the Cape Falcon Kayak fall 2013 update

As anyone who reads this site knows,  I like to dive right into the important issues of life before moving onto the trivialities of kayaking and whatnot,   and as such I feel compelled to ask my readers if they saw the latest larger-than-life sci-fi/monster movie Pacific Rim yet?   Dude!  giant monsters fighting huge robots with the fate of humanity resting in the balance!   Expertly crafted by Guillermo Del Toro  (Pan's Labryinth)  this larger-than-anything-ever-made movie is a godzilla-sized gut punch of some of the biggest,  meanest,  and most compelling action to ever hit the big screen.    There would have been so many ways to screw a movie like this up,  and he missed all of them.    If you like sci-fi,  you'll be doing yourself a grave disservice by not running out and catching this one on a big screen before it's gone.   Seriously,  go see it.

Next up:   The injury.    As many of you know,  last winter my idiot self decided it would be somehow intelligent to take my creaking skeleton up to the slopes of mount hood to chase a pretty girl on a snowboard,   which was great fun for all of 3 days until I caught and edge and crashed, snapping open an old and pretty serious sacro-illiac injury.   Well,  after one of the most depressing and sedentary years of my life I'm proud to announce that:


I can't tell you what torture it's been not being able to move without pain all this time.  After a winter and spring of pure hell,  late summer I started walking without pain,  then a little farther,  then a short hike,  then a light backpacking trip.    As cliche as it sounds,  you really can't appreciate what you have until it's been taken away for a while.   Kayaking still hurts,  and I'm nowhere near 100%,  but I'm hoping that with more healing I'll be able to get back into a boat by early next year.   

Here at the shop we're still pumping out the best skin-kayaks available anywhere.   Superior ergonomic,  cutting edge design,  individualized customization, and a five year warrantee; there is a reason people keep coming back.    The F1 continues to be the backbone of my business,  and we make more of those than anything these days.   Extremely efficient hull,  tracks straight as an arrow but carves a mighty turn on edge,  stable yet quick,  nimble and more controllable in the wind and waves than any other skegless kayak in existence,  there's just no other kayak that does so many things so well.   After twenty years in sea kayaks it's essentially the boat that I designed for myself, to paddle long distances comfortably in extremely dynamic conditions.  I love sending these out the door because I know the people who build them will actually use them and its always gratifying to open my email and read about peoples adventures in thier F1's.      

Six years in,  our organic farm and sustainable living education center is doing better than ever.   The CSA is solidly profitable,  the farmers market is going well better than ever with the addition of prepacked wraps and veggie trays,   letting us use more produce with less waste and showcasing new ways people can consume fresh produce without a lot of fuss.    When we first started carving cropland,  one grueling square foot at a time,  out of blackberry choked hard clay soil,   I could have never imagined five acres brimming with food,  or that we would ever arrive at the ability to completely feed ourselves without going to the grocery store.   I'm endlessly impressed by my farm-partner Gingers' ambition and raw tenacity in keeping the labor intensive operation afloat.   Her new boyfriend Brigham has really added the icing to the cake though,  and his efforts at landscaping has really transformed the look and feel of the property.   It's a project I feel lucky to be a part of.

On the personal front,  I was once again unsucessful at killing an elk this year.   Owing to the injury I was unable to stalk them through the forest this year,  instead adopting an equally ineffective strategy of sitting still on a known elk travel route and playing the odds of time and patience.   I brimmed with optimism that sooner or later they would have to wander close enough... which never happened.    Elk are huge tough animals and to reliably put one on the ground with a bow and arrow you NEED to be 30 yards broadside.   The forest is a big place and 30 yards is a very small distance.    I did, however, spend significant amounts of time in close company to these beautiful and secretive creatures and that opportunity to interact is so closely is the real reward of bow hunting.   Waking up at 4am,  creeping into the forest,  and spending day after day in solitude and twilight.   It feeds the soul something that we are missing more and more as civilization expands.  

