I’m very excited to hear that the GLSKS, Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium brochure is live. You can download the brochure from Downwind Sports in PDF Format.
To get into the history of this symposium is a bit like trying to figure out who can build houses in east Jerusalem. Stan and Emma Chladek started the symposium almost 26 years ago (1984). GRO closed shop in Waterford Michigan back in 2003. Riverside Kayak Connection opened up in 2004 in downriver Detroit and began hosting the Symposium. Riverside has retired for the time being from running the GLSKS, and Downwind sports has stepped in to help run this time honored event. GLSKS is really the event that started the organized phenomenon of Sea Kayak Symposiums.
Before this time, in what we kayakers refer to as the dark ages, we wandered in loosely knit groups of 2-3 paddling gitchegumee. Then getting drunk in small towns spread across the UP in disorganized waves until repelled by the local population to return back below the bridge. But in that fateful year 1984, much like the year the Vikings sacked the Lindisfarne monastery (793 AD), Stan and Emma made a pact with the locals of Grand Marais to allow the kayakers to take over this small harbor town on one weekend a year in July, as long as we promise to leave and not return for another year.
So far this pact has worked out. But I look forward to the siege of Grand Marais again this year. Hope to see you there. I will be instructing this year again.