Islanders take a Canoeing Mini-Vacation

by David Winer

Sycamore Islander, September 2001

Last year we described in the Islander a trip to the Adirondacks for the annual Wooden Canoe Heritage Association's "Assembly" at Paul Smiths College. This year the same four of us (Jane and I, and Jane and Bill Hill) attended the same affair, but this time in the Finger Lakes area of New York, staying at Keuka College. There was considerable concern over the new venue... that it might not work well for the hundreds of wooden canoe enthusiasts. But as it turned out, we needn't have worried.

First of all there were our many friends from all the former years of the Assembly. Then we had the usual overwhelming number of restoration and how-to workshops. And as usual the schedule included all sorts of activities such as campfires, quilting lessons, bird walk, auction, star gazing, and talks about canoe history. Admittedly, the one lake didn't offer trips to connecting lakes as in the Adirondacks, but still there were excellent paddling and sailing opportunities. Of course, some of the best parts of the four-day event were opportunities to admire all the gorgeous restored canoes, to chat with current canoe makers, and to try out each others' boats in the water. We look forward to next year's Assembly, wherever it may be.

Everyone loves to ogle the restored and to-be-restored beauties on the lawn. Usually, each owner places a description
and history page in the bottom of each canoe. Many discussions ensue among owners and admirers.