, a 4.5-hour trip. Well, an hour out of town one of the sponges flew away like a bird and our canoe was hanging precariously on top of the minivan. We turned around and went straight to REI (my favorite store). After donating $300 to Yakima and spending 2 hours cursing each other in the garage trying to install this Yakima-thing, we were on the road again. Enjoying the outdoors is not cheap, but having a roof rack brings peace of mind.

Animosh Miskwaa

I would like to honor Native Americans by giving the canoe an Ojibwe name. I came up with Animosh Miskwaa—Red Dog—as a possible name, but I’m seeking something easier to remember, perhaps Waawaate—There are Northern Lights—since one of my lifetime goals is to see the Northern Lights. Any other ideas?

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2 Responses to “A Canoe”

  1. EKR Says:

    Sue! Love your blog. Does Manchas like the Canoe too?

    Love Animosh- really cool name and you could call it “Annie” for short. Don’t forget about your Norske brethren… Rød Kulen. Red Bullet!

    Happy Paddling. – Erica

  2. Sue Says:

    Manchas loves to canoe also, but when it’s time to get in the canoe, he gets so excited that he misbehaves. I like your idea for a name.

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