I never understood the concept of going out and getting really drunk on New Years Eve. Many years ago my wonderful Uncle taught me that New Years Eve is 'amateur hour'. Essentially it is people who don't know how to drink, going out and getting stupid, then hitting you with their car. So I tend to keep it pretty low key on the eve of the new year.
I also never understood the idea of then waking up on the first day of new year - which most people view as an opportunity to start fresh, be healthy and good to themselves - hung over. So I don't. I had a quiet night at home with my amazing wife, woke up the next morning feeling wonderful and went paddling.
A small group of us braved the cold and wet weather and set forth on a small local lake. The lake was actually closed, but Melissa, a good friend, and new paddling buddy - she is a solid paddler and can paddle with me anytime! - works at the lake at opened it up for us. It was a beautiful day on the water, and the cold and wet only made the post paddle hot chocolate that much better.
So what do I have in store for the new year? Well, here is what is coming this month alone:
One of the paddlers going on 'The next great trip' as I have taken to calling it, wants to experience a multi-day trip in bad weather. So in March we are headed to the cost for cold and wet. Planning will begin immediately.
If you follow me on Facebook you know that Santa Claus brought me a new deck compass for my Delta, installation notes will be coming soon, along with pictures. Let me just say now, I am not very handy, and it has no real instructions!
If you follow this blog you may know that the single most popular post is how to go to the bathroom in the back country. I am enlisting some help for a follow up post, how to urinate in a kayak, for both men and women (without making yourself, your kayak or your drysuit a mess!)
At the end of January I am teaching a Wilderness First Aid course at REI in Cary, North Carolina. The following weekend I am teaching the same two day course at REI in Brentwood (just outside Nashville) Tennessee. I think these are awesome courses that are offered in through the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS. If you're in the area they are definitely worth the time and money.