Members of the Northwest Chapter of WCHA gathered at YMCA Camp Dudley on Clear Lake near White Pass, WA on September 12,13,14.
The site was superbly equipped, with a lodge of adequate size to accommodate meetings, food preparation and dining. There were cabins, RV parking, room for tents, and easy water access. The Saturday night stone soup dinner prepared in the lodge and supplemented by member's dishes was certainly a highlight of the meet. A show of hands at the end of the evening clearly recommended a return to this site.
Friday afternoon and Saturday morning saw the arrival of over 30 canoes of all makes and models with some 50 participants. The program schedule handed out at registration listed a very full agenda of activities. There was very little time to read or play your musical instrument of choice. This is the way we like our meets.
Dawn paddles seemed to be divided into those chasing the fog "on little cat feet" and those waiting for the warming sun and blue skies... before and after breakfast. Most paddlers look forward to this quiet time on the water.
A session by Bill Dengler on knot tying made it patently obvious why they are called knots ...this is not a clove hitch ...that is not a bowline etc.
Robert Schuweiler did a number of readings and ended with a beautiful song of his own composition in the folk genre that could easily be marketed.
The ladies under Catherine Bilyard's expert guidance worked hard on quilting design and preparation. Many beautiful squares were created.
Dennis Bohrer led a session on tool sharpening that confirmed most of us are complete idiots when it comes to sharpening tools. His knowledge of this subject makes him the chapter expert for all to seek out. Dennis recommends an excellent book "The Complete Guide to Sharpening" by Leonard Lee, of Lee Valley Tools.
Boudi van Oldenborgh gave us a quiz on canoe knowledge and lore that truly separated the 'men from the boys'. Most of us felt pretty smug in getting half of the answers right.
Paddle Poker led by Gordon and Catherine Bilyard pitted luck against well, pure luck. Four 'dealers' were spaced around the lake to deal cards with the fifth card of the poker hand dealt back at the dock. Surprisingly, the winning hand for the ladies was a flush (all spades) held by Sue Cross. The guy's winner was Mike Livdahl and the children's winner was little Ophelia Mast.
The famous (or is it infamous) auction was led by Dwight Jacobson. Dwight is a natural at this, with a bit of humour, coercion, and just plain skill, was able to push bids up into the stratosphere in many cases. The proceeds from this help to fund chapter activities, the newsletter, mailings etc, that are vital to our survival - and insure that we do not have to pay membership dues.
Dick Cross on a recent visit to a military museum in the UK researched a fascinating talk for us on folding canoes used by British commandos in WW II for espionage and sabotage. He finished with a BBC documentary on these 'Cockleshell Heroes'.
Help to keep our chapter strong. Come and support the spring and Fall meets and enjoy the activities and camaraderie.