Saturday, May 14, 2011

Warmth and paddling passion...

Imagine -  hangin' out around the fireplace, dreaming up adventures...
So, what do you think of the new fireplace? Ah, just kidding. It's actually the "centre of warmth" at REI in Seattle. It's a pretty nice piece of work. If you're in the city, REI is a bit of a "destination" should your heart (happily) skip a beat in the presence of some very fine outdoor equipment. We had to be south of the border, in Seattle, for a couple of days and no time there is complete without a few hours of "browsin' time" and the mandatory veggie bean wrap with extremely hot sauce at the in-house, resident "World Wrapps" restaurant.

We also had the opportunity to visit with George and Barbara Gronseth at the Kayak Academy, south of the city in lovely, rural Issaquah. As many paddlers will know, George is the co-author of "Sea Kayaker Deep Trouble", a regular columnist at Sea Kayaker Magazine, and clearly one of the finest and most knowledgeable paddlers anywhere on this planet - and possibly any other planet out there that has liquid water and self-propelled sports minded beings! From a photo on their office wall of Mt Blanc (France), Barbara has done some incredibly serious mountaineering and climbing over the well as being a highly qualified paddling instructor!

George and Barbara have a huge passion for the sport and for their desire to provide the finest instruction possible. The Kayak Academy is, indeed, an "elite school for kayakers" - in every way. I think they spent close to three hours with us as we asked question after question about how we could enhance our current paddling experience, especially during winter months. If you yearn for adventure, love to paddle, and can find your way to George and Barb's place in Issaquah - you should. The warmth of their passion, their expertise, their generosity of time, and their engaging personalities will simply inspire!

It's folks like this that help the rest of us "get a feel for this planet" - and keep us safe while doing so.



  1. Ah love the fireplace...the suit not so much. LOL
    Sounds like you had an awesome time down there. Now you just need to find some time to be out on the water and test it all out. Did you get your dry suits yet?

  2. I'm happy to say that the process of "suiting up" is in progress! Yes, pretty sweet fireplace!

  3. cool fireplace. did u guys buy suits? you'll never regret it. enjoy your time away!

  4. Oops, deleted my own comment! Thanks Lee, yes, seems like the way to go.