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Skunk River Paddlers


Gateway Park March 10, 2002

One of this winterís first storms blew in Friday night. Saturday was a day for shoveling out the drive and hunkering down for the most part. Even if one ignored the frigid cold and the strong winds, skiing didnít work. The snow was a mass of thick and thin spots. Worst yet, the snow covered warm ground made an icy mess on the skis. It was futile.

We headed back to Rickís house, our faces already raw from the cold and wind after less than an hour. Since the skiing wasnít so good, we considered sledding tomorrow after our pool session.

Cindy, Dave and Collin joined us. Cindy set off down the hill first and soon we were all taking turns. A walk up the hill was a bit more demanding. And then it really got wild. Three guys in a canoe headed down the hill. Predictably, they ended in a mass of legs and arms sprawling on the snow laughing wildly. Though properly dressed, it was immediately obvious that the gene pool might need a bit of chloride. Slow learners, their repeated attempts were infrequently successful, but were just enough to encourage them to try yet again.

Some might say that I was splitting hairs. After all we were sledding in kayaks using a paddle to steer and brace. Are ability to steer was, however, limited. Our ride on the last part of the hill was often sideways or backwards. Still all was not lost. As long as we leaned towards the upside of the hill, our kayak stayed upright.

In disbelief, these two boys watched this mass of inspired adults, amazed at the spectacle. Fortunately, their implausible story was verified by the Tribuneís Monday paper, front page.