I could've chosen to focus on the details and the soreness that I'm feeling after the race. But I think it's more important to show people that women have just as much ability to tackle the river as men do. And although there's not as many of us, we still make the same impact.
Staff training is always a great opportunity to catch up with friends, get out on the water, shake off the rust, and share some teaching tricks. This year we had a pretty good turnout with lots of returning Paddlesports staff. After catching up and hearing a little bit about what is new with Zoar for 2015, we broke up by department and geared up for the river.
For a paddler in New Hampshire, Winnipesauke River in Franklin, NH is the only place to be on New Year’s Day. Every year, the Merrimack Valley Paddlers throw a great event to kick off the New Year. They rent out a church where paddlers can meet up and change. The town sets up a warming hut at the takeout. In the warming hut, there is often a chili cook off, hot chocolate, and coffee. After paddling, the Merrimack Valley Paddlers host an excellent dinner. I have been going to this event for many years and it never disappoints.
2014 was a pretty different year for me. I moved on from the seasonal lifestyle and stepped down as an Assistant Instruction Manager at Zoar Outdoor to take a full time position at NEMO Equipment... I also became an ambassador for Dagger Kayaks, AT Paddles, and Bomber Gear this year. I have been using AT Paddles almost exclusively for many years and I couldn’t be happier with the Mamba Creeker and the Jitsu. I really like what these companies are doing and I am really excited to be representing them in a professional capacity...
The dawn patrol is an attempt to paddle on days when you don’t really have time. The day starts with a really early morning, well before sunrise. After drinking a little too much coffee and possibly a Redbull and/or Mountain Dew, you drive to the river with the goal of having shuttle set and being fully geared up before sunrise. Then as soon as it is light enough to paddle, you put on and get in some boating. After boating, you head back to reality and start the day.
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Every year, for one day, we get to one of Vermont’s hidden gems - the West River. The West River is a perfect mix of adventure and leisure - it has a little bit more adventure than the Zoar Gap and is a little mellower than the Dryway.