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Gigs by Canoe

Angela Kim

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Christopher Bell
(Aaron Read)
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Christopher Bell: I jokingly suggested to a friend, I wanted to canoe across the state. And he said, "You know, that's not a bad idea. You should try it." The more I researched it, the more it just seemed like this great, excellent idea.

More of the reason for the canoe is part for the originality of it. I've heard of people doing biking tours. I've never heard of anyone doing a canoe tour.

Between Rochester and Cayuga Lake, there're some sections where there is no fresh water coming in, so it's murkier. There's kind of this stagnant water which kind of gives it this bit of creepiness to it. As soon as you start heading down, the water just clears up. That was really cool.

I'm starting to think of nature as, like, an antagonist--as like this character in my life. So just little things, like if someone changes their hair, you know, it gives a different first impression. It's kind of the same way--like if trees and the water--all that affects the feel of the area.

I canoe any where from 20 to 25 miles a day. I don't really get lonely. I think that's why I can tour so much. Every time I travel with somebody, you can always fall back and just talk to them. But by myself, if I want to talk to somebody, I have to make a new friend. And before I started touring, I thought I was an introvert. It turns out I'm quite the extrovert. I love it because I love meeting new people every day and it's always interesting.

With my schedule, somehow I'm keeping up with the recreational boaters. I don't know how. They must go like 12 miles a day and then hang out the rest of the day, because the first week I was keeping up with two groups of people in sail boats--one guy named Lonnie who started in Erie, Pa., and is going Coco Beach, and then a husband and wife who started from Sandusky, Ohio and are going to Key West.

I saw them every day for the first few days and I was keeping up with them--and it was really cool. They ended up coming out to my show.

My whole album has this concept of being away and the concept of home. A lot of those resonate just touring regularly. There is one of them called, "Oh, how we danced." It's about, like, when you are away, things still happen back home that you really don't have any control over, and it's sometimes hard to want to keep control and want to hold on to what you have back there while being away.

The trip along the canal--it's inspired me. I mean, I'm still learning. There is so much more to come, but I know by the end of this, I'm pretty sure it will change me as a person.

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