liveonearth: (moon)
This article was originally written for a group of southeastern boaters who planned to row 18 foot rafts laden with 18 days of food/equipment through the Grand Canyon--without rowing experience. All were strong kayakers, canoeists, or paddle raft guides. Rowing is different. A heavy raft in Big Water requires new strategies. So this is my explanation, for that gang, of the nuts and bolts for getting down the Canyon.

Lesson 1: How to Punch Big Waves and Holes
Read more )
liveonearth: (dragon)

I do not risk my life.
I take risks in order to live.
I take risks because I love life,
not because I don’t.

--Stephen Koch, climber and extreme snowboarder

liveonearth: (moon)
When I have a morning at home alone I work on my lists and I fall into my practice more easily.  The sun is streaming in and I am doing triage on piles of "urgent" items which have become buried under a stream of distractions and amusements like my nonstop study of public health.  One observation this morning is that the strong balancing poses which I find so elusive when surrounded by empty air and other students are more accessible when I am alone in my office.  Here I can step into a warrior 3 knowing that the sunny windowsill is right there to hold me up, and yet confidently not needing it.  This strength and balance that I find in my own small office is something I would like to take with me into the world.
liveonearth: (pope headslap)
If you don't stick to your values when they're being tested, they're not values: They're hobbies.
--Jon Stewart
liveonearth: (moon)

Loved this video showing all my friends getting beat down. Everybody takes a turn at this level of whitewater. If you aren't willing to take a beating, you shouldn't be out there.
liveonearth: (neuroactive substances)
If you live and Portland and haven't picked up a copy of this month's Willamette Week (free news weekly, online here:, this issue is likely to get snapped up. They've named it the 420 Issue and it is all about the businesses and culture incurred by the recent legalization of cannabis in Washington and soon Oregon. What struck me initially is the amount of wordplay around the subject, and the generation of witty new phrases, words and hashtags that accompanies the surge in businesses and products containing cannabinoids. There is great excitement about the new availability and openness that comes with legalization.

I for one am OK with recreational and medical use. I think that the risks to society of adults using cannabinoids are fairly minimal. It certainly doesn't make people drive dangerously the way alcohol does. It does have a whole set of risks that aren't covered in this issue, and that really need to be kept high in our awareness as this drug becomes widely acceptable.

One risk that is coming into focus these days is of extreme overdoses. Back when folks just inhaled smoke, coughing stopped them from partaking too much. Vaporizers now make inhalation gentler and it is easy to overdose when consuming edibles. With either method you can't tell how much intoxicant is in there. With humans ingeniously extracting and concentrating the active principles, it could be very strong, or contaminated with solvents. With edibles the effect takes time to kick in. It is terribly easy to overdose for folks who are experimenting for the first time, and who have no tolerance at all.

The conventional media take on overdose--blaming it for many deaths and claiming that it is deadly--is probably overblown. It takes a massive amount of pot to kill, perhaps more than anybody is likely to actually reach because unlike opioids it is so unpleasant getting there. It is however a relative unknown: having been illegal for so long, we don't have scientific studies about overdose. We hardly have science to justify all the medical uses that have already been approved. We are going to find out now.

Another risk is incurred by the fact that edibles make the drug palatable to people who would never smoke it. It is tempting to children as candy. There is the danger that children, teens and early 20-somethings will enjoy sugary yummies containing cannabinoids and permanently alter their brain development. Later on in life there is still a brain changing effect, but in early life when the brain is still forming, the effect can be severe.

On top of these new risks due to the availability of edibles, there is the old risk of respiratory injuries resulting in sinusitis and bronchitis, and risk of more dangerous conditions like pneumonia and COPD. There is also the fact that marijuana increases heart rate significantly in most individuals. Folks who already have hypertension or heart palpitations might give themselves a heart attack.

