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When the historic storm of February 2021 dropped more than six inches of snow on parts of Austin, most of the city’s residents hunkered down indoors. Not West Hansen, who loaded a kayak onto his four-wheel-drive pickup and headed slowly and carefully for Lady Bird Lake.There, he and fellow paddler Jimmy Harvey wrestled nylon dry suits over their long underwear. They attached insulated, oven-mitt-like mittens to their paddles. Then, taking care not to slip in the snow, the men lugged their bullet-shaped sea kayaks to the cold water. The freak storm would provide a rare opportunity to test gear for his upcoming kayaking expedition through the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. The two kayakers spent a few chilly hours on the otherwise deserted water before…
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