You may be asking, “What is this Florida guy who spends so much time in Costa Rica doing in Wisconsin?” I am here for Canoecopia 2018  It has been described as the “the largest paddlesports consumer event in the world.”.Now I like big, so I am especially attracted to the world’s largest. So here I am in sunny, icy, cold Wisconsin to experience “more than 250,000 square feet of kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards, outdoor equipment, and clothing.” If there is one thing I love more than playing on the water it is looking at gear, stuff, and toys. There will be three days of presentations, and exhibits. This is a stretch for me. I have gone to a place that I do not know to meet people I do not know. I am so excited!

Here are the details: The show is being held at Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Way, Madison, Wisconsin. Canoecopia goes on from March 9 – 11, 2018. It hours are Friday 4:00-9:00; Saturday 9:00 – 6:00; and Sunday 10:00 – 5:00. Tickets cost $15 per day or $25 for a weekend pass. Anyone 17 or under is free. There are more than 180 seminars and clinics scheduled. I want to make sure I mention that Canoecopia is presented by Rutabaga Paddlesports. I am sure that I will have lots to report about them as the weekend goes on.

BTW I am new to this. I have never attended a Paddlesports Expo before anywhere. Many years ago when I worked for Allen’s Trail and Aquatic Center in Gainesville, FL I attended the National Sporting Goods Association show in Chicago. That was a wholesaler tradeshow event and consumers were not allowed in. This is a totally different animal.

I am also new to Wisconsin. Everyone I have met has been wonderfully hospitable. Last night I was introduced to a local beer called Spotted Cow, very nice. I also got my first taste of Cheese Curds. The waitress told me they were pretty good and by Madison, WI standards they are at about a 75%. I know that my Mac and Cheese eating friend, Jacob would go hog wild over a plate of these fried cheese nuggets. Mine even came with a beer and cheese dipping sauce. This weekend I am in search of the best Cheese Curds in Madison.

My goal for this trip is to find a lot of great content for this blog. I hope to meet a lot of great people and learn their stories. I want to tell you about places and equipment that may be new to you. I hope to find some funny stuff to report and maybe something that will make you stop and think. I am looking forward to meeting some of the people who make the boats and gear that I love.

Otter Out!

Photo Credit: Canoecopia