My Book!!

One opportunity that the blog has brought me is the co-authoring of a guidebook, Paddling Southern Maine! It is something in which I take a lot of pride! My writing partner, Sandy Moore, and I have created a book with 54 amazing trips that are within about an hour of Portland! Our motto as we wrote the book was wanting to 'get people to spend the day on the water and not in their cars!'

If you want more information on our book please visit Sandy and I are available to attend/present various functions/events. Please email me at for more information!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Feeling Humbled and having lots of fun this weekend!

Hello!  I am going to be posting new trips soon, I promise!!  This is such a busy time of year for me but after this next weekend I will have A LOT more time to explore AND blog!  This weekend was spent promoting the book, spending time at both LLBean and with the crew from Shaker Hill Outdoors.

It has been a very humbling weekend... to see our book, something on which we have worked so hard is carried by Maine's most well known outfitter, LLBean, feels really good.  What feels even better is talking with people about the book and about paddling in general.  On Saturday I had a great conversation with a woman named Lori.  She had just bought the book at LLBean and didn't realize the authors were on site.  She bought it because she often paddles solo and wanted to know more places to go.  We talked about why she kayaks and what she loves about it... and I LOVE knowing that the sport of kayaking (and other paddlesports) bring as much joy to others as it does to me.

Today I got to spend the day with the crew from Shaker Hill Outdoors.  They are a family run operation.  There were many people who got to experience paddling various crafts today.  It was SO FUN to see people trying different things.  I think Cindy (who I met at a recent paddle on Runaround Pond and again at Sebago Trails Paddling's opening day paddle) would have won the award for the most crafts tried today!  She tried two pedal kayaks, at least one sit on top, and the new tandem Heron.  How cool to be able to try things before buying them!  And even if you aren't buying them, to be able to try a sport to see if it is something you want to do.  (Of course I would tell you that you ABSOLUTELY want to do it! But I may be a bit biased!)   While there one of the guys who works for Shaker Hill described the book to someone and said he loves how clear things are, specifically directions and parking information.  It does make me want to write another guide... but... that is a lot of work!  I think I would need to invest in a camper first, so that I can really take trips that are further from home, not doable for day trips.  Someday.... (Check out some of the pics from this weekend below! Gladys loved being at today's event, getting all kinds of love from everyone!) 

As part of our promotional work this weekend someone shared a link to a review of our book that I must share here.  Click here for a review of Paddling Southern Maine, written by Peter Jones and posted on .  I am not yet familiar with Driftwood Kayak, but will now familiarize myself with them!  I LOVE this review because I have zero connection to Peter, no affiliation.  I am sad that I had not seen the review until now, but an THRILLED to read it and love the approach he takes to the book.  His review NAILS what we had for goals for the guide... it is so validating to see that someone who knows the sport was able to articulate the points we were hoping people would take away from the book is super gratifying. 

Thank you to Peter and Driftwood!!

Thank you ALL for the support you have given me with the book and the blog.  This blog remains a priority for me, a thing I love doing, sharing my experiences with you.  THANK YOU to my long time Blog followers!!  Remember I LOVE hearing from you.  Feel free to leave comments or send me an email! I am hoping to organize some group paddles this summer and would love to meet even more of my blog buddies!!!

Enjoy the photos below of the weekend's promotional activities!

LLBEAN Paddlesports Weekend!!  
(Sorry for the squinting!!)

Copies are sold in the Bike Boat & Ski Store, NOT in the main store...

Today at Shaker Hill's Demo Days... 
For the record, Gladys gives Shaker Hill FOUR paws in her review!! 
Thanks to all who said hello to her and gave her some love!  She was SPOILED today with affection!  

This is us in the Old Town Next... what is described as a canoe/kayak hybrid.  Sitting up higher on the water is different for me, as I am so used to my kayaks.  I think this would be a great option for a single paddler with canines who don't move around a lot.  Gladys likes to shift positions frequently so that made me feel a little tippy. (Reminded me of canoeing with my sister who liked to rock the boat, hence the end of my canoeing days!)  It tracked better than I anticipated it would.  I was glad to get the chance to try it out!  

