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Today started out like many do at the lake. With me getting a cup of coffee or tea from the large coffee brewer in the one lounge downstairs.

But unlike most of the other days at the lake, today I slept in. All the way till almost 9AM. Which made the need for caffeine that much more pronounced.

As I was fixing up the coffee in my “Don’t Irritate The Writer” mug, I heard the loudest air horn blowing frantically from the waterfront … in the direction of the Beach Club. Now with all due respect, isn’t that a little like starting a power mower at 7 in the morning on a weekend?

As I worked my way out to the porch, the few others who were up and sitting out there were pointing and taking pictures. At somewhere around twenty kayaks, canoes and long rowing boats the scene was incredible.

And instead of trusting my gut to bring a camera down this morning … to take early morning pictures of the lake … I had left it upstairs. So here you have the picture, courtesy of the Webcam Central on the laptop here, of the last several boats on their way down the lake.

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I was told that it was a race.

Of course. Hence the loud obnoxious air horn.

So what could I do? I looked it up on Google. Only to discover that this was the First Annual S.O.S Canoe & Kayak Race.  Must be important, right?

Turns out it had something to do with not … burning tires. And S.O.S. stands for Save Our Swamp.

I remember riding over and beside that swamp as a child on the way up here. It is in danger?

Now I’m all one for a good cause. And I’ve been known to hug a tree or two. But burning tires? I guess there is some local cause having to do with the appeal of an air quality permit issued for a proposed tire incinerator.

And how can you go wrong if you are supported by CARE and Erie Peace & Justice Center, right?

So I sat back and looked over at the start / finish line … looking for the hoards of people who are supporting this worthy cause. And anxious to support the first of many annual events.

Maybe I just couldn’t see them from the porch.

So I Googled “how fast do kayaks go” and settled in with my coffee for what would most likely be an hour wait for the winner to arrive back where they started.

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Sure enough, almost an hour later there appeared one sole kayaker … paddling for all they were worth. And along side the kayak was a boat from the lake with folks screaming “row! row! row!”

Like he needed to be told.

Further up the lake the screaming throngs were welcoming the winner with enthusiastic cheers. The screaming throngs. All eight of them.

I guess it being the First Annual Tire Burning Kayak Race, it will take a little bit of time to catch on.

But think of it this way … next year, the Second Annual Tire Burning SOS Kayak Race can have two dozen folks on the dock welcoming the winner …

And they can legitimately say “There were three times more people here this year than there were last year.”