BIG FORK MONSTER RACE

August 30, 2005 · 0 comments

Calgary and road trip sort of go together so I didn't even ask, in fact didn't even wake up, until we'd been on the road an hour. I looked around the car saw Greasy, Bill and a couple other guys I didn't know- turned out they were just hitch hikers that John Roberts had picked up- and asked where we were goingthis time. "Montana", said JR in a manner not unlike an Aberta cowboy heading for a Missoula rodeo. Well, we are used to climbing over mountains to get to the Okanagan, and running the fast route to the coast but Montana!?!

John Roberts explained that there was a little club down there on the Big Fork of the Flathead that was staging a race and it would be neighborly of us to "mosey on down..and paddle awhile".Well, clear skis, warm weather and a lake the size of downtown Vancouver did sound inviting so about six hours later...

The club is a small but excellent group of people with a couple of 6's and a race that invited everything from rowboats through Chris Crafts- literally! There was a wooden boat show going on with a million ON GOLDEN POND sort of wooden power boats. Anyway, the idea was that any boat you could power up the river was invited to race. Two divisions, Recreational, about 7 miles and Other, about 14 miles...or so said. We all raced in either marathon canoes or Oc-1s as hauling a big boat across the border had unerved us a bit.

The start of the race put alot of boats in a harbor; kayaks, canoes outriggers big and small and the start boats, and then a shotgun goes off-Remington Police Special Enforcer I think- and we all race for this little notch that goes out to the river and then the lake and then back to the harbor for a turn and then out to the river and up river and well, you guys get the point. Anyway turns out the race got longer andthe river stretched out once it started and it also got hotter and river weeds thicker and by the end the GPS said 30 k !!! Which we figured out was a wee bit over 14 miles! I hit the beach and sprinted up to the organizer to let them know what we discovered ie 'stretching river' and the Canadian way of measuring distance but he was cradling a Remington Enforcer so I jusy mumbled something about 'a sweet race' and let it pass. ANYWAY the reason I wanted to write you all is to say this is A SWEET RACE!!! Beautiful venue and great people with tough marathon competition..

Next year lets make it a real big OC-6 race with a ton of Canadian boats and so anyone wanting to prepare for the Queen Lilio or Molokai or not going to Catalina, SHOW UP and make this another big boat race that is on the CORA map.

JON - Calgary Canoe Club

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