– 2017 – Another Year of Rivers – Photo Highlights

There may have been fewer rivers than I would I have liked, but here is a look back at some new adventures and a few return trips to classic locations. I definitely find the most excitement in new locations and experiences, and everybody likes fresh adventure stories, but sometimes going back just makes sense. My year was just that, a few exciting new locations and a couple returns to old haunts.

January/February – New Zealand. Locations like NZ are classic for good reason, and after years of either avoiding a trip or telling myself it couldn’t really be that good, I took an opportunity to go south. Behind the wheel of my not-so-trusty van, I saw much of the south island and was psyched on the quality of paddling and living. The only disappointment was my van breaking down the day before I needed to catch a flight from an airport on the other side of the island. Luckily a hungry kiwi hunter I met and shared food with in a backcountry hut found my girlfriend and I broken down on the side of the road, and on his way to the same place, gave us a ride to the airport.

March/April – Colombian Amazon expedition. Almost directly from NZ with a four day layover in California, I landed in Medellin, Colombia to start an expedition into one of the most recondite regions of the Amazon Basin. Surreal experiences one after another amounted to one of the most memorable trips of my life.

June/July – California/Oregon, eclipse

I have been wanting to paddle the Upper Middle Kaweah for years and finally had all the pieces line up for one of the coolest kayaking trips in California. From the Giant Sequoias to the great whitewater, the UMK is a classic worth returning to.

August – NWT; Scimitar Canyon. An absolute highlight of the year, a last minute trip north to the Northwest Territories for a first descent of the Ram River’s Scimitar Canyon. Benny Marr had his eye on this canyon for years after hearing of multiple attempts to paddle it and it all came together perfectly for our trip. Marr and the Serrasolses brothers led the way for an amazing experience.

Sept/Oct – BC classics and Bishop. It’s almost impossible not to return to British Columbia to bike, paddle, and make the most of late summer in some of the most amazing and accessible landscapes in North America. The classics alone are worth the trip, but the exploratory potential is what keeps me coming back, and a second attempt on the Bishop River highlighted the trip this year.

Nov/Dec – Chile, new classics. Ten years ago, I came to Chile on my first international kayaking trip. Little did I know how it would change the course of my life, and now it’s great to be back again.

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