This is the boat I was most excited to try today.  It is a Wilderness Pamlico 145T.  (I felt a little dirty for cheating on Old Town!)  I have been looking into an alternate tandem for me and Gladys because the Loon 160T that I have is long, 16 feet, and heavy, 70 lbs.  AND, because it is an older Old Town Loon, it has a hard plastic seat... the seat is not very comfortable and for some reason makes my legs go to sleep.  The last time I used it I used a foam cushion and put a pool noodle under my thighs and that felt much better... so as I have been debating what I should do, the guys at Shaker Hill had me check out this boat.  Again, it is the Wilderness Pamlico 145T.  The stability of this boat is comparable to my single loon and the seat is more comfortable than the one currently in my loon 160T, but not as comfortable as the seat in my new Loon 126...
So... the Pamlico may be a good option for us... but I am not wanting to spend that money right now... as I am hoping to get a little camper... So... I am having the guys at Shaker Hill check out some options for me on my Old Town 160T.... if my idea works out I am going to be super excited! Stay tuned for more info on that!  

This is Cindy, trying out one of the pedal kayaks...

She made it look so fun, that I HAD to try!  (I did not take Gladys on this test run, not sure she would have sat in the back!)   The pedal kayak was...different.  I was up a little higher which was okay... I wish that I could have pushed the seat back another couple of inches, but most kayakers are not 6'6" like me, with most of my height in my legs!  Because of the angle of my legs/feet the back of my teva sandals would 'catch' on the surface of the kayak a bit...which was annoying... so I took off my sandals... the pedals are not super comfy for bare feet... But.. other than that, I liked this.  I prefer the more traditional paddling vs. pedaling, but I can see why people would like it.  It would be a decent workout.  I had wondered how people steer them and today I learned that you steer using the rudder which you operate using a small handle on the left, beside of the seat.  It was pretty easy to learn how to use the rudder and you can go a lot faster using the pedals than using a paddle... but... I think I would be a bit nervous with a pedal kayak on some waterways... the propeller hangs below the kayak, so in really shallow places it may get caught up..(You can pull the propeller up and have it out of the way!) Turning sharply is also not as easy as it is when using a paddle.  Maneuvering places with obstacles would be a challenge... (ALso sitting up higher would make going under things, like downed trees, more of a challenge.)  But for open water, open lakes, I can see why people would like these, especially people who fish!

This is Cindy AFTER she had used the Tandem Heron.  She seemed to really like it and is so thoughtful in why she wants a tandem!  She is looking out for someone who is important to her and wants to make sure that person can continue paddling.  I love it! 

Miss Gladys reminding us all to wear our PFDs! 

As you can see, Gladys was wet and a little dirty after being in the water!

Yes that is a WATER SNAKE... and a big one!  EEK!

Gladys getting some love from Tim from Shaker Hill!

Paddleboarding!  I was so impressed to see people trying it for the first time and NOT falling off.  

This is a great place to paddle! If you launch from Cindy's Dockside you have to pay an $8 fee... but you get to launch at a place where there is a restaurant...the food smelled REALLY good today!  There is a free public launch not too far... check out this post for more info!

This pic shows 2 girls paddleboarding for the first time.  The guy in the back is Russ from Shaker Hill.  Also in this pic is someone trying out one of the sit on tops. 

Gladys jumped on this board a few times.  Russ said she was trying to tell me something... Someday Russ, but not today!

Super proud of this girl today. She did So well interacting with so many people.  She met a couple of dogs that for some reason wasn't a good mix, sadly... but she did amazing with all the people.  She LOVED the love she received. 

And she was shameless in accepting their affection!  (This is another Shaker Hill crew member!)

End of the day... tired pup. 

EDITED POST: With permission from Cindy L. I am adding a few photos of me from today.  Thanks Cindy! 
This is me with Gladys trying out the  Wilderness Pamlico 145T. 

Her tail would Not stop wagging! 

As we were coming in she jumped on the paddleboard! 

Pedal power! 

I am attempting to post a video here, of me on the pedal kayak... I rarely use the video feature on blogspot, so I apologize if it doesn't work well! 

Thank you to LLBean and to Shaker Hill Outdoors for two amazing days!  
I love that businesses are encouraging people to paddle!  

Happy Paddling... or Happy pedaling?  You decide!

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