Monday, August 2, 2010
"Seattle Style" canoeing: one trend to avoid
A couple of beginning canoe paddlers capsized off of Cove Point Lodge on the North Shore this week. They learned the hard way on Lake Superior. I just hope they weren't following the latest trend out of the Pacific Northwest.
While Duluth was under siege this last week by the Tall Ships, I was in the Pacific Northwest. We had a lovely few days in Seattle, then a great five days out in the San Juan Islands.
In Seattle, my friend Paul took us to a few out-of-the-way places along the shores of the city's beautiful lakes Union and Washington. We had our lunch of Vietnamese sandwiches by a public canoe dock. As seasoned canoe paddlers, we could barely watch as one paddler after another headed out from the dock without any clue how to maneuver their boats. Or how to sit in them: facing each other seemed most popular.
We soon came to call this "Seattle Style" canoeing:
Now, I know a lot of trends start in Seattle and work their way east. Grunge hardly made a dent in already-grungy Duluth. We did finally get a Starbucks here four or five years ago. And I can hardly wait for those tasty Vietnamese sandwiches to make it to Duluth.
But Seattle Style canoeing can stay right where it is. Canoe 64, with the boy and his mom, capsized out in the open water. Everyone was fine, and mom, child and the canoe got a free trip back to shore with the rescue boat.
Like we learned from the cautionary tale of Seattle's Kurt Cobain or a Microsoft stock crash, a trend out of Seattle can lead to disaster. Let's just hope that couple at Cove Point weren't blindly following the Seattle Style canoeing trend.