Canoecopia 2019 In Review

Canoecopia 2019Canoecopia 2019 is behind us and yet again, it didn’t disappoint. Timothy gave four excellent talks on two different topics, which rest assured, were equal parts educational and entertaining. He also sold and signed a bunch of guidebooks – which is awesome (fun fact: his guidebook has been green-lit for a second edition).

In a Miles Paddled first, we also had some booth space. Kinda. We were invited to hang out at the Northstar Canoes booth for a Meet and Greet on Saturday and Sunday which was a very gracious gesture by Bear and the Northstar folks. It gave us the opportunity to have a place for folks to find us, and though comically over-billed, it was awesome to actually meet some longtime contributors whom I’ve only known through email or Facebook exchanges (Andy, Scotty, Gaila, I’m talking to you!)

So thanks again to all those who’ve reached out to connect before, during, and after the show – that’s become the best part of this weekend the last few years. Now let’s get back to paddling. Have a great 2019, y’all!

A Thank-You/Note From Timothy:
There was a wee bit of a plot twist (well, a couple plot twists, to tell the truth) at this year’s Canoecopia. For starters, the woman running the show for her very first — and ultimately utterly successful — time, Rutabaga’s very own, Amelia, gave me a call Friday afternoon wondering if I could give my Black River Falls area presentation twice, on Saturday and Sunday, to fill in a gap due to another presenter’s family emergency and inability to make it to Madison. I happily agreed to it, and while there were a few confused audience members at first, all took the last-minute change in good grace and enjoyed everything they wanted to know about Black River Falls but were afraid to ask (especially since they hadn’t expected to know or ask anything about Black River Falls in the first place).

That ad hoc presentation was immediately followed by the originally scheduled presentation about the paddling options along Interstate 94 through Wisconsin. The turnout for that was as humbling as it was humongous — well, humbling because it was humongous. There were a lot of folks eager to learn about I-94 in the biggest room at the Alliant Energy Center during the busiest day of Canoecopia! It was as wonderfully overwhelming as it was overwhelmingly wonderful.

Come Sunday, second verse same as the first: the BRF presentation immediately followed by Tour Along I-94. This time, however, the fickle gods of the audio-visual were not kind to me, and there was no sound at all for the first presentation. And then my remote slideshow-clicker’s batteries died shortly after starting the second presentation. Just gave up the ghost and died. So went the best laid plans of mice and men…

And yet no one (but me) seemed to notice or care. And yet it was still the biggest crowd in the biggest room that day. And yet people still laughed at my bad puns and silly slides (or silly puns and bad slides). As Stuart Smalley used to say, “And doggone it, people like me!”

So, thank you. Really, thank you. Thank you for being there. Thank you for choosing to be there. And thank you for making me feel so welcome.

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