Canoe & Trail Adventures hosts outdoor outings throughout the year, including moonlight paddles usually scheduled on Saturdays closest to a full moon. More information is at www.canoeandtrail.com, or contact Byron Almquist at 834-5257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some tips for interested paddlers:
• Gear: Canoes, paddles and life vests are included in the outing fee ($35 for individuals, $65 for two sharing a canoe, $5 for a child riding as passenger). A flashlight is helpful when landing and unloading in the dark after the outing, though paddlers are discouraged from using them during the moonlight trip.
• What to wear: I was glad I wore shorts during the hot time part of the trip, but wished I had long pants after dark as the mosquitoes were strafing my thighs. It's a tossup based on each day's weather, but everyone is advised to bring rain gear since a shower can hit anytime.
• Food and drink: The mosquitoes aren't the only ones that get hungry on these four-hour outings. Bring a small ice chest along for some cold drinks and a light supper. Our group ate our meal while floating in our canoes at sunset. Be prepared to take all of your trash home with you, since there are no trash containers for miles around. Almquist is passionate about recycling, however, and will collect paddlers' cans and plastic bottles after the paddle.
• Off!, I say, Off!: Insect repellent is an absolute necessity. I'd also recommend some kind of medicated balm, since no matter how much spray we applied we were still peppered with bites after sundown.
• When nature calls: Whatever kind of drink you pack, I suggest sipping slowly since, as Almquist puts it, "the last opportunities for modern plumbing" are at the gas stations around the interstate exits near the launch area. There is no easy spot to get onto dry land during the paddle, so one must be both very flexible and immodest to take care of business from the canoe.