Finding my bearings

Jared M. Kohler

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Hello, I'm new to this site. Owned a wooden Old Town canoe for some time, but it's in desperate need of repair / restoration. With this little introduction I got inspired to share how my family and I came to own the canoe. I hope you enjoy the short story...

One afternoon in 2010 the family and I were on a road trip through southern Indiana. As we drove through a small town, I saw a very large old wooden canoe laying in the front-yard of a local's home. Attached to the canoe was a cardboard sign which read, Yard Sale. Eureka! Not many in my family can pass on a good yard-sale, so we quickly pulled the SUV over to have a look.
Now, I should probably back up a little as I'm sure you're wondering (or perhaps not) why we were in southern Indiana? At the time, we were wondering the same. Well we, being myself, my wife and our son had all recently moved to Cincinnati, Ohio from California due to work obligations. After many days of unpacking we all felt a weekend adventure was needed. So, off we went! Thus, after a few hours on the road, the infamous yard-sale was discovered!
Ok, I have to be honest. I know zero about old wooden canoes, but the one on display at the 'Yard Sale' in southern Indiana spoke to me. It was abnormally large for a canoe and nothing like I had ever seen. Being an Eagle Scout, I've paddled my fare share of aluminum summer camp canoes. Yet, still this canoe was quite the surprise! After looking it over, loving the tattered, busted, dented, cracked, rustic looks of the old canoe, the owner and I (sadly, I can't remember his name) struck a deal and we were strapping it to the roof of our SUV in no time!
As we were loading the canoe onto the roof of our vehicle, the owner gave me a little history lesson on the canoe. The story goes, he was the second owner and bought it from the original owners. It had been used and stored at his hunting cabin in Alaska since the late 1950's. He and his wife had recently sold the cabin and brought the old canoe back with them to Indiana to repair. Time and money being a factor, they chose to sell it.
So, here I / we are the owners of a unique Old Town canoe, with quite the odd story, finally finding the time, money and energy to restore. My wife and I have two sons now, who've expressed interest in this old canoe. Fingers crossed we can all learn and finally give it the attention it deserves.

Jared Kohler
Santa Barbara, CA
Old Town Canoe
SN - 64200 18
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