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100 Miles Through the Adirondacks: Mini Series Release

Canoe Vibes | Mark Vlaskamp | Adirondacks Canoe Expedition | YakFish TV

Professional kayak angler Robert Field, kayak fishing YouTuber Rex DeGuzman, and Kayak Angler Magazine‘s web editor Ben Duscheney, and I spent eight days paddling, fishing, and portaging 100-miles through the Adirondacks. Expeditions like this don’t just make good friends. Trips like these also create cool videos. Here are the four parts of our 100 Miles Through the Adirondacks mini-series.

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Lodi, CA: Paddling and Pubs Get Political

Canoe Vibes - Paddling in California - Stop the Tunnels

I wasn’t sure if I should do it.

In the revolving door of perpetual political one-sidedness – an internet feed full of my-way-or-the-highway cyber stances on deleted confidential email threads and misunderstood second amendment threats – my finger hovered hesitantly over the send button outside of Ollie’s Pub.

You can’t miss the message. I drove north on the five from a hazy fourth of July weekend in LA to Lodi, California – pronounced load-eye not load-y, to save you the laughter from the local bartenders that made me sweat. The fence signs, bumper stickers, and billboards from twenty miles out all the way to the patio at Ollie’s where I sat enjoying my Lagunitas IPA all preached one message: Stop the Tunnels.

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San Francisco, CA: Hangin’ with Willie in McCovey’s Cove

Mark Vlaskamp Canoe Vibes San Francisco

This is Willie McCovey. It’s a statue; it’s not Stretch himself.

In the sixties and seventies, Willie was one of the best hitters in baseball. Spending most of his time at first base for the San Francisco Giants, he earned his paycheck by making pitcher’s knees buckle from sixty feet and six inches away in the lefty batter’s box. When Stretch came up to bat, Giants fans would all shift over toward the right field deck at Candlestick Park with hopes of catching a souvenir – a shift defensive players could have benefitted from too if that defensive mindset hadn’t been forty years before it’s time.

Willie never played on the field backing up to China Basin, feeding Mission Creek and then San Francisco Bay – but his namesake cove, built and named twenty years after his retirement – is now a paddler’s monopoly on blasted home run souvenirs.

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Osceola, WI: A Thirteen Hour Detour for a New Paddle

Mark Vlaskamp | Canoe Vibes | BEnding Branches Canoe Paddles

She was always there for me.

She had patience during our humble beginnings learning a J-Stroke with Dad in the brown Houston bayous. Those weren’t quick lessons; I was a stubborn learner. She had toughness getting recklessly slammed into the gunnel of a loaded down Penobscot 17.4 for eight-days and just short of one hundred miles. I never heard a peep sitting for hours catching fish off the coast of Carolina as I jammed her off of the unforgiving oyster beds to push myself closer to the action – only to leave her alone on the porch all night after.

I’m a terrible person. She would never make me sleep on the porch.

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Pittsburgh, PA: Unconventional Catch in the Steel City

Canoe Vibes | Kayaking PNC Park | Mark Vlaskamp

I have a friend from Baltimore and a friend from Cleveland. One pushes for the Ravens, Natty Boh on Federal Hill, and Old Bay crab seasoning while the other pulls for LeBron, Great Lakes Brewing Co., and the Best Damn Band in the Land. When it comes to sports, beer, and everything else under the sun in once-industrial, poor air quality, rust belt cities, the two can only agree on one thing: Pittsburgh is the worst.

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