Saturday, November 12, 2011

A common man recounts an uncommon paddle

Jake at the Wolf River launch.
By David Horst

Jake Stachovak was making a point about how you don’t have to be an extraordinary person to accomplish an extraordinary feat.
The video clip playing over his shoulder did an effective job of it.
Stachovak (pronounced Sta-HO-vee-ak) was addressing a crowd of 110 at Mosquito Hill Nature Center near New London on Oct. 14. He was this year’s Charlotte Bates Fenlon Memorial speaker.
Charlotte was a very early volunteer at Mosquito Hill and the first wife of Dr. Charles “Chick” Fenlon, who established an endowment fund to support an educational speaker each year in her memory. Chick, a wonderful guy, died a year ago May. I had the pleasure of serving with him on the committee that picks the speakers, through my day job at the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, which also is where the endowment fund is located.
Jake’s video shows him talking about the rigors paddling in the cold early in his 5,740-mile kayak trip around the eastern third of the United States. In the background is his beached 17-foot Kevlar Seda kayak. As Jake is talking away in the foreground, the video shows his boat slip off of shore and drift farther and farther out into the water.