Monday, December 15, 2008

Mad River Canoe

I love water. Most of us do and most of us can't really explain it. When I lived in Orange County, California I would find myself at the beach at all times of the day and night. Naturally I would swim and sunbathe during the warm summer days but I would also find myself inexplicably drawn to the waves at other times as well. One day I remember swimming in a dangerous crashy, wavey, moonlight midnight as the tide was receding. I just couldn't resist the amazing body of water.

I spent a month in Moab this past summer and got to do some amazing bike trips and hiking. I also river rafted a couple times. So I decided to buy either a kayak or a canoe this year. I did way too much research as I'm prone to do when spending anything over $100 on myself. Even my Godson, on one occasion, groaned as we entered another sporting good store “are you still on the canoe kick? You've been looking at those for 4 weeks!' he said. He's 8 years old!

I finally happened across a Mad River Adventure 16 canoe in a Dick's Sporting Good store. It was good looking, light and the value seemed good. I ran home checked the internet for reviews and specs and went back the next day to purchase it!

I love it! The purpose of my canoe was many fold. I wanted something I could fish from so it had to have room enough for gear and have built in fishing pole holders. Check! I wanted to take my Godson and his siblings fishing and just out for fun so it had to have at least 3 seats. Check! It had to be light enough so I could carry it alone. Check! (its about 75 lbs). It had to have good reviews, none bad. Check! It had to be something I could cruise down the Colorado River in Moab. Check!

The canoe is beautiful and looks great on top of my vehicle and on the water. Many people stop to ask me about it. It performs very well and is easy to row and tracks very well. It's the fastest canoe I've ever been in. Mad River has been around since 1971 and has won many awards and championships so I knew this would be a good first purchase. It is “rotationally molded” from polyethylene which is what Wildnerness Kayaks uses and has integrated great features such as contoured seats, adjustable padded backrests, storage trays, carry handles, and cup holders—at a price that changes everything. The best thing is it is virtually maintenance-free. If it gets scratched from docking or beaching you just take some fine grit sandpaper and sand it smooth again! It's easy to load and unload, easy to clean and easy to store. It comes in many color choices as well. I chose sand. I purchased mine on sale for $549.00 and it retails for $699.00 at Dick's. On the internet I found retailers selling it for $800.00 so shop around! I purchased a double sided canoe/kayak paddle for $29.99 that comes apart to make for easier paddling when alone or take it apart if there is more than one of you.

Length 16' / 488 cm
Gunwale 32.75" / 83 cm
Width @ 4" waterline 31" / 79 cm
Maximum 37" / 94 cm
Center Depth 14.75" / 37 cm
Bow Depth 20" / 51 cm
Stern Depth 19" / 48 cm
Bow Rocker 1" / 3 cm
Stern Rocker 1" / 3 cm
Average Weight 81 lbs / 37 kg
Max Capacity 6" Freeboard 1000 lbs / 454 kg
Gunwale System N/A

Friday, December 12, 2008

Why Start a Gay Outdoor Blog?

My new river canoe is safely hung up on the back fence for winter. My fishing gear is stowed in the basement and in the shed. My tent is wrapped and returned to it's box as are my outdoor cooking gear, my hiking boots, the sleeping bag, the Coleman stove and heater. My annual fall trip to Moab was canceled because my sister was sick and in the hospital for the two months that make that place bearable, free from the scorching heat and icy weather.

There's snow off in the south heading towards my home. The TV news, last night, was warning me but I didn't believe it because, well, they've promised it so often in the last couple weeks and we only received a skiff of it in the valley. My lawn where it's shady still sports some of the white stuff but it's bound to be covered with more today.
So I'll dust off my skis finally and start thinking about going up there in the mountains to enjoy the white puffy stuff. I haven't gone yet because most of the snow is man made and isn't covering the rocks yet.

The reason I decided to start a blog about this gay man and his love of the outdoors is because a quick search of the internet showed no one else was doing it. Am I the only man of my persuasion that likes the outdoors? There must be a place for it out there. I've seen your profiles on online dating sites! Many men say you are into hiking, camping, etc. But there seems to be a lack of interesting articles, reviews of products and places to go outdoors (unless you're looking for outdoor sex! There are plenty of sites for that out there!). I write a wine blog and so now I started an outdoor blog for gay men and women. I hope you like it. I hope you'll ask me about things and comment on my blogs! I really do! I need the ego boost for one! But, seriously, I also need to know what you want to know about. What products should I check into? What places are you interested in traveling too?