HOLY-SchMOLY . . . it's over and we did it!!
Erin's statement, coupled with the fact that we will be raising funds for the Schindler Endowment Fund (which stresses outdoor recreational activities for developmentally delayed adults) made me realize this endeavor would be the opportunity of a lifetime. We are now thoroughly enjoying our morning paddles on the Grand River, evening paddles on local lakes and weekend distance paddles around Ohio and Pennsylvania as we train for the Race to the Midnight Sun. We are researching various GPS systems, nutritional programs, and training regimes, as well as how on earth we are going to go to the bathroom in a canoe! We are also trying to figure out how both of us are going to stay awake for twenty-four hours of non-stop paddling . . . a feat that would appear to be especially daunting since staying awake to watch the eleven o'clock news each night can be a challenge to both of us.
My canoeing experience started when my dad bought a used aluminum canoe when I was about twelve years old. I participated in the "original"
I bought my first canoe (an aluminum Grumman) when Erin was about one year old and we completed many family paddles along with her older sister, Nikki, and her mom, Debbie. It was in that canoe that I won my first Madhatters' race with my friend, Larry Heller, as my paddle partner. My second Madhatters' first place finish (now re-named the Grand River Canoe & Kayak Race) happened twenty-five years later -- also in that old Grumman --but with Erin as my paddle partner. That original canoe has now been passed onto my daughter, Nikki, and her family. I recently introduced my two-year old granddaughter, Audrey, to canoeing in that boat . . . thus beginning the next generation of the Morgan Family Paddlers!
Erin and I both caught the racing bug in that Madhatters' race and the rest is history. The next nine months for me will be dominated with exercise, training, paddling, and fundraising. When I retired from a thirty-year career as a high school math teacher three years ago, I wanted to challenge myself to some adventures, as well as to focus on helping others in some way. Our challenge of the Yukon River Quest and raising money for the Schindler Foundation satisfies both goals. I am so looking forward to sharing this whole event with my daughter. Any support you could offer us -- whether it be your encouragement, thoughts, prayers or donations to the Schindler Foundation will be very appreciated.
Also. . .if anyone has any good tips on how to stay awake for 72 hours; let us know ASAP!!