Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Types of boats you paddle (eg. kayak, raft, C-1, squirt, etc.):
Liquidlogic Freeride 57 as my surfing machine and all-around good-time boat; a Liquidlogic Biscuit 55 as my toy boat to keep me humble, WS Ace 4.7 for really silly stuff (flatwater fun especially). Pyranha Burn for scary stuff. A Pyranha G:3 for multi-day trips, speed and cruising. "Yes, I am a boat whore!"
First Season (year):
Wolf Section IV, Peshtigo Roaring Rapids Section, Selway, Middle Fork of the Salmon
I started long ago with home-built fiberglass boat (Thanks Dr. Whisnant at Northland College for use of the chem lab on weekends!). Then bought a Phoenix Wildfire--a classic fiberglass long boat (13'2"). Skipped the Dancer phase of the sport--never liked it ("Is this the best there is?"). Next boat was a Crossfire--my first great leap forward in technology and downward in length. Progressed to an RPM--loved it (lost another 2 feet of boat). Converted to new school boating by kayaking evangelist EJ. First new school boat was a Big EZ.
Over the past few years I've done some multi-day, self-contained trips that are my idea of whitewater heaven--a 5-day run on the Selway in 2004 and a 3-day run on Middle Fork of the Flathead in 2005. In 1999 I paddled the Middle Fork of the Salmon with an outfitter (Canyons Inc) for truly luxurious wilderness tripping (how's that for an oxymoron?) In 2008 I was lucky enough to do two epic western multi-day trips---a 5-day, raft-support private trip on the Yampa at very high water and then I brought my whole family--my wife and two sons on the Main Salmon with an outfitter (again, Canyons Inc---can't recommend them highly enough). This was a long-time dream of mine to get my wife and sons to experience these kinds of trips. We all had a spectacular time. In 2010 I hit the river permit lottery jackpot, with a 4-day raft supported trip on the Salt River (AZ) and a return to the Selway for a 5-day self-contained trip with a small group that included my oldest son. It was simply awesome.
In 2012 I'll be paddling the Grand Canyon on a private trip with friends. Can't believe it's happening. Feels like my personal "magnum opus" of a paddling/adventure trip. 21 days on the water. We launch March 11.
Don't get to boat as much as I'd like due to family demands--am married (28 years!) to a wonderful woman who doesn't whitewater paddle (but loves flatwater canoeing) and have 2 sons--ages 14 and 18. I did my best to indoctrinate them into the sport with limited success. Generally have made annual trips with them and their cousins, but the boating bug never seems to have bit them.
"Energywonk" refers to my profession--a research program director (policy "wonk") with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy--a non-profit group dedicated to improving the environment and economy through energy efficiency (a great way to save our rivers!). Am a recovering engineer (BME, U of Minn) and confirmed generalist (MS and PhD in environmental studies--energy analysis and policy--U of Wis-Madison).
Drop me a line if you're in these parts. Happy Trails! Water or otherwise....