Monday, November 28, 2005

Brazil Rivers - First Descents

Storms are coming in... finally! Rain and some snow in the higher elevations... and good ol' Boreal has opened. Ryan Mac, one of our safety kayakers and also, one of our guides, has put together an exploratory rafting and kayaking trip to Brazil. Calling the Expedition "Chasing 50," Ryan, and the team will be traveling through 7 states, visiting over 20 National Parks in 15 different mountain ranges in an effort to surpass 50 River First Descents on Class 4 - 5 rivers in only 3 months! For info on sponsorships, please click here for further information on "Chasing 50."

Our own W.E.T. River Trips is sponsoring Ryan and the "Chasing 50" team because we support the exploration of new rivers and new rafting programs. To be able to, someday, experience the rivers that this team will be seeing for the first time is one of the best reasons to lend support. We can't wait for the stories to come out of this exploratory river trip!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Thanks!

This writer would like to give thanks for the many people, places and things that have brought joy and fulfillment to my life.

First my family; their support and love have been complete without exception. The beautiful rivers, streams and natural places that I have visited; God's gift to me, and believe me, I relish those moments of utter quiet and reflection. And the things... the organizations, the hardware to create this website, the rafts and gear that allow me to enjoy my family and rivers... Good health, happiness and strength. Music that keeps my head on the river even when I am not there. All this, I am thankful.

For those of you who have suffered loss and sadness this year, try to find a way to be thankful for all that you do have. This Thanksgiving finds our country in strife both on our shores and on foreign shores. We have seen major natural disasters that have faced both our countrymen and others. Daily we face disappointments and pure joy. Life is all about contrasts.

Eat a bunch of turkey, roll around on the floor while hugging your children, your spouse. Keep your friends close to your heart. If you have enemies, hug them anyway or at least keep an open mind. Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2005

River Conservation

Holidays are sneaking up on us... and my thoughts are still on the river season. Conservation groups have been very busy these past few months. SMUD's (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) proprosal of relicensing the Upper South Fork American River "was not as positive as it could have been,” said Steve Evans, FOR Conservation Director. It did not include the recommendations of agencies that are responsible for the public trust, including the California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and California Park Service.” FOR (Friends of the River) is not asking for dam removals; just a restoration. Read more about this project at our River Conservation News pages.

And over on the Tuolumne River, conservation efforts have helped convince San Francisco in dropping the additional pipeline that would have adversely affected the beautiful flows of the Tuolumne River. For those of you who love that river, you should read and help support the efforts by the Tuolumne Trust.

Finally, the modifications by the US National Forest has made some profound changes over on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Study) was released last week. "We think it's a workable plan," said Mark Grisham, Executive Director of the Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association, "We would have done some things differently, but recognize that the Park had a tough balancing act." Some of the changes include: Commercial use spreading from April through September with some launches in June and July moved to these early & later seasonal departures; Group size cuts from a maximum of 36 passengers to 28 passengers; and the ratio of commercial motorized use to oar use changed from the current 3 to 1 (motorized to oar) to 2 to 1.

While most of our paddling friends are busy with holiday planning and preparing for their annual rafting trips, our industry is busy protecting these dwindling resources as our California population swells. We work hard to protect our industry's interest just like every other business in the country; except ours is a fun-loving outdoor recreation that truely enhances the quality of our lives.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Teen Rafting Trips

Weather is cold today and a storm is due to hit. Mother Nature is waking up after a long summer/fall. Everyday, this past month, beautiful blue skies and warm sunny days greeted Californians, and the weather started to get to me. It's time for holiday planning and marking the days on the calendar. The guides are hunkering down for the winter and planning their holiday escapes. For those of you who went with W.E.T. River Trips this past rafting season, you may want to share your experience with a friend or loved one. Just call us for holiday gift certificates. We finally have a PDF file to download for the gift certificates or you can just order one to be mailed.

Speaking of holiday gifts & shopping, I came across a news item regarding Abercrombie & Fitch. Seems that a group of young teens have organized a boycott (or as one noted; a girl-cott) of their stores. This isn't the first time that A&F has insulted their buying public. What is suprising, though, is that these young teen women have organized and carefully put their message in front of the media.

What we see is a group of intelligent young teens exercising their Constitutional rights to boycott a stupid marketing attempt by a large corporate retailer. We would love to have these teens rafting with us! Our teen rafting trips honor the intelligence and abilities of our youthful citizens. They are the ones who will be running the show soon. And if this group of young teens is any indication of our future... well, we have nothing to worry about.