The Bushwacker 150 Canoe challenge: coming May 22
May 14, 2010
It'll be the 3rd running of this nutty event. You start where the Pine River starts, as a bushy creek in the center of the state. Then you try to follow it down a long ways. There a seven mile portage in there somewhere.
Don't worry: there are several distance options if you're not up for the whole thing.
The event commemorates and is a fundraiser for the Verlen Kruger Memorial project. Verlen was an original bushwacker. The link photo shows him roping his boat up a cliff when he and Steve Landick were paddling UP the Grand Canyon in the Ultimate CC of the 1980's.
The event is hosted by Kruger Canoes which is now run by Mark P. He also hosts a couple other Verlen memorial events, including the Hugh Heward and the Manistee 100.
The HH is a 50.
To give enough time to finish the Manistee 100 you get a full 24-hour day. The idea is that by using Verlen's motto of "Keep It Movin'" you can do it. Set up your boat so you don't have to stop. He even worked out a nifty one-handed way to paddle if you're busy with the other hand. --Just grab it down by the blade and you can get in a bit of a stroke. I've seen Verlen-buffs on their cellphones paddling like this.
(Now, I've worked out my own nifty stroke that I should report about: it's the family-friendly "windmill." When you're canoeing with extra people in a boat you probably don't want to bonk them or drip water on them when you change sides paddling. So what you do instead is swing the paddle overhead while keeping hold of the end-grip. I can easily do hut-style quick-switch paddling this way. Might not work so hot in a windstorm but otherwise, it's fun and dandy and I've never seen it taught before. Pic and vid forthcoming.)