Saturday, February 21, 2015
More People Crazier than Me
Once in a while my lovely wife and I meet people a whole lot crazier than we are. Exhibit A: , Jennifer Gosselin and Pierre Pépin of Wild Raven Adventure. The are currently on a 2.5 year expedition of North America by canoe. Yes, canoe. All their gear probably cost lest that what the average boater spends on their dinghy.
When we met up with them they were in a campground in Key Largo Florida. They'd just traveled there all the way from Quebec Canada. When we caught up to them there were about to do a 220+ mile trip to Key West and back -for the fun of it.
Concerned boaters once spotted them paddling in 10 foot seas and called the Coast Guard. They were fine and perfectly comfortable with the conditions. The Coast Guard took some convincing but ultimately left them alone.
Now for years I've been floating the idea of a doing “The Loop.” Basically it's a circumnavigation of the Eastern United States. The route goes through the Great Lakes, down the center of the country to the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida and back up the East coast. Then through various rivers, canals and lakes it connects to the Great Lakes again. There are a number of accepted routes.
Do you know what the deal breaker has always been for my wife? The Atlantic? Nope. The passage across the Gulf of Mexico? Nope. Meeting the ghosts of the Edmond Fitzgerald on the Great Lakes. Nope. What really bothered her was the segment on the lower Mississippi going down to New Orleans.
There was one unexpected benefit of my lovely wife talking to these nice Canadians. She learned that you don't have to come down the lower Mississippi river but can take the smaller rivers to Alabama instead. Now that she knows the Loop can be done on alternative waterways, she's no longer opposed to the idea. Go figure. There's just something about the lower Mississippi that bothers her.
The Loop can either be done all at once or in segments. In fact, my lovely wife and I have already done parts of it, so doing The Loop a piece at a time might be just the thing for us.
All thanks to talking to those very fine, if a little crazy, Canadians.