Our host gets set to grill up some of the 30 lbs of salmon provided by Don & Pam at Boston Harbor Marina.
Planning & partying...or was it the other way around? What a time at the officially-named "Pickin' & Paddlin' Retreat", and many thanks to my bro Ethan Ebersold for putting the whole thing together. Ethan's River House on the Cowlitz, which he maintains for events just like this one, served its purpose well for 5 solid days.
Preliminary pictures are here (click to enlarge for a better look), provided by Tom "Big T" Strauss of Emotion Kayaks. Meeting Tom was a highlight of the event -- he definitely lived up to the hype -- and he was joined by industry giants Ed Vater of Aquabound/Bending Branches; Tom & Lisa Derrer from Eddyline Kayaks/Swift Paddles; Doug Erwin of Tahoe Board Works; and Stohlquist Waterware's Jake Wisse. Ethan's dad, Mike, helped out with grilling and general hospitality; and canoe instructor/Esquif pro boater Nick Jacob filled out the host crew.
Paddlesports dealers and outfitters from all over the Northwest and California joined in the fun for some dee-lectable food, two nights of rockin' to the Moon Mountain Ramblers, paddling in the unseasonably warm fall weather on the Cowlitz, and some gittin' down to business in the Ebersold showroom, all tricked-out in the garage.
Zack and Elizabeth from Bellingham's LFS Marine find shopping for paddling gear can be pretty fun when you bring along Big T.
If you were there, thanks for coming! If you missed it, enjoy the pictures (click any pic for better detail; more to follow) and stay tuned for the next River House function.