about canoelover…

“If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work.” –Kahlil Gibran

I took Kahlil at his word, and gave up a “real” job in the public sector to come here and be a paddling evangelist.  I am the sole owner and proprietor of Rutabaga, an outdoor specialty retail establishment in Madison, Wisconsin.

This is not how I pictured things would go (no one ever grows up thinking that someday they’ll be in retail), but I believe I am supposed to be here for a number of reasons, some too personal to discuss on a website.

Paddling is my passion, and the only thing better than paddling is getting someone else into it. It changes people’s lives, and I guess that’s why I decided to make my job my vocation.

I love other outdoor things as well as paddling. A grew up on a bicycle and did century rides before I knew what they were. I take enormous pride in having received a speeding ticket on my Raleigh Pro–sweet bike, I wish I still had it. I backpacked the John Muir Trail as a Boy Scout, and spent many nights in the high deserts of California.

Outside paddling I am an amateur blacksmith (Toad Forge is the name of the half of my garage that isn’t boat storage). I also am into primitive skills, and build my own snowshoes and other traditional gear. I love paddling with my family and playing chess with my children, Whitney and Ian. I have the coolest wife in the world who loves to paddle too.

I’ll add more to this someday.