West PA Solo Canoe Rendezvous 2015

The usual way in advance heads-up so y’all can mark your calendars - The 8th Annual Western PA Solo Canoe Rendezvous will be held on the first full weekend of June in 2015. This is Friday June 5 through Sunday June 7. It will be held again at the usual site at Cooper’s Lake Campground in Portersville PA. The Rendezvous is a gathering of solo canoe enthusiasts in particular (though tandems are very much welcome also). It features various manufacturers and designers of canoes with demo models of their boats available for test-paddling; demonstrations of, and informal instruction in, FreeStyle paddling; assorted programs on various aspects of canoe design, construction, and use in the real world; food; generally some live, and very informal, “ entertainment” on one or both evenings, courtesy (?) of whichever members of the Floating and Amorphous FreeStyle String Band may be in attendance, and their condition at the time; Dead Fish Polo, if you’re into it; a heart-stoppingly Exciting and completely Silly Giant Schlalom Race; a Candlelight Paddle to music-over-the-night-darkened-pond on Saturday evening if the weather smiles; perhaps a pick-up paddling trip on local streams/rivers; informal gear/boat sales and swaps; a pot-luck Vegetarian dinner on the Friday night that can’t be beat: and Goodness Knows What-all. It is an opportunity to immerse yourself in solo canoes for 60 some hours (or more) to the exclusion of all other reality. An event which is informal and laid-back to a fare-thee-well. Though we have some standard elements, there’s still a lot of making it up as we go along.

Everyone is encouraged to bring their own solo craft, since at least part of the experience is being able to look over (and perhaps paddle) a large array of classic solo canoes that you just don’t see all that often.

There is no charge for the Event per se, though the Campground does charge a modest fee for Day-Trippers, and of course assesses a fee for camping. This early in the game precise details as to scheduling (such as that is), who will be attending, and the like are by no means set. We will provide such info as it becomes available on the Rendezvous’ website wpascr.org so check with us periodically. That website will also contain info on directions to find us, and a link to the campground’s website so you may contact them directly as regards camping reservations (though there’s many acres of space in the area where the Rendezvous is held, and unless you want hook-ups, reservations are generally not really necessary). We’re also on Facebook, so look for us there – and feel free to post comments and pics there too. We’d like to hear from you, and we’ll include news and updates there as well.

And speaking of the website – the Rendezvous’ great friend Nelson Hermance, from the Chicago area, continues to maintain the Rendezvous website for us. Nelson’s business, Fischer Software, is (among other things) the creation, design, and maintenance of websites. Nelson and Fischer very graciously offered to rehab/redesign the site a couple years back, made a number of changes and upgrades, and as I say continues in that capacity. For this Becky and I could not be more grateful. The archived pictures from the past 7 years give one a pretty good idea of what the event is like, and can be accessed on the site by clicking on “prior years”, and choosing the edition/editions you want to look at. Thanks Much, Nelson and Fischer Software.

Y’all will be familiar with Colden Canoe. Since 2009, Paul Meyer and Colden Canoe have been dedicated to keeping alive, and in some cases “resurrecting”, some truly classic canoes. The Rendezvous has been both pleased and extraordinarily honored to have served as the venue at which these boats have made their “re-entrance” to the paddling community. In 2010 there was the Colden Flashfire and Wildfire, for many years produced by Bell, then for a time by Placid Boatworks. In 2011 the Rendezvous served as a “coming out party” for the re-introduction of the Dragonfly, a classic boat from Curtis Canoe from the 80’s and 90’s, now being offered by Colden Canoe. In 2012 it was another in the Fire series, the Starfire. Just this year (2014) the Rendezvous saw a re-introduction of the Nomad, again a classic Curtis boat now from Colden. Not sure yet, but 2015 may see the re-introduction of yet another iconic craft from the past. More on that in the Spring, when we’re all more sure. We’ll let you know.

So please do come – it’s a Very Nice Affair Indeed. And we’d be thoroughly delighted to have you there.

8th West Pa Solo Canoe Rendezvous
A Reminder that the 8th Annual Western Pa Solo Canoe Rendezvous will occur on the first full weekend of June, as always, and which this year is Friday 6/5 thru Sunday 6/7. We can say that Hemlock Canoe, Placid Boatworks, Colden Canoe, Dogpaddle Canoe and Woodworks, and Slipstream Watercraft will be with us this year with demo boats for trial on the Cooper’s Lake pond, and we are awaiting word from a couple more manufacturers as to their potential presence (word on that to follow, when we know for sure). We expect also that our local chapter of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association will be on hand with some of their restored wood/canvas boats. It is our pleasure, indeed our privilege, to have all these folks with us here. They embody and honor the traditions, the history, and represent the absolute best in canoes in all of their present-day diversity. From the best in continuing innovative technology, materials, and design, to the “preservation” of some classic designs from the past. No matter what kind of paddling you like to do, there will be a boat here (well, OK, probably several…) that will speak to you in a loud voice. So Listen! …and Enjoy!

In the meantime, you may access the Rendezvous website (wpascr.org) for up dates and info as it arises. Go to that site, click on “message board”, and thence to “general”. Pay close attention to the dates in the files, but anything with “2015” in the thread title will contain current info. There is a thread also which gives an over-view of the general schedule of activities.

Hope to see you there.

Rendezvous update
In addition to the manufacturers who will be at the Rendezvous this year (in just a few weeks time) we can add the Adirondack Canoe Company, specializing in light-weight pack boats; and say also that Charlie Wilson and David Yost will be here with a trailer load of Swift Canoes. A better collection of the absolute best in current canoe technology and design, along with an assortment of vintage/classic canoes, together in one place at one time, would be difficult to find. Come be with us. wpascr.org

we welcome also…
Savage River to the Rendezvous, specializing in ultra-light racing and tripping canoes.

Can’t make it.
Was on vacation last week and can’t get off work again this week.

Are there any other opportunities to test paddle Placid and Swift boats at the same event? I’d really like to try a Keewaydin 14 and a Shadow.