2013 End of Season Reflection

2013 End of Season Reflection

by Ben Natusch

It has been a pretty exciting season for me.  I had the opportunity to work with Katelyn, who was interning at Zoar and watch her develop as a paddler and as an instructor.  It was really exciting to watch her challenge herself and step up her boating in a big way.  I got several runs on the local creeks when it rained enough and took a few trips to paddle other rivers.  Sam, Katelyn and I took a pretty exciting trip out to the Beaver River during Beaverfest weekend.  We did a lot of boating and saw a lot of familiar faces from the Deerfield River.  I was also able to get several laps on the Dryway this summer and got to race the Lozer Cup once.  It was a really fun summer.

This fall, I had the opportunity to attend the Massachusetts Outdoor Expo <http://www.fawnsexpo.com/>.  This is a pretty unique event that showcases hunting, fishing, shooting, bird and wildlife watching, and other outdoor sports including paddling.  Zoar Outdoor was selected to run the paddling stations at the event so Greg, myself and a few raft guides brought a bunch of sit on top kayaks and a few stand up paddleboards to the event.  All of the stations were very hands on and the paddling was no exception.  Several hundred people got on paddleboards and kayaks.  Paddling was one of the most popular stations and we were pretty busy all day getting people geared up and supervising people in the water.  It was a really fun event and a great way to introduce a lot of people to paddlesports.

This fall I will be staying in the northeast instead of heading back to Montana.  I am hoping to get a few more laps on some of the local creeks.  One of the things I missed most when spending my winters in Montana was the New Year’s Day paddle on the Winni in Franklin, NH.  While I will certainly miss Montana skiing, I am really looking forward to getting back to the New Year’s Day paddle on the Winni.  This is a really great event with a warming tent, and chili cookoff at the takeout.  The town is incredibly supportive of paddlers and it is a really fun event.

-Ben

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