Mar 27 | Whitewater and Witch Doctors: Exploring Uganda’s Rivers and Culture

by Kira Tenney

IMG_2303 (1)-001While exploring Uganda’s whitewater, Kira Tenney and crew eddy out on the banks of Bujagali Falls, where curiosity leads them to a village witch doctor and tales of corporate bribes, unfulfilled promises and more hydropower projects to come.


Don’t believe everything you read.

The dim light shining through the doorway of the mud hut was the only illumination outlining the dreadlocked figure shrouded in smoke. Perched upon a rug, he  was surrounded by a pile of empty plastic bottles, discarded papers and food scraps; the steady sounds of rats rustling in and out of the mounds broke the loud silence. We waited, and after what could have been seconds, hours, or years, the Bujagali witch doctor opened his eyes and acknowledged our presence with the slight elevation of one dark hand.


Photo: Tyler Allyn

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Mar 20 | Kids on the River, Kids on the Mind

by Susan Hollingsworth

Susan_Hollingsworth-e1325179695688-100x100Susan Elliott, NRS Ambassador, newlywed, and traveling kayaker with a serious case of wanderlust, surprises herself with thoughts of adding kids to the mix. Seeing the San Juan river from a child’s perspective leads her to a new perspective on children.

I’m thinking about kids. Again. I never used to think about kids. I thought about river trips and camping and traveling. Not children. But, suddenly, I catch kids sneaking into my mind, onto my raft, and alongside the usual thoughts of river trips and camping and traveling.

And no, we are not pregnant.


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Mar 13 | Finding Your Favorite River: A Guidebook Author’s Guide

by Leland Davis

Leland DavisLeland Davis, long-time paddler and guidebook author explores the qualities that make his favorite rivers stand out. From chasing rainstorms at home to hitting the road to find elusive whitewater, Davis embarks on a physically and mentally epic journey to discover his favorite runs.

As a long-time paddler and guidebook author, I’m often asked the question, “What’s your favorite river?” What fascinates me more than which particular river holds my current top spot, is how the answer to that question has evolved over time. What we can learn not only from identifying our favorite river(s), but from exploring which qualities make them our favorites is an important part of our evolution as paddlers.

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Mar 6 | Challenges of the Undiscovered: Exploring Mexico’s Rio Bavispe

by Lacey Anderson

riob10Lacey Anderson departs Bacerac in northern Mexico and heads out on her favorite type of adventure: running undiscovered rivers. Faced with pending monsoons and little beta, she unveils the reasons she loves multi-day expedition trips.

Neil and I were about to embark on the first raft descent of the upper Rio Bavispe in northern Mexico, a tributary of the Rio Yaqui north of the infamous Copper Canyon. As far as we knew, the river had been run only once, by an exploratory kayaker. This was my  favorite type of multi-day expedition, a challenging trip with unbiased expectations, unanticipated situations and little beta. I had been exploring Mexican rivers for the past few years, devoting many trips to the waters just across the southern border in Sonora and Chihuahua. Our plan for Rio Bavispe was to run 103 kilometers from Mesa Tres Rios to Bacerac in five days, an easy pace. It turned out that we would have to hustle to make it to the take-out on time.


Mar 2 | Expedition Q Film: Kayaking Across Southern Baffin Island

by NRS Staff

Start at Baffin Island’s Penny Ice Cap, make a first descent of the Class V Weasel River, continue by hand-made kayak along ancient Inuit hunting routes across the southern portion of the island and end where the ocean begins. This is the making of a journey like no other. In partnership with Skip Armstrong of Wazee Motion Pictures, we present our latest short film, narrated by the group who dreamed up and undertook the epic Expedition Q together.

The team, consisting of Erik Boomer, Sarah and Eric McNair-Landry and Kate Breen took a year to plan, fundraise and hand-build traditional kayaks together before Expedition Q. But linking its lakes and rivers from sea to sea amid rain, sleet, snow, bugs and hunger would prove more challenging than they anticipated. We asked Boomer a few questions about this epic undertaking, and here’s what he shared with us: Continue reading

Feb 20 | Putting Summer in Summers: Steelhead Fishing in July on the Deschutes, Part 2

by Rob Lyon

Rob-Lyon-100x100Rob Lyon returns to some old stomping grounds, Oregon’s Deschutes River, to chase summer steelhead (and something even more elusive). Read Part 1 here.


Oh man!  I was fired up, flying down the grade in the wee early AM with bird song in the locust and basalt crunching under the tires.  I had my rod stuck down the front of my waders and an old ski pole thrown over my shoulder.

It felt angelic to cruise.

There was so much awesome water downstream, and I wanted to fish it all that morning.  It was like the joke about the old bull and the young bull sitting on a hilltop watching the heifers grazing below.  The young bull pipes up:  “Hey, want to go down and tupp one of those beauties?”  The old bull says:  “Hell, let’s go down and tupp ‘em all!”

I was looking to tupp ‘em all myself that morning as I skidded to a stop above Virginia’s Run.

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Feb 12 | Putting Summer in Summers: Steelhead Fishing in July on the Deschutes, Part 1

by Rob Lyon

Rob-Lyon-100x100Rob Lyon returns to some old stomping grounds, Oregon’s Deschutes River, to chase summer steelhead (and something even more elusive).


Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains…” —Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

We parked the rig in the loading zone and threw on the flashers.

It was Sunday afternoon and Pearltown was in high gear. Streets were plugged with bikes and cars, sidewalks with people, and the handsome brick Deschutes Brewery Public House on the corner was packed with sidewalk tables and patrons sitting elbow to elbow. The place was crawling.

While I went inside the brewpub to hunt down the manager and load up the two pony kegs we’d be hauling in the rafts, the guys found an outdoor table by the rig and ordered up lunch. It was the 20th of July and we were on our way to the Deschutes.

If you watch any football at all these days you’ve seen the Corona beer ads about finding your beach. Neat concept. Your beach may be standard sand and water.  It might be a rock concert or a mountaintop. But it’s a sort of a shrine and a place we go to lift our spirit. The Deschutes was a major beach of mine back in the 70s and 80s, and I revisited it this last summer with some friends.IMG_5811-001

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