A Real Stand Up Guy

By Kate Williams

Close your eyes.  Imagine 147 miles on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, from Old Forge, NY in the Adirondacks to Lake Champlain, and maybe even up to Vermont.  A wonderful stretch of trail with small and large lakes, meandering and rushing rivers, and scenery galore.  Many of us – of you – have probably paddled all or parts of this segment (Adirondack Canoe Classic anyone?).  You are seeing it in your mind’s eye.  You are seeing a paddler seated or kneeling in a canoe or kayak, right?

So, now introduce a paddler standing up in his canoe.  Yes indeed, Jon “Shaggy” McLaughlin is stand up paddling these same 147 miles right now, as I write.  He set out last weekend, caught the attention of the Albany Times Union, and is making his way, feet balanced in the belly of his canoe, eyes on the waters ahead.  The canoe and kayak instructor has a NOLS background and is the marketing director for Sawyer Paddles.  Says Shaggy, “I grew up along the Appalachian Trail corridor doing lots of two and four-day  backpacking trips, so I’ve always been intrigued with the idea of a water thru-trail paddle.  I love the landscape of the Adirondacks and New England, and the NFCT is the best way to see the region by canoe.”

We’ll keep you posted on his journey, and we hope you’ll send him your stand up good wishes for the journey.