Black Moose Fest / Spring Fling - May 13, 14, 15
The following is one persons story of their first meeting with Ward and gives insight as to the person he is.
Seventeen years ago some friends of mine and I worked our way down the Hawkinsville section of
the Black River in upstate New York. It was a cold fall day and as the leaves hit the water a
chill ran down my spine, although I could have been the water, cold as always. I had been
kayaking for a couple of years and I knew this would be a good run for the newbies we had with
us. I just did not know it was going to be so cold. As we arrived at the take out some were
battered and bruised and all of us were cold. Ice lined the shore, I was happy to be done for the
day. At the top of the bank stood a man, he said his name was Ward Daily then he pointed over his
shoulder. You should come over to the house and get dressed; there is hot water ready for hot
coco and coffee. He explained that he was an avid whitewater kayaker as well and that it was nice
to see people on the water.
Later that same year we found ourselves on the Lower Moose with Ward. Ward calmly pointed out a number of lines and with the patience of a saint answered all questions that new kayakers ask. That was a long time ago, and I am proud to call Ward my friend still. Over the years Ward has run pool practices, become a certified kayak instructor and taken kids to nationals for slalom. Ward is even in the kayaking hall of fame in New York State. He works with ARO, Adirondack River Outfitters as a raft guide and safety kayaker on the Black River in Watertown NY. Ward has become a fixture here in northern NY and freely offers his time to those in need.
The summer of 2010 Ward and I had breakfast before going to work at ARO Rafting. He calmly stated
that he had sold all of his kayaks; and ARO had asked him to safety kayak for a large trip they
had coming up. In the event that he couldn’t borrow one from a friend could he borrow one
of mine? I sat speechless for a moment… “Well yes. Why on earth did you sell
your kayaks? “The story started with his daughter Gabriel. When she was nine years old she
started having renal failure. Her kidneys stopped developing, she is eleven now. Over the years
the drugs the hospitals and doctors had drained the family. Not only monetarily but emotionally
as well, it was determined that Gabriel at eleven years old needed a new kidney. Ward, without
hesitation offered his own. Ward had sold his kayaks to help pay for the genetic testing. Making
sure he was compatible to give a kidney to his daughter Gabriel. Until then it will be dialyses
for her. My heart sunk, two of my friends were in danger and I was powerless to anything about
it. YEA!! I don’t think so... We’re putting on a dam festival is what we are doing.
Spring Black - Moose Kayak Event.
Part of this years event will raise money to help offset the expenses for the Daily family, With the help of Lyons Falls Alive the festival will take place in Lyons Falls the whitewater capitol (at least for this weekend) of New York.
Lyons Falls N.Y. is a small town between the Tug Hill Plateau and the Adirondacks. The Moose River runs into the Black River there, just below Magilla. Something that sets them apart from so many other places is the fact that they are trying their best to see to it kayakers come to their town and have fun. I think we should oblige them. And help Gabriel.
At that time in May there will be many other choices for those who are not ready for the Bottom Moose. The Hawkinsville section of the Black, the Singing Waters section of the moose as well as the Middle and Lower Moose should all be running.
There is also flat water paddling on the Black River for anyone interested.
Feel free to stop by http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=107692135967262 to keep up to date on the event. We will also update here as needed.