Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.
I had just turned 50 and I was looking for a pastime, something that would get me out in the wilds, something with a touch of the extreme; more importantly, something that would connect me to the transcendent.
I suppose I wanted to recapture something of how I used to feel during my rock-climbing days, back ( way, way back), when that passion controlled my life.
I had in fact tried to start climbing again, but it had proven very difficult. I lost (some) weight, worked out to get in shape and bought new climbing shoes (what are all these things? In my day, we had two types of shoes shoes to choose from!). Hitting the rock gym (Rock gym? What’s a rock gym?). I found that my body just was not up to climbing any longer. Not only was I not as strong as I was in my twenties, but my weight had crept up quite a bit in the intervening years. Tendons that had once accommodated all sorts of torques and pulls, now screamed loudly before I had even put my full weight on them.
Kayaking had always seemed worth pursuing, so why not now?
I started kayaking in October 2009. I bought an NDK Explorer, built an F1 with Brian Schulz at Cape Falcon Kayaks and now happily paddle a Sterling Illusion.
Two years later, I am still very much a beginner. I have pretty good roll, but I am not yet really in control of my boat in the surf. I like paddling lumpy, moving waters off the Oregon Coast, but I am not an expert at strokes and turns. I hope these stories and articles will interest other paddlers who, like myself, are ambitious but still green.
I’d also like this blog to give folks around the world a flavor of paddling in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps it is the heavy surf and multiple lines of breaking waves off almost every beach that promotes a certain style of paddling, perhaps it is the strong connection to heavy forests and heavy weather. Whatever it is, my hope is that these pages become a place to meet some of the places and paddlers that make this region unique.
Update 2015 -I’d love to hear from you
Well, It’s been 4 years since I started this blog. There has been over 15,000 views worldwide by many, many paddlers. It is very exciting. One of the things that I just love is hearing from readers. So do not be shy – let me know what you think -good, bad and ugly by using the comment feature below each post.
Also – If you have content that you think would work on this blog – let me know -a story, photos, poems it’s all fair game. We have just begun publishing a few submissions and I welcome more.
Thanks for visiting and all the best – Paul Steinberg