Personal Essays

The Audacity of Winning Bold Kayaking Arguments on the Internet

If you have been a long time reader of the website, you know that I’m officially out of the kayaking business. After years in the canoe and kayak retail business, years of guiding and then years of owning a kayak guiding business, I got out of it — it is now a hobby of mine. …

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Living in the Last Scrap of the Golden Age of Wilderness Paddling

canoeing past pictographs in the wilderness

After reading an article on the potential sale of more than 1,800 hectares and 30 kilometers of undeveloped Lake Superior shoreline potentially to developers who plan to develop the untouched bays, it occurred to me that we, as in the kayakers and canoeist alive right now, might be living in the last scrap of the …

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Howl of the Wolf

A solo canoe on Lake Alice in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota, USA.

Usually, I keep PaddlingLight free of controversial issues, but occasionally when something occurs that affects an integral part of the wilderness exploration experience, such as When They Want to Take Away Wilderness (read it before you vote this year), I feel like I need to write something to send out to all the readers and visitors of PaddlingLight (over 600 via …

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The Joy of Canoe

The ripples slap against the sea green hull of my canoe and the light wind rumbles in my ears as I paddle towards the clam, leeside of Devil Track Lake. Kneeling in the center of the canoe, leaning the boat to make it easy to reach the water, I take strokes only on one side …

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Save the Boundary Waters From Cell Towers Letter Writing Campaign

Sunset over Ottertrack Lake. Canada is on the left and U.S. on the right.

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) is one of only two federally designation canoe wilderness areas in the United States of America. It’s also America’s most used federally designated wilderness area, an area that Americans set aside to protect and preserve under two separate pieces of bipartisan federal legislation. It consists over 1,000 lakes connected by portage trails within …

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What’s Our Burden as More Experienced Kayakers?

Grand Marais Lighthouse and Waves

I had an interesting experience yesterday afternoon. I went out paddling on Lake Superior in 1- to 3-foot waves, sub-40 degree Fahrenheit water temps and air temps in the 50s. There’s a really rocky and nasty surf break near town, so I paddled there to ride the outside of the break, then I made my way back …

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What’s the Difference between a Kayak or Canoe Expedition, Trip and Adventure?

Kayak camping on Lake Superior

It’s wintertime again, which means that I start to get all philosophical again. It’s probably from the lack of paddling. The only water time I’ve been getting lately is second rate, because it’s on the solid kind with cross country skis instead of the liquid kind with a kayak. Over the years, one topic that …

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