Oct 26 | Missoula: First Paddle, Then Beer

by Greg Peters

greg-headshotKnown for its rivers in the summer, skiing in the winter and beer year-round, Missoula, Montana is a vibrant mountain town with lots to offer a weekend recreator. Longtime resident Greg Peters lets you in on his favorite way to experience Missoula.

Missoula, Montana can be hard to define: quintessential college town, counter-cultural stronghold, Rocky Mountain recreation hotspot, beer-brewing hub of Montana. Wander through the city’s vibrant farmer’s market on a Saturday morning and you’ll see die-hard Grizzly fans rubbing elbows with moms quaffing locally-made kombucha after their morning trail run or mountain bike ride. But unlike scores of other pretty, polished mountain towns, Missoula still has an authentic, gritty vibe that’s both welcoming and proud.

Photo: Jenni Chaffin

Photo: Jenni Chaffin

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Oct 21 | The Stikine: A Season Finale

by Kyle Smith

IMG_2592Smitty is one trip away from eddying out and heading east, swapping whitewater hydraulics for pharmacology exams. After spending the spring charging peak run offs and the summer guiding in pristine wilderness, only one place could wrap up his season with such amplitude: the Stikine.

I sat on the banks of the river as the spring flows lapped against the shore, waves whopping my boat because I was too lazy to drag it any farther onto the beach. A four-day descent of nearly 250 miles of Idaho whitewater was a pretty good way to kick off my final boating season before heading to nursing school on the East Coast. This was it. The last spring spent kayaking and reveling in mostly unhindered river logistic scheming.

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Oct 6 | A Tiny Home for Big Adventures

by Sarah Mcnair-Landry

As seen on HGTV’s “Tiny House, Big Living,” Erik Boomer and Sarah McNair-Landry decided a tiny house was the one thing that would take their adventure lifestyle from comfortable to luxury. As long-time NRS Ambassadors, we couldn’t have been more willing to help these two with funding and material. The more expeditions they embark on, the more rugged, real-time testing our gear undergoes. Sarah took NRS behind the scenes, from the planning, sketching and construction to the finale: a look inside their completed tiny home.

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Sep 29 | Wild Streak: Women-Powered Adventure

by Krista Langlois

krista_langlois_headshotWild Streak encompasses six women with two goals: make time in their lives to embark on empowering adventures and raise funds to give underserved teenage girls the same opportunities. Their first adventure finds them in canoes paddling the Upper Stikine and Spatsizi Rivers in northern British Columbia.

Last fall, a few friends and I decided to plan an all-women’s canoe trip somewhere in the north. We assembled a team of six strong-armed, quick-witted ladies who were able to put aside jobs and mortgages and marriages for nearly a month. We spent the winter pouring over maps of Canada and Alaska. Eventually, we chose two rivers: the great, silty Upper Stikine and its meandering tributary, the Spatsizi. Together the rivers flow 218 kilometers through a remote region of northern British Columbia known variously as the Serengeti of the North, for its abundance of large wildlife, and as Klabona, the Sacred Headwaters. It’s here that three of the greatest salmon-bearing rivers of North America—the Skeena, the Stikine and the Nass—are born from a raw topography of forest, mountains and swamp.

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Sep 25 | Crushing it in Turquoise

by Emerald LaFortune

Emerald-LaFortuneFrom rigging and de-rigging, to leading side-hikes at camp, to throwing a line at a fish or two, Emerald LaFortune put the Crush through the ringer. In her typical candid fashion, she offers her full opinion of this river-to-pub shoe.

The Crush shoe arrived on my doorstep this spring and happened to be the best shade of bright blue. I put them on and they make my pasty, Montana-white legs look almost like summer. Along with the NRS H2Core Lightweight pants, I can literally be one turquoise blob from head to toe. Having no fashion sense, this is my go-to move. Now my shoes match my nose piercing! Perfect.

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Sep 18 | Falling for the Freestone Drifter

by Emerald LaFortune

Emerald-LaFortuneEmerald LaFortune hauled off one of our Freestone Drifters to see how it handled weeks of fishing and debauchery. From flatwater to whitewater, gearless day trips to fully loaded multi-days, Emerald offers her most candid opinions on the drifter’s performance.

Let’s just say what everyone is thinking: an inflatable drift boat just looks weird. I mean, what is that boat anyway? A mutilated SUP board? A boxy raft? The strange redheaded-stepchild of a fiberglass drift boat?

I’ll explain it this way: if the Freestone Drifter is a fisherman, it’s that guy who shows up to the boat ramp in a Carharrt jacket and ditch boots. He isn’t flashing you a Headhunters trucker hat and only has one (ONE!) fly rod. The rest of the fishermen roll their eyes and go back to stringing their four Sage rods and clipping into their fancy waders. Behind the boat ramp, the Freestone-Drifter-ditch-boot man rips a twenty-inch brown out of the eddy on his thirteen-year-old Le Croix his dad gave him. The Freestone Drifter sure as hell isn’t a dory, a driftboat, or even a raft. It’s a big gray gaper-mobile. But, in certain situations, the Freestone out performs all three of its traditional stepsiblings.

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