Canoecopia 2008
March 7, 8, 9, 2008



State Captial

If it has to do with canoeing, OHCRA members will do it. And that's exactly what two couples did in Madison Wisconsin. Canoecopia is the largest paddle sports show in the Midwest and Ted, Tony and Alice made the eight hour drive up north to attend it.

Since Connie was in St Croix, (One of the US Virgin Islands), Ted left the Cincinnati area on his own around 6:00a.m. on Friday morning for the approximately 500 mile drive to Madison. At the same hour, Tony and Alice were leaving the central Ohio area for the same drive but different route. Around 2:00p.m. Ohio time, we all arrived at the assigned hotel, within 30 minutes of each other. After checking in and getting settled, the three of us headed 7 miles west to the Alliance Center which housed the Canoecopia spectacular. Connie was scheduled to fly into the Madison airport around 6:30 and Ted was going to drive out and get her. The show was to open at four but we got in at 3:30 and had the run of the place. It was not busy nor crowded which suited us just fine. There were canoes, kayaks, paddles, pdf's, packs, heck everything you could think of related to hand powered water craft. Most of the big name companies had their wares showcased and reps were there to answer any and all questions asked. Tony spent at least 20 minutes learning how to repair his Wenonah Kevlar Canoe from a factory rep. Everyone was very knowledgeable and eager to share that knowledge with everyone at Canoecopia.

Sales Reps

There were also numerous seminars scheduled for the three-day show. Tony and Alice started with an "Outdoor Photos 101" class while Ted sat in on "Paddling the Ozarks". There also was a speaker telling about his 740 mile, September journey on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

Connie had flight troubles and missed a connection in Florida or Atlanta or somewhere, so she was flying in to Chicago. Ted started to make the two hour drive down to get her when she called and said she would just stay with her brother Tim and sister in-law Cassie, who would pick her up at the airport. Later Connie called and said Ted had to get her luggage at the Madison airport. Off he went but the luggage was not there. Since Ted had already left Canoecopia, he just headed back to the hotel and had pizza. Tony and Alice closed Canoecopia Friday evening around 9 and had dinner at an Irish Pub.

Saturday was very sunny but cold. We were watching the weather channel about the 15 inches of snow Ohio was getting with blizzard conditions. We just smiled thinking about missing all that fun.

Tony's Lifevest

Everyone went shopping with Tony buying a new MTI Riptide life vest and a fishing rod holder that hooks to the canoe. Ted really wanted to buy a new $2800.00 Bell tandem Kevlar canoe and we really think he would have bought it, if Connie had not showed up! Saturday's crowd was up 10 fold from Friday's and bumping into fellow canoeist's was common. At 3:30 the first ever "Aluminum Chef Cook off" got under way. There were three "chefs" and each had three MSR camping cook stoves and two sets of aluminum cook sets and one hour to cook up something good. The main ingredient was fish. It was so much fun and entertaining watching those three guys running around and burning food. The judges played it safe and named all three chefs as winners. One chef actually cooks at a local restaurant in town and we planned to eat dinner there later. We all headed back to the hotel, as Connie needed to get into her luggage, which she had not seen for the last 36 hours. We had drinks in the hotel pub then drove back downtown to the "Weary Travelers Freehouse Restaurant". It was so busy, with the wait being at least 45 minutes and we were so hungry that we settled on the Southwest Tumbleweed Grill instead.

After dinner, Tim and Cassie had the two-hour drive back to Chicago while us other four went back to the hotel and crashed after a very fulfilling but tiring day.

After the hotel breakfast buffet on Sunday morning, Ted and Connie left as Connie was missing home after being away for two weeks. Tony and Alice went swimming and hot tubing, then drove to Chicago and had a wonderful lunch at the Weber Grill Restaurant. All of US

We all made it home safe and sound and started dreaming about going back to Canoecopia again real soon!!! Mark your calendars for 2009.

View All Pictures From Canoecopia 2008