Making her way from Minnesota to Vermont and lastly greener pastures here in New York, Elsie has arrived safe and sound at her new home. I know what you might be thinking, did this crazy guy buy a cow? We could all use a little more cowbell but no I did not buy a cow, however I am the proud owner of a “Cownoe”.
In honor of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s 15th Anniversary, Wenonah Canoe and Wood and Wood Sign Systems created a custom-made “Cownoe” canoe to support the Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s efforts to increase paddling opportunities in northern Vermont along the Missisquoi River.
The one-of-a-kind Cownoe is a Wenonah Champlain 18-foot touring canoe made of Kevlar, and designed with a black and white cow graphic designed by Sparky Potter, owner of Wood and Wood Sign Systems in Waitsfield, Vermont. As a note Wood and Wood Sign Systems also make all the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream store signs as well.
Minnesota-based Wenonah was an early supporter of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, with owner Mike Cichanowski recognizing the significance of the nonprofit’s goals. “The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a significant resource for paddlers of all types and abilities,” says Cichanowski, adding that he and friends have long canoe tripped on the trail’s lakes, rivers, whitewater, campsites and portages. “The Cownoe project is the latest effort by Wenonah on behalf of the canoe trail.”
Wenonah 18 foot Kevlar Champlain Canoe
In June of this year the NFCT began selling raffle tickets for this one of a kind canoe, with a planned drawing on August 31st. The minute I saw this canoe I started buying tickets, I bought a boat load of raffle tickets. My thought process was simple, no matter the outcome of this raffle my money was going to an organization that I am extremely passionate about so this was a win/win for me. To be honest I’ve only paddle a small portion of the 740 mile trail which stretches from Old Forge, NY to Kent, ME. Actually next summer my two sons and I have plans to paddle a section in northern New Hampshire along the Connecticut river.
Shortly after noon on August 31st my phone started to buzz and on the opposite end was NFCT Membership & Communications Director Sandy Tarburton. Sandy had such excitement in her voice it could only mean one thing, I was the winner! Actually as a matter of fact my sons and I were on the way home from a four day trip to Vermont when I received the call. I briefly chatted with Sandy and after we hung up the boys and I began to cheer out loud in the car, were ecstatic as I have never won a raffle before.
This morning I made the trip to Waitsfield Vermont pick up the “Cownoe”. It was a beautiful day to make the 580 mile round trip. I had the opportunity to meet several of the wonderful staff members at the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which is truly a wonderful organization and I am extremely proud to be a member.
I encourage you to check out the Northern Forest Canoe Trail here at the link provided and see for yourself all that they are.
Sunrise this morning along I-88 at Oneonta, NY.
© Joe Geronimo 2015
L to R: Walter Opuszynski, Trail Director, Karrie Thomas, Executive Director, Joe Geronimo.
Photo Courtesy of the NFCT 2015