Monday, June 18, 2007

The transmigration of souls

When or if the wind ever dies down, it would be delightful to haul the canoe down off its pegs in the garage, and head over to Lake of the Isles. Calhoun and Harriet are alright, but canoes are made for the glassy passage to Cedar Lake and on over to Brownie. Still, those open crossings can be brutal in a heavy press of wind.

If you're in the market for a canoe, your market is shrinking in at least one way: Aluminum canoes may soon be extinct. Alumacraft has discontinued canoe building, and Grumman may soon follow suit. The reason? The price of aluminum has gone sky-high in recent years. More important, plastic and fiberglass canoes have flooded the market.

Much as we like our old Grumman, we recently paddled a kevlar canoe from Souris River Canoes, and found it to be superior in almost every way. The webbed fabric seats were easy on the butt, you can see through the translucent hull to watch the water rippling by, and best of all, the thing is 50 percent quieter than a metal-bodied craft.

It became clear that silence is one of the things we like best about this sort of transportation for the spirit.

Souris River Canoes, Available in Minnesota at Red Rock Wilderness Store in--where else?--Ely, Minnesota. Red Rock Wilderness Store,