"In the Same Boat: Canoeing, Kayaking, & Paddle-Camping" Archives

Jun 20 2017

A Passion for Paddling: Rediscovering Hope by Farwell Forrest

What does it mean to say you have a passion for paddling? That’s the question Farwell sets himself this week, and you’ll find the first part of his answer below. A hint: Hope lies at the heart of the story.

Why would any sane person claim to have a passion for paddling? That’s passion in the now superseded sense, I hasten to add, a sense best exemplified in this definition from the Oxford English Dictionary: “Any kind of feeling by which the mind is powerfully affected or moved; a vehement, commanding, or overpowering emotion; … as ambition, avarice, desire, hope, fear, love, hatred, joy, grief, anger, revenge.” Of course, we can set most of these to one side. Though canoeists sometimes feel fear — Are you certain the guidebook said this was only Class IV? — canoeing seldom gives rise to avarice, hatred, anger, or a desire for revenge. But what about hope, love, and joy? Surely there are many times when canoeists are swayed by these prime movers of human action. I know I am, at any rate. So I can honestly say I have a passion for paddling… Read more…

A Passion for Life

Originally published at Paddling.com on June 20, 2017


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Jun 13 2017

Paddlers’ Pearls from the Man Who Loved Bicycles by Farwell Forrest

Can a book about bicycling have anything to say to canoeists and kayakers? It can—and more than you might think. So this week Farwell returns to The Man Who Loved Bicycles to see what he can find. And you’re invited to come along for the ride.

What does Daniel Behrman, the “Man Who Loved Bicycles,” have to say to canoeists? Well, to begin with, he points out the not-so-hidden messages with which the Mad Men mesmerize the masses into pursuing powersport at any price. Here, for example, is his take on the iconography of the sport car, …

that contradiction in terms, the overhead-cammed, mid-engined, wide-tired wheelchair for the dead tired. … The sport car is nothing but plastic surgery[,] … a four-wheeled phallus, … the ultimate prosthesis.

He is, of course, speaking of cars, but with just a few changes (drop the wheels, add a couple of ‘rudes), he could have been describing the latest offerings from Walleye Warrior or Waterski Warehouse. Nor did he confine himself to questions of power and potency. Behrman addressed issues of substance, as well… Read more…

The Man Who Loved Bicycles?

Originally published at Paddling.com on June 13, 2017

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Jun 06 2017

He’s Baaack! Or, Farwell Returns by Farwell Forrest

He once wrote regularly for Paddling.net. But then he stopped. Now he’s returned to Paddling.com. He’s Farwell Forrest, and he’s the other half of In the Same Boat. Think of him as Quixote to Tamia’s Sancho Panza, if you want. Ignore the master-servant thing. It don’t signify. In truth, Sancho did all the work and had all the brains, while Quixote chased dreams and jousted with windmills. The windmills won, of course. But despite his bruises, Farwell’s still game. And there are windmills on the horizon.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Then again, perhaps there are no readers of this column left who can remember when I last wrote an article for Paddling.net, as it then was. But for better or worse, I’m back at the keyboard again. Tamia’s taking a well-earned break, and I’ll be filling in for her. For how long? I don’t know. Tamia isn’t saying. She’s working on a couple of book projects, and the job will take her several months. Still, I’m sure she’ll contribute a column from time to time, and I’ll certainly do what I can to hasten her return to these pages. Until that day comes, however, it’s up to me to fill the space. I’ll do my best, but don’t expect me to channel Tamia. I don’t have her talent. I’m an indifferent photographer, I neither paint nor draw, and my interest in food begins and ends with eating. I enjoy spending time on the water, though. Paddling, rowing, sailing… It’s all the same to me. Though I draw the line, somewhat irrationally, at paddling while standing—at least as an end in itself. When I stand up in a canoe, I want a pole in my hand, not a paddle, which means that the latest evolution in paddlesport has passed me by. I’ll always accept an invitation to dine at the water’s edge, but I doubt I’ll ever SUP.

My bottom line, then? When I’m in a small boat, I mostly keep my ass on a thwart. Or if the boat happens to be a small sailing dinghy and the breeze is freshening, on the windward gunwale. So why, if I don’t feel the need to follow the lead of the industry’s Mad Women and Madder Men in moving restlessly from one Big New Thing to the next, even Bigger, Big New Thing, do I paddle? I’m glad you asked. I paddle to … wait for it … go somewhere—somewhere I can’t get to as easily (or as pleasurably) on shanks’ mare.… Read more…

Originally published at Paddling.com on June 6, 2017

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He's Back!

May 30 2017

Our Readers Write on the Solo Shuttle by Tamia Nelson & Farwell Forrest

The canoe (or kayak) and the automobile have become inseparable partners. Almost all paddling trips start and end with a drive, and much time is spent shuttling cars back and forth between put-in and take-out. That’s all well and good if you’ve got a couple of cars at your disposal. But what can one-car families and solo boaters do? Tamia offered her answer to the problem in a recent article, but this week, in the 67th edition of In the Same Boat‘s quarterly letters column, readers share their own secrets of the solo shuttle.

Think of the sound of one hand clapping. Stumped? OK. Here’s an easier one: Think of a scheme for one-car shuttling. Hmm… That really wasn’t any easier, was it? But it can be done. And Tamia describe her favorite approach in a recent column called, appropriately enough, “Secret of the Solo Shuttle.” This wasn’t the last word on the subject, however. Far from it. Her readers had a lot to add, and today we’re passing their ideas along. So, without further ado, here’s…


A heads-up first, though: Long-time readers will find that “Our Readers Write” as presented on Paddling.com doesn’t look much like previous editions. We’ve had to work within the strictures imposed by the new site’s stylesheet, and while we hope you’ll be able to make sense of what follows, there’s certainly room for improvement. If you’ve any ideas for polishing the presentation, therefore, be sure to let us know. We played no part in designing Paddling.com, nor do we have any role in site administration, but we’ll see to it that any suggestions for making things better get to the right people.

And now to business. In her earlier article, Tamia wrote:

[T]oday’s recreational paddlers are no more eager to “climb the river” at the end of a trip than downhill skiers would be to sidestep and herringbone back up the mountain after each run. Of course, ski areas have long since done away with any need for such retrograde exertions. But there are few T-bars or chairlifts on rivers, so paddlers wanting an easy way back to the put-in must turn instead to that beast of all burdens: the family car.

No easy way back to the put-in? As it happens, Buck Meyer remembers when at least one river boasted a chairlift… Read more…

Originally published at Paddling.com on May 30, 2017


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