INNOVATION — GROWTH — DIVERSITY 2010 • PAGE 11 John Smith,right, with
brother Wayne and friend Cal Gunther paddle down the Swift Current Creek.
PHOTO BY KATE SMITH The ‘Carefree’ life By Gail Jansen
For some, their business becomes their passion, but for John Smith of Carefree Adventures, it was the other way around. He took his passion for kayaking and turned it into a business.
It was a bucket list item Smith and some friends had held for more than a few years before they finally got their chance to try it. From the first moment he dipped his paddle in the water, he was hooked. “We had talked about it for three years before we actually got around to trying it,” says Smith. “That is something I find is quite common with people who are wanting to try kayaking. They want to try… but something keeps holding them back. Once they finally take a chance and try it, they love it.”
With a cabin down at Carefree Park near Simmie that has been in his family since the early 1970s, Smith soon found he was able to indulge his newfound passion. He frequently took long, leisure- ly paddles on the Swift Current Creek that flows through the park and into Duncairn Dam/Reid Lake — paddles he shared with family and friends as he introduced them to the sport.
Less tippy than a canoe, and
with skills which are easily learned, Smith soon decided to share his passion for kayaking by starting up Carefree Adventures in July of 2009. He offers tours, lessons and rentals, to those interested in kayaking.
Having just completed his first full and busy summer, Smith says people are still a little astonished when they find out they can learn to kayak in the southwest. “Whenever I do a demo day or attend a trade show people just look at me and say ... ‘Kayaking at Simmie? Really?’ They just can’t believe that you can kayak here. They kind of just scratch their head about it,” laughs Smith. “They must think we’re trying to pull a quick one on them or something.”
They kayak down the Swift Current Creek, into Duncairn Dam and down the Frenchman River through Grasslands National Park in Val Marie, when water levels allow. It is an experience which allows people to enjoy the park in a different way.
“Those tours are really extra special,” stresses Smith. “Just like our creek tours, they give people lots of opportunities to just relax, de-stress and do some wildlife watching from a water vantage point.”
People don’t have to wait until
summer to start their kayaking adventure, or to continue to build on basic skills they’ve learned this past summer.
Smith says he has recently reached agreement with the City of Swift Current to offer an in-pool kayaking course at the Swift Current Aquatic Centre this com- ing January.
Whether individuals are looking to take kayaking to the adventure racing level, experience the thrill of fast moving water, or simply looking to learn the basics and enjoy a leisurely tour and paddle down the creek, Carefree Adventures has the ability to give anyone a memorable kayaking experience.
S O U T H W E S T
S A S K
The R.M. of White Valley No. 49 The R.M. of White Valley No. 49 strives to be a
professional, proactive municipality contributing to a vibrant community.
The municipality is proud to serve its: Residents and Ratepayers, Oil & Gas Industry,
Agriculture Industry (Farming and Ranching), and Tourism Industry.
Contact: R.M. of White Valley No. 49
108 Maple Avenue North - Box 520 Eastend, Sask. SON OTO
Tel: (306)295-3553 Fax: (306)295-3571 email@example.com
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Office Hours:
S A S K
S O U T H W E S T
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