Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2015 Ottawa Outdoor and Adventure Show

Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm almost a whole year late with this post. The 2015 Outdoor Show in Ottawa took place in March. But it's February 2016 and there's no chance of launching a canoe anywhere near here for the next 4 months. So I have to talk about something canoe-worthy. I promise that the post for the show for 2016 will be done in a more timely fashion. After all, this blog wasn't in existence last March. Right? Right!

The show was held at the EY Centre near the airport. There's lots of parking at this venue and it's kind of in the middle of nowhere. But they still charge you for parking. Plus the entry fee into the show. Still it's worth it to drool over the canoes, to check out the vendors, and to watch the demos in the pool.

An exhuberant Kevin Callan
This year there was a special display for Bill Mason. His daughter, Becky, is an active participant in the show, giving lots of paddling demos in the pool. One of Bill's favourite canoes was on display. An aluminum Grumman canoe. It weighs about 85 pounds. The canoe was being auctioned off online during the spring. It was set up with a monitor showing Bill's famous movie, Waterwalker. 

As I looked at the display I had to touch his canoe. It brought back a lot of memories for me. I had a friend with one and we did some paddling together. We never did any canoe camping with it. It would have been pretty heavy to portage. I did portage it once, carrying it from the house to the river in Wakefield. Ah, but I was much, much younger then. 

This is also the same canoe that tipped me into the frigid waters in April one year. Touching it certainly gave me chills. Memories are strong.

In the back corner of the salon there were various presentations given by such luminaries as Kevin Callan. He's always entertaining to listen to. He certainly imparts the feeling that if he can do it, you can do it too, with his self-deprecating humour. There was a woman there who had done a major kayaking trip and he called her out of the audience to share some of the things she'd learned on her long journey. She was also giving a presentation later on.

Keen Footwear was one of the vendors and Kevin had a few of their keychains that he tossed into the audience before his talk. LT caught one and gave it to me!
We were still in a position of being canoe-less. I kept nudging LT to look at the canoe displays. It was obvious that he'd been doing some research before the show and he had a pretty good idea about what kind of canoe he'd eventually buy. He didn't see it happening for a couple more years though. Within another month we'd have a brand new canoe in our possession.

I checked out the Boy Scouts' display area. They carry Eureka! products, which we can't get at MEC. I had purchased my air mattress at the show the previous year and was happy with it. This year I was looking for a lightweight chair to replace my Eureka! tripod chair. It was very lightweight and took up almost no space in my backpack. But it's not very comfortable.

Much like Goldilocks, I sat in one chair after another, but did not buy anything. I would end up getting the Rockwater chair at LeBaron's later on in April.

Kevin Callan is an avid user of social media, especially Facebook. People posted some videos of him and Becky at the show on his FB page and LT and I were in the background. Yes, we're minor celebrities now. Very minor. Kevin and Becky were demonstrating how to switch places safely in a canoe. Which was all well and good if you're in a canoe without any other contents. Doing the same thing with all your gear would be a very different matter.

This year the show is being held on March 19th and 20th, 2016. Hope to see you there!

Here's a link to the site that sponsors the show:

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