From Paddler Julia Nichols:
May 2015 100/100 Paddle Challenge Update
Right now, the 100/100 Paddle Challenge Facebook group has 532 members. Tomorrow it could be 402 or 602. It’s always in a state of flux, which is a good thing for an online community centered around 100 day paddle challenges. We prioritize our paddling by sharing pictures, experiences, stories, successes, failures, strategies, laughter and sometimes frustration. It is a paddling peer-to-peer connection without any agenda other than individual and group success. Members track and post their challenge progress, ask questions, comment on products, races, gear and goals in an honest, objective and positive manner. They’re able to do so in an environment that is not-for-profit, free of advertising and marketing, political or religious views. The group is self-sustaining and self-driven, structured around each challenge. Individuals are cheered, recognized and encouraged by others and earn a cool sticker. And….we are GLOBAL.
One member asked if we had stats on where everyone was located. Since this is a very informal and unsophisticated Facebook group rather than a fancy dancy counting machine, that meant putting out a poll to the group asking “Where You At Paddling Buddy?” The raw results for that one point in time from who signed onto facebook that day and answered:
South East United States >50 members (this is a big area, all up and down the Eastern seaboard)
North East United States >15 “ish” members
Mid Atlantic United States <10 “ish” members
South West United States <10 members
North West United States <10 members
Mid West United States = maybe 5 members
Pacific North West = 5 members approximate
United Kingdom (YES the UK!) = <5 members
South Pacific (we’re talking HAWAII here) = 2 members
Denmark (YES, Denmark) = 1
Canada (Oh CANADA!) = <5 members
Mysterious/ Foreign Country =1 member
Looking over the posts for the type of water people paddle on; and where they are specifically located, was pretty cool. We paddle oceans, lakes, rivers, creeks, bays, down the street from the White House and POTUS, the Great Lakes (unsalted); and waters with alligators, snakes, and sea lions (Oh my!) There are tidal currents, dam release and swirling dervish waters.
Member, Joanne Hamilton-Vale, posted that she paddles in the “cold and wet UK”. There’s a member who paddles around Copenhagen and one from Currumbin Queensland Australia. We have at least two in Hawaii, THE MECCA of paddling. Yet, the many paddlers in Southern California who hang around infamous places like “San Onofre”; or Florida (Key West, Pensacola, St. Petersburg, and Orlando) might also want to argue they claim the title for THE MECCA of paddling. We have a member in Beaufort, South Carolina who paddles mostly tidal rivers and creeks wanting to visit and paddle in Beaufort, North Carolina; also tidal waters (you know who you are my 100/100 friend.) There’s a huge crew in Tennessee; the Turner, Widmer and Durbin families to name a few; all from the land of CHATTJACK! We’ve got members from Alabama (who knew), Mississippi and even Arizona (Seriously?). We’ve got the great story teller, Dean Burke in Tacoma, and others of the Mermaid crew who paddle in Gig Harbor, Washington State. New Jersey always leads out their presence with “JERSEY IS IN THE HOUSE” including John Ahern and Mark Colino as just a few of our NE paddlers. Charleston, South Carolina, thinks they should be a country of their own because there’s so many and they have great food. Abigail McCarthy paddles the unsalted Great Lakes that is just cool. There’s Connecticut, Rhode Island, Long Island and Debbie from the Frontier in Wisconsin. Lest I forget, Canada! Minimally we have Julie in Ontario, but I know there are more!
In closing, I keep circling back to our “member” from a mysterious and foreign country. Actually, I think this cool paddling gal (who did THE GRAVEYARD for the first time this year) is in Minnesota or maybe Missouri; either are kind of mysterious, right? At least they are to me; I’m on the Coast of North Carolina!