Nov 26 2015

O Solitude! Where are the Charms…?

Oh Solitude!

Regular readers of In the Same Boat may remember that I’d been making plans to go home again by water, paddling south from my present home in the northern Adirondack foothills to the riverside cabin where I spent some of the happiest days of my childhood. I expected to get under way in early September, but by late August it was clear that this wouldn’t be possible. An old injury had started giving me new trouble early in the year, and it proved frustratingly slow to heal. (Some unsolicited advice to readers: Don’t ski into the unyielding trunk of a mature oak at thirty‑plus miles per hour.) While the resulting infirmity didn’t prevent me from taking short trips on my home waters, it made a three‑week trek involving much upstream work and many portages impractical, not to say foolhardy. I’d no wish to be invalided out halfway to my destination. The upshot? I decided to put off my departure till next year, hoping that the fates would be more kindly disposed by then.

But even though my plans are (as yet) unrealized, I’m left with a debt of gratitude to the many readers who’ve written to me since I first broached the idea of the “Journey Home.” You offered your good wishes, as well as plenty of valuable advice and heartening encouragement. You also asked questions, and while I’ve done my best to answer them by return mail (somewhat slowly at times, I confess), one question in particular recurred so often that I think it warrants a public response: Will you paddle alone? … Read more…

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Nov 19 2015

Lasagna Without an Oven? In Camp? Why not!

Out of the Frying Pan

I’d biked across the arid asphalt flats at Walmart to get a closer look at a couple of faded kayaks now wilting under an unseasonably hot autumn sun. And the closer I got to the outside display, the sadder the neglected boats looked. Still, having made the hazardous crossing — harried drivers were racing toward the entrances, showing little concern for the solitary cyclist in their midst — I figured I’d give the forlorn boats a once‑over. Action followed hard on the heels of thought. I squatted down, duck‑walked under the nearest boat, and then straightened up, the better to inspect the kayak from the inside.

And there I stood, my head deep in the well of the inverted boat’s cockpit, when I heard the somewhat muffled tones of a woman’s voice: “Hey, there,” the voice said, “how you doin’?” The words bounced around inside the hull for a second or two, making it all but impossible for me to tell where the speaker was standing. But I was sure of one thing, at least: She wasn’t in the kayak. So I waddled out from under the boat. Then I stood up and swiveled around to face the woman, who had stopped only a few feet away from the display rack. She was someone I’d met a couple of times before, and we soon fell into a casual conversation about kayaks.

It turned out that Ellen (not her name; she’d no idea she’d end up in this column, and at the time neither did I) and her husband were keen car campers. Now they were thinking about giving kayak camping a try. This seemed like a good idea to me, and I said as much. Before long we were discussing the art of camp cooking, something near and dear to Ellen’s heart. Not wanting her to get the wrong idea about kayak camping, however, I contrasted the comparative freedom of the car‑camping cook with the more straitened circumstances of the kayaker, whose kitchen pack has to be reduced to the size of a large toaster.

That’s when Ellen’s face lit up.

“You really have to try this awesome lasagna recipe!” she gushed. “A guy we know makes it, and…” Here Ellen paused for dramatic emphasis, before continuing: “And he makes it in a big frying pan on a little one‑burner stove.” She began to tell me the lasagna guy’s secret. But before she’d gotten out more than a few sentences, a car pulled up next to us. The driver (her husband, I presumed) honked the horn, and Ellen blurted, “Gotta go!” Then she sprinted for the car… Read more…

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Nov 16 2015

Lighting Up Porto Alegre Nights: Itati Água Mineral Shows the Way
by Marcos Netto, TNO Southern Hemisphere Correspondent

To make a long story short, Itati Água Mineral planned to sponsor the PedAlegre Cycling Club, but because the club meets for evening cycling, they wear reflective vests. This is good for safety, but not so good for a sponsor wishing to display their support with a logo on the club’s jersey. So I looked for a way to stamp our brand in reflective material on a jersey, and after a year of research and testing, we finally did it!

Reflect on the PedAlegre Cycling Club Lighting Up the Night, Photo by Mônica CruzPhoto Copyright © 2015 Mônica Cruz

Our new high-tech jerseys are made of an environmentally friendly fabric derived from recycled PET bottles, and they sport reflective Itati logos and other patches to make cyclists more visible to motorists.

The first 100 jerseys sold out in three days to members of the PedAlegre Cycling Club. Now Itati lights up the evenings in Porto Alegre, and the jersey is such an eye-catching success that other area cyclists want one, too. So we’ve placed an order for more. This just goes to show that being bright is right, and Itati Água Mineral leads the way.

Juarez PereiraPhoto Copyright © 2015 Juarez Pereira

Further Reading


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