2019 was another eventful year for Milespaddled.com, so before fully embracing 2020, we thought we’d take a moment to look back at some of the notable things that came about this year.
After finishing our year-long Tenth Anniversary celebration we got back to our normal routine, and started the year on a feelgood note. We had made enough money to cover the cost of the site and were not only able to donate to the River Alliance of Wisconsin once again, but we were also able to give and become members of American Whitewater, one of our favorite paddling resources anywhere.
It seemed fitting that in February, we addressed a common question about how to dress for cold-weather paddling, by way of our Cold Weather Paddling Apparel Guide. Not only should this help you prepare for paddling in the elements, but it should also keep you looking dapper on the water.
In March comes Canoecopia, which is usually the unofficial start of the paddling season in these parts, except this year because we had an exceptionally looong winter. Despite that, it did help break up the monotony of bare-everything and it’s always a great time. Timothy gave a few great talks and signed some more guidebooks. We also held a meet-and-greet at the Northstar Canoes booth. It was sparsely attended but it was awesome of the guys at Northstar to extend the offer to host us.
The Northstar invitation was offered because Barry won a canoe for designing a shirt for them – but not just any canoe – no, this was Cliff Jacobson’s wood-trimmed Bell Flashfire. So Canoecopia was made just a bit more special because that’s where he met Cliff, and was gifted the boat. It took a few months, but Barry finally got it in the water for its maiden voyage.
The year wouldn’t be complete without a return to Wisconsin Public Radio where (Mr. Voice-for-Radio) Timothy talked paddling and took some calls on the Larry Meiller Show. That’s two of our favorite radio personalities right there (yes, we’re partial).
We also crossed paths with the River Alliance of Wisconsin a number of times. For one, they chose a bunch of our paddling reports to help create this awesome interactive paddling map. Timothy also teamed up to create these really fun and informative safety videos.
Speaking of which, Timothy had an exceptionally busy year with an ongoing project he was working on in collaboration with the Stevens Point Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. This resulted in the Stevens Point Area Paddle Guide. Later in fall, he also talked paddling at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) as part of their Winter Series.
Of course, we also paddled a lot, documenting 25 rivers and creeks totaling over 200 more miles. We made return trips to tried-and-true sections of the Plover River, Turtle Creek and our favorite segment of Badfish Creek. We also added new miles to a couple select Minnesota paddles on the Cannon and Root Rivers. Finally, we checked off some bucket-list paddles like Lake Superior’s Pictured Rocks, as well as our long-awaited journey to run the legendary Polly Falls of Robinson Creek. These trips culminated in our annual Best Paddles report.
Best yet, due to the support of your t-shirt purchases, we were able to end the year where we began. After covering hosting costs, we were able to donate to the River Alliance and American Whitewater once again, which delights us to no end.
Lastly, we once again we want to thank all of our friends, family, fans and contributors for all your support and time together on the water or wherever. We also want to thank those who donated to not only keep the site running, but allow us to turn around anything extra to help others protect and advocate for the waters we all enjoy. It’s important to us and we’re forever grateful.
It’s a really special thing we’ve built here and we’re always surprised by the opportunities that come about because of it. Thank you.
Cheers to many more miles in 2020!