SKOKIE, Ill. — Postponed from New Year’s Day, The Ralph Frese Memorial Paddle will begin at 10 a.m., Sunday, April 14, with a short ceremony, preceding a paddle on the Ralph Frese Canoe Trail on the North Branch of the Chicago River from Willow Road to Linne Woods on Dempster in Skokie, Ill.
An Empty Canoe Ceremony will be conducted in which one of Ralph’s boats will make his symbolic last paddle as it is towed by voyageurs on Ralph’s favorite canoe trail. All participants will receive a commemorative “Mr. Canoe” button.
Boat launch for the paddle will be from 10 a.m. to noon at the Willow Road dam (Willow Road and Forestway Drive, Winnetka, Ill.). Shuttle bus service is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All participants will be checked for proper clothing and equipment before launching. Allow 45 to 60 minutes for the bus shuttle and two to three hours for the paddle itself. Bring non-alcoholic beverages, complete change of warm clothes in a waterproof container, cell phone waterproofed in a freezer bag, a sense of humor and overflowing goodwill. Wear a personal flotation device/life preserver and clothing that retains warmth if wet. Layering of wool or fleece and synthetic undergarments works best.
Canoes/kayaks: This is a bring-your-own-boat event. Some local liveries have rental boats available.
After the paddle, warm up at Linne Woods. Traditionally, paddlers meet at Hackney’s on Lake after paddling. Hackney’s is on the north side of Lake Avenue in Glenview, Ill., just east of Waukegan Road.
From the March 27-April 2, 2013, issue