I suppose my main message in the light of all this 420 excitement is BE CAUTIOUS and PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN because there is a lot we don't know. I believe in freedom and individual discretion as most Americans do, and I also know that people can be terribly foolish and injure themselves and others, especially when intoxicants are involved. I cannot protect the whole world from poor choices, but I do hope that this warning is heard widely. Please take care of each other and if you are going to play with the newly legalized products, start very small.
liveonearth: (tiger approaching)
A venturesome minority
will always be eager to set off on their own,
and no obstacles should be placed in their path;
let them take risks, for godsake,
let them get lost, sunburnt, stranded, drowned,
eaten by bears, buried alive under avalanches -
that is the right and privilege of any free American.

--Edward Abbey
liveonearth: (were wolves run hot)
It will get you a girl in a bikini if you believe the ad. I bet the gas mileage stinks.
liveonearth: (Default)

(I'm in the sparkly red helmet and antique yellow boat, with yellow blades on my paddle.)
notes )
liveonearth: (bright river)
It’s a fine line that separates an adventure from an epic, and the most innocent decisions can tip the delicate balance, knock you off your perfect line, and unravel the beautifully woven fabric of careful planning and glorious spontaneity that create the perfect trip. Preparation is key when it comes to preventing small mistakes from becoming large problems. On this trip, our preparation is sorely lacking for heavy jacking. It’s time to hike out.
--Leland Davis

liveonearth: (daisies)
with a tip of the hat to Chip Collins.
liveonearth: (stone arch doorway)

There's still room on the trip scheduled for May 2012. This may be the last time Mykl leads this trip, and he has been doing it for a decade now, so he has it wired. This trip is for advanced whitewater kayakers and their non-boating companions. The trip of a lifetime!
liveonearth: (Default)
Here is Colleen Laffey's recent piece on the Gauley River in West Virginia. Colleen is a professional videographer, and a paddler, so she has collected a lot of amazing clips on this river over the years. Her profile of the Gauley really captures the playful and international flavor of the boating gathering that occurs there each fall, and it has some great footage of rad whitewater kayaking and lots of rafts flipping. =-]
liveonearth: (Default)

She probably had even less fun than the guides who took her down the Colorado on a motor rig.
FYI: "Left Brain" is her husband.
liveonearth: (Default)
Where once there had lived a sober and thrifty citizenry, proud of their founding fathers, jealous of their Republic, finding their full expression of being in work and family and their gods, and in their quiet homes and the shadows of their trees, there now lived a motley and rapacious rabble, quick to acclaim, quick to murder, quick to quarrel and as senselessly quick to approve, crowded in storied cesspools of houses, loathing work and preferring to beg and everlastingly calling upon the State to support them, fawning on vile politicians who catered to them and threatening the few honest men who opposed them for the good of (the nation), even for their own good; endlessly demanding bread and circuses, seeking mean pleasures, adoring mindless (athletes), and worshiping the newest racer or actor, or discus thrower as if he were the greatest of men; devouring, in their idleness, the crushing taxes imposed on worthier men for their support, when the world would have well been rid of them by starvation or pestilence--ah, the (Nation's) mobs, the accursed mobs, fit masters and slaves of their patrons, their politicians, the gatherers of the votes!
behind cut a few notes on this quote )
liveonearth: (Default)
ZigZag weather: partly cloudy, chance of rain whole time
nights in the 40's, days in the 60-70's
what goes in the pack when you haven't gone in 15 years )
liveonearth: (Default)

Nice article here on John Bachar, the climber who died last month. He started climbing at age 14, in Yosemite, in 1952. On the day of his death he was free soloing--climbing without a rope--and fell. He often climbed without backup. I like to contemplate the kind of skill and confidence that it takes to free solo. Either skill or confidence alone is not enough. Even with both, death is one tiny mistake away.
liveonearth: (Default)
Flows and lake levels in the Colorado River drainage have been lower than predicted for years now. Lake Powell has been so low for so long that the river has dug itself a new course. A new rapid has been formed.

The road that used to go to the Pearce Ferry takeout now ends miles from the water. The outfitters are upset because they can't get their boats out of the water at the old takeout (Pearce) and it costs them time/$$ to run the boats the extra river miles to South Cove. So the river outfitters (including the Hualapai tribe) have approached the US Park Service offering private funding to build the road extension--under park auspices. So it will be done. Here's a slide show of the intended road route:
And here's a side show of the new rapid:


liveonearth: (Default)

October 2017



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