ca. 1991, Curtis Companion on Lake Wingra. Still have that boat. Always will.
Opening photo albums from 15 years ago is a pretty jarring experience. Things you remember as happening yesterday actually happened back when you not only had hair, you had lots of hair. So much hair you had to use a bandanna to keep it out of your eyes.
As forensic evidence will show, that is no longer an issue. Wife 1.1 has enough (beautiful red) hair for both of us.
Fall 2008. Typical Sunday afternoon scene.
What is obvious, to me anyway, is how much paddling has been part of my life for the past two decades or so. Even before I worked full-time in the industry, before I managed and eventually owned my own shop, I was smitten.
The one thing that makes me happy is that I still love it. For the past decade quite a few of my friends have asked me if I would love paddling when it becomes a job?
The answer is that I may love it more than ever. Ironically, when I go on vacation, sometimes I don't paddle. I take pictures and insects. I cycle. I walk. But I still love paddling.
ca. 1995, Check out the 90s hair.
I have hundreds of pictures of me and my family paddling all over the place...Wisconsin, the boreal forest, the Mediterranean, Puget Sound, etc. Interestingly, I never have to think "Where did I take that picture?" They're all seared into the DVD of my visual cortex, and often they're linked to other memories as well. I can smell and taste the salt on my lips when I see a picture of me paddling a sea kayak off Monterrey, salt stains on my face and PFD.
ca. 1999, Wisconsin River OWL Trip
Then there's the other jarring event...seeing your son, now almost 6'2", sitting on your knee, holding Lightning II, his second paddle he ever had besides the small ones used as teething aids. Yes, when my son cut his teeth he was already a paddler.
All good memories, made fresh by a $100 scanner and three dusty photo albums. Clearly I have some more work to do.