Canoecopia 2018 In Review

Canoecopia 2018Canoecopia 2018 has come to a close, but man did we have a great time this year. Timothy gave two excellent talks which based on all the wonderful feedback, were very well-received.

This was one of my favorite shows yet (even despite fighting a brutal head cold). We made a lot of new connections, re-kindled some old ones and really just enjoyed the camaraderie that comes with being surrounded by people who like to paddle. Oh, and, we bought a bunch of new gear which is always fun (until the bill arrives).

Thanks to all those who reached out before (as well as after). I’m glad we were able to connect with each and every one of you.  Now it’s onto a new season and we can’t wait to share with you all that it brings.

A Thank-You From Timothy:

Hey All Y’all,

From the bottom of my heart to the top of my soul, brimming at the rims and spilling over in equal measures of slack-jawed wow and quiet grace, I want to thank everyone who attended the presentations at Canoecopia this past weekend, or bought a book, or wanted to dive in the weeds and pore over maps and talk shop, or those who simply said hello. Really, thank you!

Without you, there would be no presentation. Without you, I’d just be a weirdo with a lot of arcane knowledge but no one with whom to share it. But with you, I am part of a community, one part of a communion that is a shared passion for our rivers and need to be on them, in them, with them. With you, there is a reason to this rhyme. (And a rustled chuckle at our dumb jokes!)

Last year, Barry and I had a hundred butterflies in our bellies. It was our first time presenting, and we had no idea what to anticipate. Would anyone show up? Would they be bored? But y’all made us feel at home and made us feel like rock stars. This year, with an entirely separate presentation, the unknowns returned; were we just a flash in the Canoecopia pan, a one-trick pony? And who’s gonna want to know about Jackson County or Blanchardville at 9:30 a.m., compared to Nova Scotia or the Boundary Waters or the innumerable alternative options arguably far more exotic and intense? But that uncertainty was tempered by an uncharacteristic confidence thanks to so much vocalized support and demonstrated enthusiasm. It mattered to you, which is what matters to us.

It’s funny – throughout the weekend lots of gracious folks thanked us for what we do, which is always sweet and kind and never taken for granted. But it’s we who also thank you. Together, we make a conversation. One without the other is simply a falling voice in the woods wondering if it makes a sound.

It did. It does. And it will continue to, thanks to you. So, thank you!

Also, I want to express my sincerest thanks to the kick-ass, awesome staff at Rutabaga — Darren and Nancy in particular — as well as all the volunteers at Canoecopia for their unfathomable work behind the scenes and up front, stitching everything together and cobbling all the nuances and million little logistical bits to make such a weekend possible — for all of us, presenters and attendees alike. Their work is tireless, though I’m sure they’re downright exhausted! Thank you, thank you, thank you.


PS: Bless your hearts, a couple folks kindly inquired about the music played during the slideshow before the presentation, which thrilled me to no end. They were three songs by the incomparable Bruce Cockburn on his all-instrumental album Speechless. Bruce has been one of my heroes as a humanitarian and favorite musicians for over half my life.

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