Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I've paddled with MBCKC seriously for five years and, before that, off and on while on lengthy vacations to the area. I'm originally from the Detroit, Michigan area where I did quite a bit of canoeing but never owned my own boat. I found it frustrating that MI summers are so short. Also, the water never gets warm enough to suit me. I love Alabama's summers with their warm/hot days and warm water. Besides, it's always cooler down by the water. I'm an intermediate paddler. I can handle harder trips than the easy, relaxing ones I lead. I have a Santee XL which is wide and extremely stable. Most of the time I use my Tampico which tracks reasonably well and, at 13 1/2 ft., is long and slender enough to handle some waves and also twisty, turny creeks. At 38 pounds a woman can lift it onto her car. I spend about 1/2 the year here in Fairhope and 1/2 the year in Tucson, Arizona. Believe it or not there's a paddling club out there, Southern Arizona Paddlers. However, folks have to do most of their paddling on weekend trips plus check the flow of the rivers. The proposed release of water by the Army Corp of Engineers is published on the internet. There IS white water in addition to calmer flows. I hike, not paddle, in Arizona.