travel

Across Canada by Water

10.27.2011

It was snowing, the temperature well below freezing and the Arctic waterways turning to ice when six friends finished a cross-Canada canoe journey on October 14 in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, on the Mackenzie River.

Running Brazil’s Rio Mambucaba

10.11.2011

I knew I had forgotten something when coming to Brazil. I realized what it was—to learn Portuguese—when I tried to ask how long the drive would be. Thanks to my book, Beginning Portuguese, which I’d glanced at on the plane, I could at least ask our driver where the laundromat was and count to 999 as his Land Rover bounced up the long, insanely bumpy driveway to his farm, Fazenda Bonito.

Unsalted

10.06.2011

It’s not too often that kayaker Keith Wikle is disappointed when gale force winds blow through the Great Lakes. Last weekend, when 40-knot northerlies lashed the southern shores of the Third Coast with two-story breakers, Wikle rejoiced in surfing 14-footers on Lake Michigan outside his home in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Currents TV: First Descents

10.04.2011

This summer ended with First Descents coming to Canada for the first time. The decade-old, ever-expanding nonprofit uses kayaking to clear the heads of people who escaped a deadly disease, and helps them navigate chutes and boulders to the next stage of their lives. By all accounts, it’s a powerful program for campers, volunteers and staff in this burgeoning phenomenon within the paddling community.

The Namesake

10.03.2011

On the third day of a weeklong, early spring canoe trip in northern Ontario, my trip mates start calling me Shackleton. We’ve been icebound on sprawling Smoothwater Lake since the end of Day One, when we dragged, pushed and occasionally paddled across 10 miles of ice, slush and short-lived leads of open water. From this sweeping sand beach on Smoothwater’s east side, it’s disappointingly obvious that zeal outweighed logic in planning this early season trip across 75 miles of prime canoe country in search of the lake that carries my family name. Breakup is days away, and our expedition is fast becoming a failure.

Game Changer

09.02.2011

On this Sunday afternoon in early May, the Petite Bostonnais River is anything but small. As 600 cfs barrels down the narrow granite gauntlet, a cross-section of the world’s top paddlers stare into the crux of the racecourse: a weir-hole entrance to a chaotic and continuous 60-foot slide with serious face-shredding potential—all of it feeding into an enormous re-circulating hole. Avoiding that sucking man-trap meant threading a seemingly impossible line to the right after more than a minute of all-out paddling through a succession of multi-tiered Class V drops.

25 Days on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

07.29.2011

Last Thursday, July 21, Skip Ciccarelli set a new standard for the fastest through-paddle of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Ciccarelli, a high school shop teacher from central Massachusetts, completed the 740-mile route across parts of four northeastern states and one Canadian province in 25 days—besting the previous record by a full seven days.

The Century Club

07.21.2011

Call it Canada’s best idea. One hundred years ago, in 1911, Canada established the Dominion Parks Branch—the world’s first national parks service. Back then, the Canadian government managed six parks—including iconic mountain retreats like Banff and Jasper…

Gone Fishin’

07.18.2011

On Saturday, July 23, kayaker Josh Tart will set off on the Ohio River in Cincinnati on one of North America’s classic water routes. The so-called “Great Loop” traces the perimeter of the eastern United States. What sets Tart’s expedition apart from the countless pleasure boaters and odd sea kayakers and canoeists…

Across The Big Empty

07.15.2011

The question streams in bold letters across the website of the Yukon River 1000 Canoe and Kayak Race: Do you really want to do this?

C&K’s Guide to Summer Reading

07.13.2011

To say Concord, Mass., resident P.G. Downes (1909-1959) was ahead of his time is an understatement. Between 1936 and 1947, the Harvard-educated schoolteacher spent his summers exploring the then-unmapped reaches of the Canadian subarctic, sensitively documenting the plight of fading aboriginal cultures and creating detailed maps of the waterways he followed by wood and canvas canoe.

Day 3: Yukon River Quest

07.03.2011

After 460 grueling miles of turbulent waters, frigid cold nights, aching bodies and 50-plus hours of paddling on the Yukon River, the two-time defending champion team, The Texans, emerged victorious as the winner of the 13th Annual Yukon River Quest on Friday. As their boat came to a stop on the banks of the Yukon River, the three-time winners dawned humbling smiles.

Day 2: Yukon River Quest

07.01.2011

With Day 2 completed of the 13th annual Yukon River Quest, paddlers are eager to get to the finish line in Dawson City over the next few days. The race route, all told, is 460 miles.

Day 1: Yukon River Quest

06.30.2011

It is a cool, overcast morning (12 degrees C) and paddlers are slowly making their way to the edge of the Yukon River with boats in tow. By 11:30 a.m. yesterday, June 29, the banks are packed—support crews, boats, fans and officials—for the start of the 13th annual Yukon River Quest, a 460 mile (740km) paddle down the Yukon River.

Chasing Records on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

06.26.2011

On Monday, June 27, Skip Ciccarelli will set out to shatter the speed record for paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which stretches from Old Forge, NY to Fort Kent, Maine. His goal is to complete the 740-mile journey in 27 days; the current record, held by Mike Stavola (aka Kayakathon Man), is just over 32 days.

Smoke on the Water: FIBArk in Photos

06.21.2011

The 63rd annual edition of the FIBArk Whitewater Festival went down over the weekend in Salida, Colo., with a multitude of events on and off the water. By Sunday afternoon, we learned from the New Belgium beer vendors that festival goers had ghosted some 100 kegs of beer and another vendor nearby at the downtown park, the festival’s HQ, had sold some 700 to 800 roasted turkey legs.

Bros. Seiler in Pucon

06.15.2011

Recently from TheDemshitz — “The Seiler Brothers GoPro footy from Pucon [Chile] 2010. Rivers Palguin Nevado and Puesco in that order. Enjoy.”

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