Thompson Falls, Montana
Valley Press Staff doing an article…

On my first visit to Montana in June, 2007 I fell in love with Thompson Falls, a tiny town in a remote valley, close to the borders of Canada and Idaho.

I returned the following February. I rented an apartment in a quaint waterfront building on the Corner of Maiden Lane and Broad Street. The idea of Crazy Woman KAYAKS was conceived!

On the Corner of Maiden Lane and Broad Street. The idea of Crazy Woman KAYAKS was conceived!

On July 5, 2008 Crazy Woman KAYAKS opened with 13 kayaks displayed on a refurbished canoe-trailer! Thirty minutes later, I served my first customers – and they never stopped coming!

Crazy Woman KAYAKS began as an experiment. It was the outward expression of my ideals, my passion and most cherished beliefs – and it worked! How I wish it had never ended – but I will forever remember the happiness it produced over the 12 years Crazy Woman KAYKAS consumed me 24/7. How many people can say they have been truly happy? 

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It Snowed the Next Morning
FOrt Myers Beach, Florida
Everyone Loves Kayaks

Kayak season is short in Montana. By the end of August, after the Sanders County Fair, the kids return to school. The weather is still gorgeous, but the interest in kayaking pales in comparison with the need to gather fire-wood and canning tomatoes in preparation for winter.

I stored my equipment, locked my apartment and drove 3,000 miles back to Florida. For a while, I considered starting a tent campground on my two Florida acres. Thankfully, I decided to explore the option of a kayak business instead. I was invited to launch the second Crazy Woman KAYAKS at Fish-Tale Marina on Fort Myers Beach. Again, the business thrived – and the rest is history.

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Fort Myers Beach, Florida calling….

CUenca, Ecuador
Kayaking is actually illegal on these rocks…

When one door closes, other doors open. Without Crazy Woman KAYAKS, I was suddenly free to live anywhere — free to do whatever I wanted! As I have done six times previously, I chose to do a geographical cure.

 I left my native Norway in 1969, hungry for adventure. I’ve felt at home in Trinidad, West-Indies, in New York, Maryland, Texas, Southwest Florida and Montana. In May, 2019, I bought a one-way ticket to Ecuador and applied for my Temporary Resident Visa.

I am content living in Cuenca, in spite of never seeing kayaks riding on top of vehicles or floating down the rivers surrounding the city. Ecuador is mountainous, its rivers fast, shallow and rocky. I don’t crave injuries. To kayak on a waterfall, a person needs wings – not a paddle.

Cuenca is a World Heritage Site. I am a frequent diner in the myriad of affordable Ecuadorian and Internationals restaurants. The city of 700,000 inhabitants is very walk-able. I don’t want or need a car. There is no end to quaint shops on cobblestone streets, lovely parks, cathedrals, open air markets, street-vendors and museums.

The hope of starting a kayak business in Ecuador is still alive. In March, 2020, the day Ecuador shut down in response to the Pandemic, I moved to Bahia de Caraquez on the Pacific Coast to explore the possibilities. With severe Covid restrictions in place, I explored the recesses of my own mind while my books molded and my laptop’s hard-drive rusted in the humid ocean air. Bahia has no services. When I lost my phone, I could not buy a replacement anywhere in town. I was very happy to move back to Cuenca, high in the Andes Mountains!

In my carport I have four Eddyline kayaks, a remnant of my former fleet of more than one hundred kayaks. I know there is flat-water in the Amazon. I plan to visit soon.

I love my new life in Ecuador, but not a day passes that I don’t miss my business!

What’s next? While I ponder this, I’m starting a blog.

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View from Apartment — Night


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Apr 2018 • Solo

I did the guided tour as I was solo on this trip to Ft Myers Florida. The owner, Sissel was great. Loved her life journey story. I didn’t see any dolphins but a baby manatee was very interested in following me. It put it’s nose right up on to the kayak. Made the trip awesome. I will definitely be back to Crazy Woman Kayak.
Lisa E

Great time,thank you Sissel & Dana