Well, the old Vermillion has surprised me again. After missing out on the two prime weekends on the North Shore, the shallow class II-III river seemed like a pretty meager substitute, but it turned out to still have one more trick up its wet, chilly sleeve.
I went out for an afternoon run with Bill and Bob mostly just to get on some water and catch up with a couple of guys I hadn’t paddled with in quite a while. I was having some knee problems that made it difficult to get into the playboat, so I was down there in a creeker. It was a nice day with great company, but I still didn’t feel the excitement that paddling always brings.
Last weekend, a whole group of paddlers went down for a run, and this time I was able to get in the playboat. We had a blast. There were paddlers I’d known for years, some I’d only met once or twice, and even a couple people that were totally new to me.
Graeme, who is the only person I know to paddle the same model boat for as long as I have, finally got a new one! It was great watching him put it through its paces. There were also some people that were still getting their feel for some of the features, so there was plenty of new-ness to go around.
So, now that my stoke has been refueled by some great paddling companions, I’m looking forward to some upcoming trips! Wisconsin, Canoe U, and (hopefully) another trip out to Colorado are all in the cards for the coming weeks, so it should be awesome!