i went to high school in Merrimack, NH and was a member of the Merrimack Valley Paddlers Club there in 1979 when my Dad and i started paddling there after moving up from Florida. My excuse for going to New England on this trip was to see dealers that sell Jackson Kayak and show them our new boats, the All-Water, Riviera, and Dynamic Duo. We hit Blue Mountain Outfitters in Pennsylvania first, a very cool shop based in an old Train Depot. this was a bonus stop as we weren’t planning on it, but were passing close by.
Our next stop was in Vermont at Still River Outfitters. Still River is a breath of fresh air in New England. Based in both Massachusetts and Vermont, they started in 2004 and are growing like crazy. They do instruction and retail and are really a great company to revitalize paddling in the “old world” of New England. When there they mentioned “Team River Runner” and in good form, as a nearly deaf person, i only caught the “Team River Runner” part of their sentence and said, “We are sending one of their vets down the Grand Canyon this summer”. The guy, said, “Yes, I know, that is me.” Whoa! I hadn’t met the guy yet and that was a funny way to meet him.
Our next stop was in New Hampshire. We spent the night in the White Mountains near Franconia Notch at about 4,000 feet or so (my guess). There was snow on the ground and it started raining hard and went all night and got cold! my goal was to get up and take Dane on one of the runs I did as a kid his age. He has never paddled in New Hampshire. We looked at the AW site and were deciding between the Swift and East Branch of the Pemi. We got to Woodstock and decided on East Branch. We did the hike in on the Wilderness Trail and Kristine and KC went with us up the trail, along with Tilly and Rocksey (our dalmatians). Of course we went up the wrong side and ended up on a tributary. We said goodbye to Kristine and paddled down the trib to the river, and then walked up the other side.
the River was awesome! more rock spins than you can do in a day! continuous and fun the whole way! Dane was impressed and said, “you did this when you were my age?” It made my day.
Off to Suncook Canoe and Kayak dealer in the afternoon where we spent a few hours going over boats, etc.. He loved the All-WAter and Riviera!
Then to my dads house for a pizza dinner with my sister, and step-brother and Step-mother, and brother in law. Fun stuff. my dad and i did a math problem (figuring out the rotational speed freestyle kayak in the air based on the weight, length, and foot position. Just like old times. My dad is an engineer for Deka in NH. Off to Zoar Outdoor today and Colinsville tomorrow!