Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

The Peripatetic Paddle… a beautiful wooden paddle annually passed on to an individual with an interesting, yet quirky, club trip story...

Circa '05 or '06, Robyn Lowenthal managed to get the paddle donated from Ramsey Outdoor. Robyn thought the paddle was beautiful and hoped that she would win it in the raffle. Her prayers were answered and Robyn won the paddle in the raffle. Robyn used the paddle the next paddling season and found that although it was beautiful it was ergonomically not to her liking. Robyn thought it would be a good idea to re-raffle it off again at the next holiday party. Robyn discussed the matter with the then president Jeff Bowen and Jeff came up with the idea of giving the paddle as an award and suggested the title of “The Peripatetic Paddle”.

  • 2006: The first official recipient of the award was Bob Rancan for running the most paddling trips in the rain.
  • 2007: Carole Baligh won the award for being stopped by the park service police while running a trip on the Passaic River (in the Great Swamp).
  • 2008: Next year Ralph Hahn won for his unfortunate encounter with a moose.
  • 2009: Phil Renner won for being the oldest member of the club or being in the club the longest.
  • 2010: Next year Dave Miller won for his various on the road encounters with washing machines etc.
  • 2011: Jim Lyon won for having the most boats in a year.
  • 2012: John Palubniak…revival of aluminum canoeing.
  • 2013: Next year Mark Fromm...Solo kayak trip across Northern Canoe Route...39 days without his wife.
  • 2014: Martin Wellhoefer...Leading trip in Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge regardless of Federal Government shutdown and closing of Federal lands.
  • 2015: Melody Wenger...too many reasons to list, including running a very interesting Captaincy, introducing games and trivia contests at Club parties and last but not least, having a dry suit funnel malfunction.
  • 2016: Next year Betty Wiest...Leading the most Club trips that weren’t on the schedule. If you haven’t secured a date for a Friday night, don’t despair, an invitation for a Full Moon Paddle may pop up on your e-mail. Last minutes seem to be her specialty.
  • 2017: Herta Dousebout...Shuttle madness. After being assigned to be a pick-up driver at the end of a paddle, Herta figured she’d leave her car keys safely in the vehicle of the other driver. Just so happened it was a swamp trip from hell and 14 drivers ended up short a car. A scene out of the circus ensued.
  • 2019: Peter Walker...Trying to run this Club and bring everything up to date.
  • 2020: COVID...For messing with our paddling.
  • 2021: Monica Orso...An occasional last minute canceller, Monica topped herself by breaking her toe while loading up for this year’s Fall overnighter on the Mullica River. Unable to attend, she still managed to send her promised Saturday night’s stew along in an heirloom pot, which came back to her nicely blackened by the campfire.
  • 2022: Sumonnat Kongchatree...After years of wanting to try paddle/camping and unable to persuade her companion to take her, she boldly invested in a tent and other gear, rehearsed packing her kayak and setting up her tent and went on her first paddling overnighter: the fall Pine Barrens trip.
  • 2023: At this year's Winter Party, the Club's Peripatetic Paddle award was handed over for the 16th time. For those unfamiliar with the history, the Peripatetic Paddle is a beautiful wooden canoe paddle (made in Canada) which is annually (or most years) passed on to an individual with an interesting, yet quirky Club trip story.
          This year for the very first time the paddle was awarded not to one person but to a group, "The Mullica 12", or those poor souls who signed up and showed up for the 2023 Halloween Weekend Canoe /Kayak & Campling trip in the Pine Barrens on the Mullica River. The weather was fine but the night before some cranberry growers decided it was the perfect time to harvest their crop and so the river was diverted, the bogs flooded and our crew was left with virtually no water in the Mullica. Regardless, the 12 soldiered on, walking, pushing, pulling and climbing until most of Saturday was done. They improvised a campsite and in the morning the drivers of the upstream cars hiked back to the put-in and re-ran the shuttle.
          There was no close second for the award this year! Robyn Lowenthal took custody of the Paddle and will get the nameplate engraved and return it next winter...it's Peripatetic.