Paddlers from around Wrangell are getting together for food, stories, and information about traveling the waterways of Alaska. KSTK’s Shady Grove Oliver has more.

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Canoeists, kayakers, rowers, rafters and other paddlers of Wrangell – John Martin is looking for your stories, recipes, photos or videos from your best or worst trips. He’s organized the first and he says, hopefully annual, Paddlers’ Potluck.

photo (21) (540x405)“Well a few of us that have been paddling around Wrangell and such have been talking about the numbers of people in Wrangell that are doing interesting things in small boats. We thought that we might like to have access to that information, and what better way than to get some food, get some tall tales out there, just meet and share information about various trips,” says Martin.

Martin says he hopes people will bring their recommendations and share experiences about everything from equipment to easy-to-prepare meals that stay good on long trips.

“We’re thinking that we’ll have a display table of gadgets—gas stoves, anything you’re using that’s become a favorite or important part of your trips. Then we want a sign-up list of favorite rivers and your name attached so people can roam around, check it out and say—‘Oh, okay, there’s the Yukon, I want to go there. I’ll get ahold of this person and talk about it,’ and again some recipes and other foodstuffs,” says Martin.

This potluck isn’t just for people with paddling experience. Martin says anyone with an interest in learning or trying it out is welcome. After all, he says, it’s what the people of Wrangell have been doing for centuries.

“You know, Wrangell has a history of dugout canoes, hand-trollers and rowboats and the whole nine yards. We’d like to open that up to anybody. In fact, this would be a good place to match up with somebody who has the equipment, has the expertise and is willing to take you out and show you how to do these sorts of things because many of us have a stack of boats in our yard that need to be exercised,” says Martin.

And as far as food for long paddling excursions? You can look forward to hearing, among others, his recipe for a durable, healthy snack.

“One of my favorites is the pita bread pizza. You can get all the ingredients and pita bread holds up well. So, the last week you’re out, you pull that dried up thing, slip it out there and fill it with the ingredients, form it up and you’re good to go,” says Martin.

For more information, call John Martin at 874-3676.

The Paddlers’ Potluck is scheduled for next Monday, February 24th at 6pm in the Catholic Parish Hall. Don’t forget your mess kit and a potluck dish.