March 9, 10, 11, 2012



Entrance to Canoecopia

Seven OHCRA members made the 8-9 hour drive to Madison Wisconsin for Canoecopia 2012. Canoecopia is the world's largest paddlesport exposition according to their website. There were rows of canoes, kayaks, SUP, packs, tarps, you name it, it seemed like it was there.

Alice-Tony, Ted-Connie, Harold-Laurie and Wil had rooms at a Holiday Express, within walking distance to the Alliant Energy Center which housed Canoecopia. Starting at four on Friday and running through Sunday afternoon, you could shop, shop, shop and attend seminars. The seminars ranged from packing food to paddle exercises with lots in between. Well known names like Cliff Jacobson, Kevin Callan, Mike Cichanowski and Becky Mason educated and entertained the hundreds to thousands of people who enjoy paddling. The Aluminum Chef competition was the highlight, where three "chefs" cook camp food in camp pots over a camp stove. The secret ingredient was garbanzo beans.

Nova Canoes

After Friday's session everyone piled into Ted's vehicle and headed to the Coliseum Bar and Grill. Real tasty food but the music was kind of loud for their old ears. After eating it was hotel time to get ready for another full day at Canoecopia.

Saturday morning Wil hit the exercise room then he and Tony enjoyed the pool and hot tub. After the "free" breakfast it was off to the expo. The first seminar of the day had Cliff Jacobson and Kevin Callan debating the gear each uses while on the water and camping. It was very entertaining. Isle Royal was a neat session for dreaming about the little island. Photography, food, the Mississippi River, and many other seminars filled the day. There were also pool demonstrations and Jerry Vandiver with the One Match Band playing canoe-camp songs. Everyone seemed a little lighter in the wallet when they headed to supper.

Supper was at the Great Dane Brewery. Besides having good locally brewed beer the food was to die for. After goring themselves it was back to the hotel where the tired folks hit the hay early.

Sunday morning Ted and Connie headed to Chicago while Harold and Laurie went down the road to a casino. The other three went back to Canoecopia and watched a tent demo. A couple hours later they were headed back to Ohio.

There is lots to see and do, not just at Canoecopia, but in the whole city of Madison. Maybe someday the club can paddle some of those wonderful rivers in Wisconsin.

Canoe couch

View All Pictures From Canoecopia