Nov 25 | Thanksgiving: The Ultimate River Feast

by NRS Staff

This may be the first year that NRS has decided to take a stand and close our doors on Black Friday, choosing to instead spend the “busiest shopping day of the year” outside paying homage to what’s truly important to us. But it isn’t the first year our employees have chosen to celebrate Turkey Day on the river. It may be cold, especially up here in the Northwest, the chance for precipitation high, and the need for extra gear—drysuits, down sleeping bags, extra wind tarps—a must, but eating turkey around a fire with the sounds of water and nature, in lieu of Christmas carol renditions, makes for a lasting memory.

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Nov 20 | Lacey’s Choice: Canyons or Cartels

by Lacey Anderson

On a trip during Mexico’s monsoon season, a flash flood threatens to sweep NRS Ambassador, Lacey Anderson, and her companion down the river. Faced with the option to run a flooded IV+ canyon or hunker down within reach of a Mexican pot farm, Lacey outweighs the potential risk of each option.

I rolled over to an empty sleeping bag. Neil was gone. The early morning light broke through the tent’s zipper as he ducked back in for a few more moments of shut-eye. “Have you checked the boats? Did the water come up?” I mumbled. “Yep, about a foot, I pulled the boats up,” he said. It was not unusual for the Rio Mulatos in northern Mexico to quickly respond to rain, but I wasn’t overly concerned because it had only drizzled throughout the night. We snuggled back into our sleeping bags and attempted to doze off.

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Nov 13 | The Making of PuescoFest 2015

by LJ Groth

IMGP3469In 2014 PuescoFest brought together more than 1,000 people to celebrate free-flowing rivers in the Puesco Valley of Chile. With hopes of tripling attendance at this year’s festival, event organizer, LJ Groth, delves into the important movements behind this awesome event.

Water is at risk. Although at times hard to believe, some of our fellow humans are on the hunt for commercial “rights” to the world’s most sacred resource. What about the human right to drink from, bathe in, float down and hike up a river? What about the right to water for sustainable agriculture? What about the natural cycle of highs and lows? What about the power of flood? What about respect?

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Nov 10 | The Importance of #OptOutside

by NRS Staff

#optOutside with NRS on Black Friday

“And as with age you choose your way among the many faces of a busy world, may you always remember the path that leads back, back to the important places.” —Doug Woodward, The Important Places.

At NRS, we’ll always remember 2015 as the year of the important places. The year of the film that inspired so many. The year we took time to remember the places, people and experiences that matter most in our lives.

So, when REI announced earlier this month that it would be closing its stores on Black Friday and giving its employees the day off to go outside, we couldn’t ignore the call to do the same. Continue reading

Nov 2 | A Local’s Guide: The Green Race Experience

by Jean Slade

Jean HeadshotOn the first Saturday of November, kayakers and spectators flock to western North Carolina’s infamous Green River Narrows to enjoy the competition and carnage that is the Green Race. NRS’s Jean Slade, a former Asheville local, offers the quick-n-dirty on how to get the most out of your Green Race visit before, during and after the event.

Hands down, fall is one of the best times of the year for paddling in the Southeast. With temperatures cooling off, humidity thinning out and the leaves turning brilliant colors, the Green River Race is the climax of the season.

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Photo: Erin Savage

The Green River Narrows Race started in the fall of 1996, by NRS team member Leland Davis, and has continued to morph into one of the most important kayak races of the year. Every first Saturday of November, over a hundred people line up to push their limits on one of the most technical and difficult pieces of whitewater in the US. With top finishers such as Pat Keller, Mike Dawson, Issac Levinson, Keith Sprinkle, Katrina Van Wijk and Adriene Levknecht, this race attracts the leading kayakers from around the world to the small town of Saluda, North Carolina, in the hopes of earning the coveted piece of glass, or at least bragging rights for finishing.

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Oct 27 | River Flair: A Gallery of Camp Costumes

by NRS Staff

At the top of every river trip packing list lies an unusual must-have. Depending on your style, or your group’s particular personality or theme, this item could be anything from a formal evening gown to an animated, animal mask to your mom’s favorite exercise outfit from the eighties—onesies encouraged.

Who wears an evening gown on a river trip, you ask?

At some point the river trip dress-up night became a tradition. Who knows when or by whom, but it probably began on the banks of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. Regardless, all river rats are privy to the knowledge that miscellaneous costumes are a necessary addition to everyone’s drybags.