Sponsor a Paddler.

This post is a little different than alot of the things I put up on this site. I usually have something to show you, a new photo, some random thought to share. This post is different, because this time I have something to ask of you.

Above is a photo of Rick Fairbanks' well-travelled and personally-treasured P&H Baidarka Explorer. Rick is a good friend and colleague. He's also an accomplished paddler. That photo was taken more than two years ago during a paddling trip I took with Rick and his daughter Jess (also a close friend). We drove from Ashland to Wawa Ontario to join a group of college students for a few days of paddling as part of their month-long trip around Lake Superior. I was sent along to photograph the paddling portion of the trip for an article in the Northland College magazine. The trip also happened to fall over my 25th birthday. I didn't tell Rick or Jess that I would be passing the quarter century mark on the trip. I kept that information as a quiet little secret, but the conversation (and scotch) we had sitting around a drift wood fire on the Canadian Shore of Lake Superior the night of my birthday (also the last night of the trip) is something I will also remember and cherish. We talked about life, about religion, about philosophy (one of Rick's favorite topics). It was the perfect, quiet contemplative way to ease into another year. Two years later, I took the photo of Rick below. Shortly after it was taken, Rick was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He is currently undergoing treatment.

Here's where you come in. On Saturday, October 9, I'm participating in the Fairbanks Paddle-A-Thon and I need people to sponsor me as a paddler. Funds raised by the event will assist the Fairbanks family with medical bills and other expenses related to Rick's cancer. Go to www.northland.edu/rickfairbanks to learn more about the event. Any level of sponsorship is welcomed. Please call me if you'd like to pledge your support: (262) 305-9187. You can also give directly (or after the event) by mailing a check to "Fairbanks Benefit Account", c/o Northern State Bank, 321 Main Street, Ashland WI 54806.