After a 3-week hiatus from kayaking, Don and I are back!
As a farewell to Idaho, we got in a few more runs on the North Fork Payette and now we are headed towards the Pacific Northwest. 1st stop, Hood River to see some friends, then Seattle, and eventually up to British Columbia to take advantage of the still-huge snowpack in the Whistler area.
(Darcy below Rattlesnake on the Royal Gorge, CA 2009)
But, since we don't have any new kayaking photos from the past few weeks, I thought I throw up a few from years past. It seemed like a good time to reflect a little on some of our past adventures in order to create new energy for our future journeys. So enjoy!
(Don and and Tim in Commitment Canyon on the Ashlu River--pre dam, 2008)
For the past few years, Don and I have been able to dedicate a good portion of our US time to our passion--kayaking. Without a mortgage, car payments, or lavish eating habits, we've been able to save our money to travel and kayak during our off season from Ecuador. (Larry doesn't have it too bad either guiding in the Grand Canyon during the summers, but hey, work is work)! Looking through our old photos, I feel fortunate that we've been able to see so many beautiful places from our kayaks.
(Jason, Lana, and Don setting up the rappel down "Final Falls" on the Salmon River Gorge 2007)
People often ask, "when are you going to get serious, get real jobs
and settle down?" I guess I've always known this, but have recently reconstituted my belief that life is too short to worry about what society wants us to do. So, damn it, we are going to live how we want to live while we can! When we don't feel like kayaking and traveling anymore, then we'll get serious, get real jobs and settle down. But for now, those things just don't suit us.
Oh, and by the way, kayaking guiding in Ecuador is a real job
(Don and Darcy scouting one of the many ominous gorges on Fantasy Falls, CA 2009)
(Descending down into the Cofanes River Valley, Sucumbios Province Ecuador. Cayembe rises above the clouds in the background, and there is amazing rainforest as far as we could see. Yet another incredible place we were lucky enough to visit, 2010).
(Don soaking in the scenery on the Cofanes River below it's confluence with the El Dorado. 2010).
So, for now, we've contented ourselves to be kayakers in search of extraordinary places. We aren't the best or most bad ass kayakers in the world; you won't see us hucking 100-foot waterfalls or developing new big wave moves. We are just regular ol' boaters who happen to have structured our lives around the sport. Hopefully our adventures will inspire all the other "normal" kayakers out there to get out every chance you get because, eventually, those chances won't be there for you.
(Darcy learning to back stab on Diagonal Ledges Wave Lower Gauley West Virginia. 2006)
So, whatever it is that makes you "tick" whether that be kayaking, skiing, your kids, good music, etc...make sure you soak it in as much as you can! Always remember to work hard for what you want and have some fun while you're at it.
(The Small World Adventures gang "chillin" at our riverside lodge. Darcy, Tarquino, Don and Larry are all getting excited about returning to Ecuador. Life is pretty darn good down there, and we hope you can come experience it with us, if only for 1 week)