The surface is like glass gliding inches above the water. Osprey fly overhead as geese migrate north. Stroking through the marsh the only obstacle seen are floating pieces of ice. Some small enough to fill a glass, some larger than a refrigerator.
The air and water are the same temperature with the sun poking through the clouds. No boats are out, no stand up paddlers just me.
This is the perfect time to be training. It is an awkward thing to say training. I have not competed for over a decade. All activities I do are done out of the desire to do that activity.
This paddle is not out of the desire to paddle twenty miles. This paddle is about the desire to help make someone's life better.
With each stroke I take, every dip of the fingers I think of those I know that have been affected by cancer.
I paddle faster.
Then I think of those who I do not know.
I paddle harder.
I also think of those who will be affected in the years to come.
I dig deeper and push harder.
This paddle isn't about what I am doing, it is about who I can support as they show their grit against cancer.
For more info check out here. Or make a donation at:
I just wanted to write a little note about how blown away I am by the support that is being given to my cause. I am roughly at half of my goal and there are still months left. I set the challenge of getting the support for the race, you have answered. Which means that even though there is snow falling outside I will be training. If the water is frozen I will train on land or travel to where the water flows.
Thanks again. Check back for the next post on training for this challenge.
As some of you may know, and those reading this blog for the first time are finding out, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011. I had surgery less than a month later to remove it. I was lucky.
That wasn't the first time cancer affected my life. Teachers, friends’ parents, friends and the list goes on of those who have passed away from cancer. My grandmother passed away from lung cancer in 2007; she fought hard. In August 2012, my grandfather passed away from advanced lung cancer, something he found out not long before his passing.
A few days before my grandfather passed away, I was in Salt Lake City for the annual Outdoor Retailer trade show. As I wandered the vast expanse of booths filled with all the new gadgetry, my mind drifted to my grandfather and his current condition.
While wandering, I was introduced by a friend to the John Wayne Cancer Foundation booth. John Wayne was a connection between my grandfather and myself. He liked cowboy movies, particularly John Wayne, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching these movies with him. While chatting at the booth, I mentioned my grandfather back home. The staff gave me a shirt to wear and a visor to give to my grandfather for when he went golfing.
I never had the chance to give him the visor. He passed away a couple of days later. Thankfully, I had the chance to see him one last time.
And now, the big news. I have decided to paddle the 20+ mile open water circumnavigation of Cape Ann known as the Blackburn Challenge. I am doing it as a fundraiser for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. I am doing in for my grandfather, my grandmother and everyone else affected by cancer. My goal is to raise over $2200 for the cause - one hundred dollars for every mile paddled. I am doing it on a prone paddleboard. I am going to show my grit for the cause.
Please share your support for the cause, share it with friends and family.
To donate find my page here
To follow my trail from Twitter or Instagram at
Or check back to the blog to see how I am doing.
There have been some big things happening here at the Doghouse. Stayed tuned to see what the future holds. Something big is about to happen!
Rios Libres fundraiser at KEEN!
Every January the outdoor industry descends on Salt Lake City for four days of new products, new colors and new faces to meet.
Working throughout the show, this dog did not get the most time to wander. With some planning the wandering was pretty focused. The tail always wags as friends are sought out, some that have not been seen for days, months, or years. High fives and smiles were given out like stickers, hugs were saved for those special relationships acquired over the years. New relationships were formed around the show, product was ogled over, and the talk of inversion was overheard everywhere.
With cold temps outside visitors rushed from their hotels to the convention center in the morning. In the evening the walk home had some people stop to check out a rather interesting digital art installation. With the help of KEEN Footwear this art installation displayed the Northern Lights on the walls of a vacant lot. It was very interesting to say the least, a need to see them in the wild has resurfaced.
And this is where I leave you.
Welcome to the shop.
The winter is always a slightly awkward time in New England. The weather cools down and snow blankets the ground adding some beauty to the world. With the cold weather water freezes making paddling, surfing, swimming a rare thing, so to even it out the Stranded Dog found himself down at the new Speedboard USA shop to check out where they were headed for Spring 2013.
Walking into the shop finds you in a between and office and a comfy couch, not a bad place to be. Keeping work and play on the same level helps them stay focused on making some of the fastest boards on the market. Walk through a simple door into the workshop and board storage and you are overwhelmed by the beautiful boards stacked up.
This is where I will leave you. Check out the photos, if you want more check out Speedboard USA. If you get a chance try one out. I think you will dig it.
There is always something special about this time of year. No it is not because Thanksgiving is two days away, nor is it because Christmas is around the corner. It is because Movember is here. One month of acceptable moustache growing. Find out more here:
Or if you are a fan of the Stranded Dog make a donation here:
May the Stache be with you.
Last night I had the great opportunity to attend the Reel Rock Tour at NHTI Community College in Concord, NH. With 4 short films up on the screen it moves quick enough to keep you entertained the whole time and with more than one you get a great look at the different aspects of climbing. From mind blowing 5.15c climbing to alpine at its worst to free soloing and crazy Brits tackling all of America's toughest off-width cracks.
Starting off with La Dura Dura you follow Chris Sharma, the golden boy of climbing and Adam Ondra as they work one of the hardest projects on the planet, La Dura Dura (The Hard Hard) a 5.15c. A great short film about their likenesses and differences and the desire to be the best. ** Also on Oct. 4 Adam Ondra climbed a self rated 5.15c route in Norway. Read the Climbing.com article here.
The second short The Shark's Fin follows a trio of climber/ alpinist friends who at first make an attempt at the unclimbed route, only to have a devastating accident put a damper on their second attempt. A great film showing the dark side of the mountains.
The third short is perhaps the most entertaining, not including the climbing. Off-width climbers have always been known to be a little... different. The two Brits in this film take different to a whole new meaning. With the crazy basement training sessions to the domination of some of the hardest off-widths in the States this film was fun to watch.
The last film of the night always has to have some type of wow factor. Alex Honnold can take that any day. The free-soloing, record breaking, living out of his van climber has officially added the "What?!?!?" factor. Climbing without a rope hundreds of feet of the ground makes you worry. Watching him almost lose it, makes your insides turn. Seeing him climbing at night, with only the light from his headlamp, as a BASE jumper flies past him makes you want to change your draws.
All these films give a different emotion that is found in the realm of climbing; Determination, Fear, Humor and Excitement. If you haven't checked out the Reel Rock Tour, please do. It will be an enjoyable night.
Oh and more importantly... Go Climb
These paws have been covering alot of ground recently. From Maine to Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Mass, traveling has been a constant fact. Getting stranded with some friends is great but there is something about resting in your own doghouse. A long weekend of being home is on the horizon and although it is busy with work to do it will be home. And the Stranded Dog will spend just a little time getting lost in his own place.
Look back soon for some updates on what has been happening around here soon.
We have always been a fan of Polartec here in the Doghouse. Keeps you warm, move moisture, etc. But now to have an upcycled garment option is truly delightful. This video is entertaining to watch, and the product seems top shelf compared to some of the other fleece like materials coming out of wherever these days. Now we just need to test one out on the next time we get stranded!! Check out the company here: http://www.norrona.com