Tramping to the Heaphy Hut

For the adventure minded traveler, tramping in New Zealand is just something you do. Kiwis have developed one of the most well organized hut systems in the world. To visit and not spend time wandering in some of the world's most spectacular terrain is a missed opportunity. Read More...

Tribute to a friend....

This is written in tribute to a special friend:
It is common sense to understand that humans are naturally inclined toward the spirit of adventure and discovery. Good adventures shape our lives and adds colors to our life experience and ultimately shapes "who we are". Fortunately, through-out time there have been those that are better able or more capable, more willing really, to capitalize on this most basic instinct. These friends climb a bit higher and these travel partners go the extra distance ( even if that distance is more than 3000 miles away and you're driving a 1984 Nissan truck) with the confidence to enter a new world...... walk into a new adventure knowing that the smiles, laughs and story will far outweigh the inconvenience of leaving home. Beth was one of these friends. Beth was an adventurer. She was fueled by her thirst for knowledge and the promise of the unexpected. Adaptable and good natured, She made friends easily and, by giving a glimpse of her spirit, was identified quickly as confident, committed and smart. In other words, a great partner in adventure. She moved through a dizzying amount of timezones, and befriended colorful souls everywhere she traveled. She marveled at mountain chains and enjoyed a great whitewater romp as much as a hot coffee for cold beer from a street vendor. As long as her old cassette player was playing and her truck still running there was no telling where she'd end up. California, Colorado, Prague, Paris, The Yukon, the list goes on and on. I was fortunate to have bounced around in the seat next to her as she navigated many a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. She shared with me her curiosity and willingness to explore new places and make the acquaintance of many a good people. I was fortunate to have had a good portion of her healthy sense of adventure poured on me. Her confidence rubbed off on me. She led by example and showed me it was OK to venture a little further away, be more trusting and have more adventures. I was still learning.......


Thank You Beth you are an adventurer extraordinaire, spirited friend and missed sister.

Long live high water!

Long live high water flows and huge whitewater! Hearing news of the latest release from the Glen Canyon Dam into Grand Canyon brought a huge smile to my face. This four day period of pumped up releases out of Lake Powell is certain to delight some boaters on the river and soil the shorts of others. No matter what end of the excitement spectrum you like to play, one thing is undeniable. If your on the river right now you'll be dealing with big water. At normal release flows, anywhere between 8,000 cfs and 17,000 cfs, the rapids in the Grand are rambunctious and playful. The Colorado River at 40,000 cfs is sure to man-handle a few unsuspecting boaters.Truth be told, not all rapids will get burlier and more intense. Many will wash out. Sometimes too much water drowns the whitewater features and the rapid simply disappears underneath all the flow. Other rapids however can take all that the river can give, meaning the more water, the bigger the features. If they don't wash out then watch out. Deeper wave troughs, higher wave peaks and exploding mountains of whitewater are the result. Remember Hermit, and if you don't, after seeing it at 40,000+ cfs you will. Literal mountains of whitewater with exploding tops all lined up in a row. It's a beautiful thing.
If you have never been rafting down the Grand Canyon you should put it on your "to do" list. The Grand is an amazing place with beautiful whitewater. High flow or low, theres always plenty of water in the big ditch. Consistent fun at any water level coupled with astounding scenery make for the trip of a lifetime.

Full throttle up the Mekong

Watching the ultra thin "longtail boat" blast up the Mekong river reminded me of Evil Knieval;  third world style. Both the driver and the passengers wore 1970's style motorcycle helmets, sun bleached life jackets and over sized goggles. Their large bulbous heads protruded above the gunwales. As they rocketed past, I could see the passenger's hands gripping the boat sides in an attempt to stay upright against the extraordinary acceleration. Their expressions were a combination of steely determination and sheer terror. The exhaust pipe extended from the engine above water line and roared with every twist of the throttle. This boat was a drag-racer on water, built to go straight and very fast. The upturned nose of the boat seemed ready to shoot skyward had it not been for the passenger's ballast. Read More...

Crustacean Celebration

I promise, this story will take five minutes. Set in Maine and true, It's the cliff notes version of a summer vacation involving nephews, crustaceans, lakes and boats, typical summer stuff. Tina and I started in the rockies, just east of the continental divide just below treeline . Over 4,000 feet above Denver. Here, the mornings are clear and brisk, even in August. Speedometer pegged to 70, we glided down the eastern slope across the city into the high plains. DIA, a huge white circus tent. How appropriate. Read More...

Watch for boars mate

Watch for boars mate

Road trippin’ up the west coast of New Zealand is beautiful. Waterfalls, lush forests, and seemingly endless beaches grace this country, making for unbelievable views and adventures. New Zealand also has boars, lots of them, and they are big, up to 200kg (440 lbs). When we tramped off on a six kilometer trail, we had no idea just how close we would get.

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Overland into Cambodia. Part III

The next part I remember very well. From the dingy sticky office we were led across the dusty expanse to an older pick-up truck, extended cab, relatively tidy, but small. Green I remember. The uniformed gentleman that had seen us through the border, through the visa check and now to the truck handed us over to another cambodian man, the driver. Truck doors were opened and everyone was expected to pack in. It got crowded inside quick. I back pedaled a bit and let the others take their turn. Chris and I were reluctant. I preferred the open air truck bed instead. Jim, the englishman, saw what we saw and joined us. The Italian man as well. Sitting on our packs, we scrunched ourselves against the side. Read More...

Overland into Cambodia. Part II

It was a tidy mini-bus that met us the following morning. As the van slowed curbside, I could see three or four silhouettes inside. After morning pleasantries were exchanged with the driver, the slider door opened and we climbed in. Four travelers nodded and smiled. They looked rested and ready. Our night had started with Elephant beers and evolved into Thai Whiskey. Chris and I had traded a good nights sleep for a few too many hours of bar talk and some fit full rest. Such is life. We settled into our places with our packs on the floor between our knees. Despite our groggy heads and the Bangkok traffic, we were excited. The adventure was just beginning. Read More...

Overland into Cambodia. Part I

Buddah heads
PART 1 OF 3;
Hindsight is 20/20. If that's the case, foresight is, by default, blurry. Seems that blurry vision led us to the decision to travel overland into Cambodia. Most tourists fly into Siam Reap to visit Angkor Wat. Not knowing any better and strapped for cash, my buddy and I decided to make the journey by road. Looking back, I'm not sure if I would do it the same way again......... then again maybe I would.
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