Monday, May 11, 2009

Western Pennsylvania Solo Canoe Rendezvous

Okay, we got that ugly word out of the way. Doesn’t it seem that whenever you want to talk “canoe,” there’s always someone around who pipes in with “Oh, I kayak too!” Silly kayakers…don’t even know the difference!

(Serenity in a solo canoe on French Creek in northwestern Pennsylvania)

But seriously, do you yearn for a place where you can talk canoes, and only canoes? Specifically solo canoes? Then come to the Second Annual Western Pennsylvania Solo Canoe Rendezvous (WPASCR) on June 12-14, 2009, at Cooper’s Lake Campground near Slippery Rock/McConnell’s Mill. There will be canoes a-plenty there, along with the people who love and paddle them, from rank beginners to some of the top personalities in the solo canoe world.

The WPASCR event is for solo canoeists & the solo canoe curious public. Buy or sell boats or equipment, test paddle new and used solo canoes & talk to other solo paddlers.

Gear exchange, pick up trips, informal programs, demonstrations and more! Members of Wooden Canoe Heritage Association will be there with some of their exquisite canoes; authors and wilderness trippers Dave & Beth Buckley will be on hand to share their experiences; Bob & Elaine Mravetz, freestyle canoe champs will demonstrate freestyle techniques, as well as Marc Ornstein, paddle maker and freestyler; (photo below)

& local canoe dealer Wind & Water Boatworks will also be present.

• Modern Canoe Construction – Dave Curtis
• The 4 Components of Seaworthiness – Dave Yost (DY & Dave Curtis, below)

• Efficient Paddling, Body, Blade and Boat – Charlie Wilson (below)

• Ladies Only Paddling Workshop – Kim Gass
• Paddle Making Demonstration – Marc Ornstein
• SERIOUS Dead Fish Polo
• Freestyle programs and demonstrations
• Boats to paddle
• Friends to see
• LOTS & LOTS of good old BS!
New this year:
• Catered on-site dinner Saturday
• Live music Friday and Saturday evenings
• Designated Dead Fish Polo Area
Site Features:
• 10 acre lake on site
• Moraine State Park with 3,000 acre Lake Arthur minutes away
• Slippery Rock Creek whitewater and moving water sections minutes away
• Close to Prime Outlets at Grove City
• Easy access from I-79
• Camp store, showers, tenting or full hook-ups available
• 45 minutes North of Pittsburgh / 90 minutes South of Erie.

Camping is available at the event location. When making reservations, please specify that you are attending the Solo Canoe Rendezvous. Camping fee covers all charges for participants. The campground is charging a day fee for non-campers of $5 per person, per day.

The dinner will be held in the "barn" behind the camp store at Cooper's Lake Campground. My understanding at this moment is that it will be chicken with veggies, salad, rolls, etc. plus dessert, in a buffet setting for $15 per person. Reservations must be made in advance and can be made by emailing Dinner benefits the Portersville/Prospect Rotary who are the event sponsors. (If you are a vegetarian, let us know as we are trying to arrange for a vegetarian option.)

Friday night's entertainment will be Jim Perrett, guitar virtuoso, playing acoustic gypsy jazz under the pavilion tent by the lake. Saturday night Rick Bruening, contemporary folk singer/songwriter, will play in the barn following dinner. Both of these musicians are donating their time and "tip" jars will be available for those who wish to express their appreciation.
For updates as further arrangements are finalized, check the website at:

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