|
|
|
Wayne Post
  • Paddlers hope to WOW ’em on the Erie

  • When Ruth Dandrea moved to Holland Patent on the Central Adirondack Trail, she never dreamed she’d see so much of the great outdoors from the seat of a kayak.



    For 17 years, Dandrea was an English teacher at Newark High School before moving to the small village just east of Rome where she began teaching at a nearby high school. Soon she learned to kayak.

    • email print
  • When Ruth Dandrea moved to Holland Patent on the Central Adirondack Trail, she never dreamed she’d see so much of the great outdoors from the seat of a kayak.
    For 17 years, Dandrea was an English teacher at Newark High School before moving to the small village just east of Rome where she began teaching at a nearby high school. Soon she learned to kayak.
    “There are streams and rivers everywhere,” Dandrea said of her new hometown. “So it became something to do.”
    It wasn’t long after she learned to kayak that paddling became a weekly meeting with a group of girlfriends every Thursday, she said. Then one day, Dandrea announced they were “women on water,” a friend said “wow,” and with the correlation made between the words and acronym, the group was born. Dandrea will return to Newark with her central New York friends on Saturday, July 13 with WOW to paddle their kayaks down the Erie Canal and join in with the Peppermint Days festivities in Lyons.
    Dandrea said the group sets up a schedule of planned paddling events at specific locations where anyone who would like to tag along can join them. There’s only one stipulation.
    “We’re a loose group of women,” Dandrea quipped of the WOW group. “We like to paddle, and it’s more fun to paddle with people. The only rule is there’s no men.”
    The group sends out the schedule to upwards of 100 women every year, Dandrea said. For the women who attend, there is no pressure to keep up a fast pace. They are only expected to have fun.
    The first season after the birth of WOW was a perfect blend of nice weather and fun. But the succeeding years weren’t always so accommodating, so the ladies found others things to do together. During those alternate excursions they learned that some of them chronicled the experiences paddling and others had taken pictures of the scenery. They decided to put their stories and photos together and write a book.
    The book, “WOW,” is part guide book and part memoir, Dandrea said, and earned the 2012 Adirondack Center for Writing Literary Best Nonfiction Award. When WOW arrives in Arcadia on Saturday, they will launch their kayaks around 9 a.m. into the wide waters of the Erie Canal and travel the 8.5 miles to Lyons, going through the locks and meeting local dignitaries. In Lyons, they will enjoy the festivities of Peppermint Days and hold a book signing with Pat Gorthy, who recently published a book of her own, "Peppermint Summer.”
    WOW’s paddling schedule will be available at the book signing.
    For Dandrea it will be an opportunity to visit with an old colleague, Gorthy, who taught English in the neighboring classroom in Newark. But Dandrea also hopes to see some of her former students.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I’m wildly excited,” she said. “I know there are kids who are now parents who may be there.”
    The group’s book, co-authored by Ruth Dandrea, Kathy DeLong, Carol Moseman, and Bonnie Sanderson, with photos provided by Audrey Mihalko, is available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. It will also be available for $20 at the book signing to be held at the Lyons dock.

      calendar