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Fortunate to grow up near Milwaukee with parents who made many weekend trips to Milwaukee County beaches, and took an annual family vacation to Door County or the Wolf River, Jeff loves water in all forms (except the puddles in a leaky tent). His first paddling adventure was competing with his dad in the inaugural canoe race from North Shore to South Shore Park on Lake Michigan, with a big C&O ferry bearing down on a long line of canoeists paddling frantically in high, rolling waves. This was proof that even a stubby aluminum canoe can move pretty fast under the right conditions!
(His dad served as a National Park Service volunteer kayak trip leader into his 91st year, in northern California!)
After years as a bakery co-owner, then a water recreation ranger and naturalist in places like Yellowstone Park, western Colorado, Lake Tahoe and the Apostle Islands, Jeff and his wife Theresa settled in Madison. Their favorite vacation destination has long been the BWCA-Quetico canoe country. They have shared canoe tripping with their sons beginning at 10 months of age, and recently paddled with their first grandson. Jeff especially enjoys providing fish dinners for hungry paddlers exploring these ecologically splendid lakes.
Since retiring from a career with Wisconsin DNR, Jeff is happy to help Rutabaga customers obtain whatever boats and gear will help them enjoy our whole array of lakes and streams. He’s especially willing to share, and hear, tips on fishing from people-powered watercraft.
Other ongoing loves include backpacking the trails of the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains, Nordic skiing, swimming, gardening, writing, traveling, baking, helping his WDNR wife as a volunteer “Fishing for Dinner” mentor, and supporting more than 20 conservation and humanitarian organizations.