The Dexter Challenge was held yesterday, 8 mile run or walk or a 12 mile bike. I didn't participate. Even though I felt a little peer pressure it just did not get me interested for some reason. Some people are doing 100 mile runs (Resurrection Pass) as a training exercise (crazy) and I can't seem to get motivated to race something on a bike or run even as little as 8-12 miles. Maybe I'm afraid of reinjuring the knees or maybe that's an excuse. Instead I went out for a 12 mile row, the evening was so inviting it couldn't be helped. Sculling is so much easier on the body, like swimming. No injuries, good workout.
The idea was born from Jill Fredston who is well known in Alaska for her Rowing to Latitudes book. I had been brewing the idea of kayaking to Barrow when I had injured my shoulder after a harrowing high seas crossing to Unalakleet in the summer of 2004 with a traditional sea kayak. Jill actually discouraged me from rowing the modified version of a kayak solo since it is too heavy to launch and land. She was correct but I did it anyway, the shoulder gave me no choice.
As much as the boat needs new scull tracks, oarlocks and even oars it just keeps on going. Drew Harrison from Vancouver designed the boat and I must say the durability - most impressive. Its name, Eschemo Warrior, is fitting and the pounding I keep dishing out over the years is unforgiving. There are so many miles on the seat the bearings had to be replaced twice and the wheels are ground to a nub. The track has worn completely through in some places and the oarlocks are almost worn through too. I broke the oar in half once and then shoved smaller piece into the larger one, glued it together, made a wooden handle and that still works. It's one of the few modified ocean kayaks with a scull insert and hard to find someone who makes them.
A sentimental piece for sure, the Eschemo Warrior keeps on ticking.