For the most part it was mission accomplished for me today. As I said in earlier posts if there is any place one could go to get information about paddling the East Coast it would be at the East Coast Kayak Festival, and part of my reason for being here is to do just that, and of course to have a little fun. Russell gave me a ride into town where I was able to purchase maps of the coast from the FL/GA border all the way up to the tip of North Carolina. It’s with those maps (and the rest of the coast if I can get to a bigger book store) that I plan to sit down with folks and get as much information as I can about camp sites, things to see, things to avoid, etc in their areas. In just one day I’ve already touched base with a dozen people full of excellent information that is going a long way toward putting the picture together for what lies ahead.
What’s especially fun at events like this are the constant “isn’t it a small world” moments when you bump into old friends, and meet new ones, that know people you know on the other side of the country and sometimes world. Today I had a nice conversation with Ken Fink who I had first met six years ago out in San Diego when I was attending the Southwest Kayak Symposium as a student. Ken is a great friend of Jen Kleck who, of course, I know quite well. Ken was disappointed when he learned that he missed me as I paddled past his new home in Southwest Florida. When I told him that I’d paddled with a gentleman named Doug Gilliland in that area a spark of recognition ignited Ken and he said, “Hey I believe I sold him a boat nearly 20 years ago“. It turns out it’s the same yellow Valley Nordkapp that Doug is still paddling today. A small world for sure.