Sunday, June 26, 2011

Trips only get better...

It feels like every trip improves with new scenery, wildlife and conversations.  Today we finished another training trip, this time with Erin and Emily.  Like usual we saw many Great Blue Herons, but this time we saw a hawk carrying a big fish back to it's nest just after a huge Bald Eagle flew over our heads!  The huge bird was only about 20 feet away! 

Taking newbies through the lock is probably one of my favorite parts of the full Paddle Pub trip.  The Army Corp of Engineers who operate the dam are usually pleasantly surprised to see our little group enjoying their prized machine.  This is the first of 29 dams before the Gulf of Mexico.  Each year more than 2 million tons of cargo and more than 6,000 recreational crafts pass through the lock.  Made in 1917, this really is a man-made marvel!

Grants, Blue Herons, guide training and one wet camera

The Blue Herons soared effortlessly above our heads.  I've never seen so many at one time.  Erin, Izaac, Brian, and I were training on the 'light course' and we found the most amazing bird island sanctuary.  It felt amazing meeting the new guides and learning about their interests and goals and finding over 15 nests filled with beautiful birds was just icing on the cake.  (oh, and a Bald Eagle also flew over head)

NDC (Neighborhood Development Center) called me 2 days ago.  We discussed the business plan and the beautiful people at this organization said they were so excited about what we are doing, they would push the grant through before the regular hearings, deadlined for the first of the month and scheduled for the 15th.  They said 2 weeks would be a reasonable time to get it processed.  This means no more credit card debt!  Now I owe uncle Sam...

Ok, I don't want to admit this, but I fell in today...  I told myself, and my guides I wouldn't and packed accordingly, which was too much tempting fate could handle.  Lesson learned.  Dress to get wet.  Except if you're a girl.  (so far, not one girl has fell)

Today, I gave 3 tours, totalling 6 hours of paddle boarding.  Thank God for Psycho Suzies and their flaming volcanoe drinks!  This is going to be the best summer ever.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two short feet

I went to the DMV today to find out if our paddle boards need a watercraft license.  After talking with a few people, they recommended I call the DNR, where I discovered that boards under 9 feet do not need registration.  Since mine measure in just over 11, I ended up spending 3 hours in line and $120 in fees.  But the woman was very nice.  =)  The couple next to me were signing their wedding license.  He didn't look very happy either.  Maybe it's all the waiting that puts people in a bad mood? 

At least now everybody's legal...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


We just got a call from our insurance guy, and avid paddler, Mark Phillips.  He is working on finalizing our insurance which means we should be set by Friday!  Just in time for the guide training and our first PaddlePub!

It feels good to be protected.  It seems like the protection just gets more complicated as time goes on.

PayPal, Bookwhen and Franklin National Bank

In the past two days, we have been working on the financials, getting our reservation system set up through It was pretty straight forward. Once the PayPal account was set up, we booked our first tour. Thanks mom!



We are running our business through Franklin National Bank in the North loop of Minneapolis. They are committed to investing responsibly in the urban community and we are happy to be a part of their mission. They set us up with a business account and helped with applications for loans and other lines of credit. I would highly recommend this bank to new business owners!

We are working hard to get our guides trained up this weekend so the paddling can begin!

Streaming Studios is also moving quickly and we are planning our first instructor training 2 weeks from today!


Paddle Pub Promo Video First Draft!

Our first video promo draft is complete!  Check out the great work David Pederson at Piraje Film can do!  This is probably the best investment for any new business.  A lot of fun as well...


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Connecting local eats, artists, and sponsors?

SUP MN continues to be ignited by a variety of passions. Connecting relationships and engaging people are two of the core values which continue to bubble up...

MUSIC - Devout followers of the Roe Family Singers at the 331 club on Monday nights, we asked if they would donate music for our video.  They have been more than helpful and we are excited for the result.

ART - Connecting people to the MN art scene is a rewarding feeling.  We are going to be commissioning the boards to local artists, and then donating the end of year profits from these 'Boards of Art' back to the artists.  Other local artists include graphic designer, Emily Ralph, and videographers, Dave Pedersen and Patrick Tracy.

FOOD - Colin Murray, a friend and executive chef, is designing a locally source menu, featuring farmer's produce, micro-breweries, and small wine-vineyards.  What a delicious way to experience MN!

SPONSORS - Our local sponsors are still under works.  Suggestions are welcome!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Yoga Video and Inaugural Tour Complete

We have been working like crazy over here...

Check out our latest production:

Streaming Studios - Paddleboard Yoga from Patrick Tracy on Vimeo.

We just finished the video shoot for the Paddle-Pub tours.  We have one scene to re-shoot tomorrow, and then it will be done.  I am so happy for friends/professionals who know how to work efficiently.  Thanks Dave Pederson and Patrick Tracy!

I just posted ads on craiglist for tour guides.  I'm hoping to get a few solid applicants to lead tours, and build a yoga/pilates package over the next couple weeks...  Then this project should really take off!

Tomorrow's tasks? Open business bank account, finish business plan, look into loan packages, contact local artists to paint boards, research partners for marketing, cross-promotion, and sponsors.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Web hosting, logos, yoga videos, broken toe nails, and delicious cheese

This past week has been wild.  Patrick Tracy, who filmed for the Perennial Plate, set up and shot a yoga promo video featuring Terese, Sofia, Matthew and ... I'm blanking.  These girls were impressive.  Imagine headstands while floating on a creek.  Instead, just take a look below.  The water flowing underneath makes a surreal experience.  We ended with pasta, wine and cheese.

On the more technical side, we finally got our wordpress site hosted on godaddy and finished editing some pictures for promotional materials we will hand out this weekend at Grand 'ol Days, in St. Paul.  We also decided on an amazing logo, created by Emily Ralph, which illustrates our mission well.

We are pushing forward with: insurance quotes, business bank accounts, locating/refitting trailers, finalizing the business plan, finding/writing grants, meeting a Score mentor, buying t-shirts, printing flyers, creating chef menus, finding lifeguard-trained yoga instructors and river guides, and getting sleep in between.

At least we now have a sweet logo.  Good work all.  This is a fun ride!