A new packraft is the most exciting piece of gear. As of two days ago we have four in the gear room, and have owned six in total. Skis have an outer purity of purpose, but in practice this is circumscribed to a startling extent by how sucky traction devices are, and how contextual proper snowpack has become in the 21st century. Bikes are similarly boxed in by needing prepared surfaces, most of whom (for either practical or juridical reasons) are shaped by human imagination. Waterways, by definition, are not; and a boat that can easily travel on foot from one body of water to the next allows for the ideal blend of human agency and immersing us in how thoroughly environment creates us.
The new boat is an Explorer 42 from Alpacka, its place in the quiver a larger, more whitewater capable, and cargo fly equipped version of the Double Duck we purchased (also in the holiday sale) 5 years ago, when we were only preparing for a family life on the water, rather than today, figuring out just how much we can do with two young kids. Based on a 30 minute evening test paddle, it is big, stable, and carries two kids and one adult with ease. I’m very excited to push it in all matters of challenging water this year.
The only thing more exciting is having a president that isn’t a thug and a narcissist. Cheers everyone.