While I may not be able to kill an elk,  dammit,  I'm a fierce predator of the local wild red and blue huckleberry.    This year I actually took the time to pick a huge bucket of these delicious little buggers over the course of two days and then made them into TWO delicious pies.    One thing I don't think I've ever mentioned on this website is that I'm a pie fanatic.    Regular cooking,  miserable,  but when it comes to baking pies I would go toe to toe with your grandma and win any day of the week.    The perfect huckleberry pie had eluded me for years but finally I think I nailed the ratios and got it right this time!  

  Next on the list of accomplishments was the harvest of this single 20lb chinook salmon,  although it did come at the cost of my pride.   Because of the injury I haven't been able to fish solo this year,   instead settling into a routine of begging various friends to row us around while I managed the poles,  and to endure a ribbing from nearly every fisherman in sight for having women rowing me around all summer!   It was all I could muster not to yell back something to the effect of  "at least we're rowing at all you fat bastards"   As they putted by under power of chevron and and evinrude.   While most fishing could more appropriately be described as chatting while dragging lines,  on this trip my fish biologist friend Mari and I actually mananged to hook up!    As a number cruncher and field biologist she has worked tirelessly in defense of the dwindling wild salmon of the Columbia basin but had never actually killed a fish!   Nature must have decided it was her turn because within an hour we were locked in mortal combat with this anadromous beauty.   Catching a big fish from a tiny rowboat is exciting to say the least and it was pretty cool to have that experience with her.  

Pies, fishing trips, and interminable elk waiting aside,   most of my time this year has been consumed with the huge project of preparing for the interior build of my fiance's brand new restaurant.    After a year lease stint in the delapidated and rapidly deteriorating Nehalem River Inn,  we are moving her farm-to-table cuisine into a brand new space in downtown Manzanita.   I probably don't need to go into detail to impress the scope of such a project,  especially when absolutely everything is being made custom.   The tables alone were milled from a fifty year old laminated bridge timber that washed down the river and I've been hanging onto for ten years.    The bar sawn from a gorgeous live edge fir log that I've had equally as long.   To compliment her handcrafted local-as-possible approach to food,   I'm building the entire interior from unique salvaged wood.    It's the biggest project I've ever tackled and not a little bit daunting but I'm confident that when it's finished we will have created a restaurant unlike anything on the coast.   The freshest possible ingredients,   Lee's amazing palate,  and a gorgeous handcrafted interior......

Click here to check out the kickstart video for our new farm-to-table restaurant, 
and please consider donating,  we need your help to make this happen!

....which brings me to my next pitch:   For years now I've been threatening to make a video,   and that has finally happened,  it's just not the video you expected.   With funding for the restaurant at about 70%  I threw myself into producing a Kickstarter video to help Lee get the rest of the way to her goal.    I bought a professional camera,  taught myself an editing program and worked insanely long hours to produce what I hope is a compelling enough story to get people to donate.   In ten years I've never used this website to solicit anything,  preferring to take a 'let-them-come-to-me' approach to business,   but just this one time I'm going to make an exception to that rule and push this project hard for the next few months.   Lee is a hell of a chef and her tireless work ethic has me convinced that she can make this farm-to-table restaurant a success.    Watch the video and please consider supporting our venture.   It's for a good cause. 

Finally,  the 2014 schedule is now online!   Port Townsend and Portland classes are open now and registration for Manzanita classes opens January 1st.   Classes can fill very fast,  so if you need to get into a particular class you want to hit send at 9am on January 1st.   I look forward to meeting new faces and sharing what I do,  in the meantime,  I've got a restaurant to build,  and if I'm lucky,  a few more fish to catch this year.   As always,  thanks for supporting what I do.   I'm very lucky to do what I love for a living,  and spending an entire year almost unable to do anything at all has only increased that gratitude.    Again,  consider checking out that kickstart video and putting a few bucks in the pot to make the new restaurant a reality.   Hope to see you in the spring!



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