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LANDFALL

On Saturday afternoon, April 19, Polish adventurer Aleksander “Olek” Doba officially completed his second successful trans-Atlantic crossing by sea kayak. We go behind the scenes of the 67-year-old’s eventful waterfront landfall in New Smyrna Beach Fla., to hear from Doba and his closest team of closest supporters to get some questions answered about the 167-day, 6,000-plus-mile crossing.

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Bay of Fundy, NB

04.13.2004

Sandstone cliffs jutted out of the waves, the fog snagging on each crag like eiderdown on a branch. Another cormorant skimmed the hematite-colored water. I inhaled deeply, breathing in the medicinal tang of the blue spruce clinging to the ruddy rock above me. Our guide, Bruce Smith, had challenged me to come up with one […]

Hayes River, MB

04.13.2004

It was our last day on northern Manitoba’s Hayes River. Four women and two men in three canoes, we were fresh from a lunch break on shore. Nearing our final destination-York Factory on Hudson Bay, the oldest trading post in western Canada-we moved in a cadence achieved through two weeks of paddling with the same […]

Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, QC

04.13.2004

It’s the whales that have brought my husband, Mike, and me here to experience the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park by sea kayak. White beluga whales live here year-round, and their fellow humpback, rorqual, minke, and fin whales, as well as harbor seals and porpoises, come to feed in the fair weather from May to October. […]

Quetico Provincial Park, ON

04.13.2004

My little Kevlar canoe, patched with duct tape as a result of a long-ago wrap around an ill-placed river boulder, bumps against the rocky shore and comes to a dead stop. Methodically, routinely by now, midway through our journey, I unload the boat’s cargo, which consists of a backpack-size dry bag, a soft-sided waterproof camera […]

Maverick’s Reef, CA

04.13.2004

Although the Tsunami Rangers, renowned for their hairboating exploits, have drawn their paddles through waters as far north as Alaska and Arctic Norway and as far south as Tierra del Fuego in Chile and Antarctica, they still consider northern California’s Maverick’s Reef an ultimate sea-kayaking destination. How powerful is this place? A theoretical physicist/veteran Mavericks […]

Shoshone Lake, WY

04.13.2004

A fellow camper once told me, “The great thing about Yellowstone is you get to meet people from all over the world.” Maybe so, but when it’s time to ditch humanity, heading into the backcountry is a surprisingly easy task with Shoshone Lake as your destination. Why Shoshone? Or, rather, why not nearby Yellowstone Lake, […]

Rogue River, OR

04.13.2004

It’s the end of a chilly afternoon on a three-day trip down the Rogue River in southwest Oregon. We’ve just run Blossom Bar, the hardest drop on the river; our exhilaration is mixed with hunger and weariness. We trudge up the fern-draped riverbank and find deviled eggs and hot tea by a crackling fireplace. Paradox […]

San Juan Islands, WA

04.13.2004

Scattered between Puget Sound to the south and the Strait of Georgia to the north, the San Juan Islands of Washington State are a plethora of jewels that touring buffs fervently take to in good and sometimes even bad weather. There are 768 islands, rocks, and reefs in this archipelago at low tide; at high […]

Grand Canyon, AZ

04.13.2004

As I lie on my sleeping bag on the last night before the take-out, looking up at the huge desert sky filled with stars, I am exhausted, worn out from all that I’ve experienced. Although I feel as if my body has been completely torn down, my spirit has been rebuilt and restored. The Grand […]

Rockport, TX

04.13.2004

If you’re a birder who wants to get into kayaking or a kayaker who wants to get into birding, the Rockport, Texas, area is the place to go and April is the time. The numbers of migratory birds that visit the area peak during this month, and the weather is usually perfect. There’s probably no […]

Buffalo River, AR

04.13.2004

Although I’m usually garrulous among my paddling friends, my first view of Arkansas’ Buffalo River left me speechless. At sunrise, we topped the final bluff and peered into the valley far below. There, snaking through a solid stand of hardwoods and scattered conifers, was a silver strand of moving water. This was the Buffalo, a […]

Green River, NC

04.13.2004

In the summer of ’82, before the roads were paved or the parking lots cut, western North Carolina’s Class I-II Lower Green River was one of the wildest places I had ever been. I was sure I had cheated death when I survived wrapping a canoe in the largest rapid, Big Corky. More than two […]

Okefenokee, GA

04.13.2004

My daughter Courtney (nine years old) and I (ancient) had been planning a trip to the Okefenokee for about a year. We had held out little hope that it would happen because it can be difficult to get a backcountry permit in the swamp. There are only seven available campsites, and demand peaks during the […]

Outer Banks, NC

04.13.2004

Many great ideas run aground on the shoals of reality, but you always figure that’s not going to happen to you. Especially on your paddling vacation, double especially after two days of driving and eager anticipation. Yet there I was on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, incredulously stuck in the unwelcome reality of being grounded on […]

Upper Iowa River, IA

04.12.2004

In the Midwest, where a 200-foot-tall bump is considered a mountain, you get used to pancake-flat land and sluggish prairie streams. Yet tucked away in an isolated corner of northeast Iowa is a cliff-lined gorge that the glaciers forgot to flatten: the Upper Iowa River valley. Winding through one of the wildest and most unspoiled […]

St. Francis River, MO

04.12.2004

It’s mid-March, and some friends and I make a 280-mile drive from central Illinois to the Saint Francis River. We pull into the Silver Mines Recreation Area late on a Friday night and find a pleasant wooded campsite. Saturday dawns crisp and clear. Excitement is in the air as we say hello to boaters from […]

Boundary Waters, MN

04.12.2004

After a long day of paddling, I usually sleep like the dead, but something woke me with a start. Listening, all I heard was blood roaring through my head and a scraping on the tent wall as dried leaves skidded down its side. Finally, the sound came again. From across the water emanated a mournful […]

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Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guide