Aug 26 | Staying Wild in the Concrete Jungle: A Spotlight on Columbus, Georgia

by Lydia Cardinal

Lydia Cardinal headshot 1Whether you have a long weekend or a week, Lydia Cardinal lets you in on a little Southeast secret: Columbus, Georgia. Once only known for its historical footprint, Columbus now boasts a whitewater park, running trail, local brews and restaurants highlighting its southern cuisine. The best part? It’s all in the heart of downtown.

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A kayaker charges The Good Wave in downtown Columbus.

In paddling terms, the Southeast isn’t often heralded for its big water surfing apart from the New River Dries. Boaters seeking high-volume, huge-action whitewater usually head north to the Ottawa, west to the Rockies, or wait patiently for West Virginia’s recreational releases or heavy rain—until now. Adventure seekers of every vein can now head south of Atlanta and, in less than two hours, find themselves in an unprecedented whitewater playground, smack in the middle of Columbus, Georgia. Continue reading

Aug 12 | Return to the Pecos

by Robert Field

Adirondacks - BDuchesneyWinding through the rocky desert of southwest Texas, the Lower Pecos River is home to vast landscapes, unique wildlife and infamous flash flooding. Forced to abandon their first attempt down the river, the father-and-son duo return with Robert Field to finish a trip they began two years ago.

Bert points to various spots along the cliff where waterfalls had formed all around them that fateful morning. I struggle to keep the camera pointed at him. I’ve read about and heard the story a dozen times, most recently during the seven-hour car ride to the Texas desert five days ago, but I realize I haven’t truly grasped the enormity of what happened. Now, looking up at the sheer 200-foot cliff face that forms the Lower Pecos River’s eastern bank, the terrifying reality of what my two companions had experienced comes to life.

I snap out of my thoughts when I hear Daniel ask through the satellite phone: “When is the system going to hit?

Wildy Pecos River_web Continue reading

Jul 29 | No Better Place to Be

by Ian Fodor-Davis

ThreeRivers_JBoling_031714_-9497The Illinois River has always been on Ian’s list. When handed the opportunity to run the Illinois earlier this year, Ian jumped. In a mere 50 hours, the Illinois River captivated and inspired him, challenged and humbled him, and reminded him of the basic reasons he’s drawn to water.

Working in the outdoor industry offers me the opportunity to get on the water with friends and customers often. In full disclosure, I probably get the opportunity more frequently than I should. Better yet, I jump at the opportunities more frequently than I should. Either way, through the years I’ve constructed two lists: my backyard favorites (the ones I return to when the levels are up and the to-do list is short) and my wish list.

Illinois River NRS_web Continue reading

Jun 16 | Wedgie Waders: A Beginnings Story

by Emerald LaFortune

Emerald Headshot 2Embrace beginner-ness. It’s the humorous failures along the way that make the smallest victories stand out. As a professional guide, Emerald seeks those small victories in her fly rod and reminds us, we all have a story of beginnings.

The lace to my wading boot snaps in half.

“Fuuuuuuu…” I moan, eyeing the gray mass of clouds moving down the canyon in my direction. I make quick “should I bail” calculations in my head. I decide the need for my body to stand in river outweighs the proximity to negative temperatures and limited remaining hours of daylight.

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