I once had a U.S. border guard ask me what “Canoecopia” was. I said it was like a Star Trek Convention for canoeists. He gave me an odd look, stamped my passport and let me through.
Canoecopia is North America’s largest paddle show. It’s held in Madison, Wisconsin and operated by Rutabaga Paddlesports. I’ve been presenting there for years but this time I had my daughter, Kyla, tag along.
The last show she went to with me was at the Tweed Public Library. I had 22 people in the audience for that presentation. This past weekend at Canoecopia I had well over 3,000! Kyla had no idea how big this show was until she looked into the room where her and I were to present together—it was titled “How a Pre-Teen Daughter Still Thinks It’s Cool to Canoe-Trip with Her Dad”—and saw rows upon rows of chairs. This was no Tweed.
The best part of the weekend was when Kyla performed with singer/song writer Jerry Vandiver. I’ve performed with him before, once wearing a cow costume and another dressed as a loon. But this time it was Kyla’s turn. Jerry and Kyla wrote a song about her and I paddling together and she performed it with him and his band three times over the course of the show. She was amazing. I’m one proud father who has one incredible kid.
Check out the video I made up of the show and her performance: