Friday, December 16, 2016

2016 IN REVIEW: PICTURES OF THE YEAR

San Francisco Bay with Bayside Adventure Sports
In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. -- Albert Schweitzer

I have to admit when it comes to kayaking, I could be classified more as a fanatic than just plain enthusiast. I think about paddling all the time day and night. I dream about my next trip on the river and visualize my last trip to the lake. I consider a day that I don't get out on to the water as almost a day lost.

Professional paddler and film maker Rush Sturges wrote on Facebook, "I go to sleep thinking about this river and I wake up excited to paddle it.  People ask me if I ever get bored?  And I never do at these levels. This is the first section of the Little White we call "Gettin Busy" at 4 feet today. It's fast, technical, and steep. But when you're in control of the flow, there's nothing better."

On Lake Tahoe with Cole Carlson
Lake Natoma with Taylor Carlson
I can picture myself in the same way. Anytime I cross any river bridge I look down wishing I was there.  Like Sturges pointed out, there is nothing better than being on the water. So as 2016 draws to a close,  I look back at some of my favorite places and people I had the good fortune of kayaking with this past year. My two sons who both came out to California for a visit this past summer. It was thrilling to take Cole on his first trip down the South Fork of the American River and both got to on an over-night trip to Lake Tahoe. Father and son camp-outs are always special no matter how old they are.

Any day on the water on with Dan Crandall, Kim Sprague, John Weed and the rest the gang at Current Adventures Kayaking School and Trips and The River Store, is always a great day. If it was just a job to them they would have quit it a longtime ago. But, it is their passion for kayaking that flows through them like an untamed river. They are deep in experience and share their thirst of paddling with first-timers and veterans with assurance, confidence and conviction. After paddling with them, you only have one question. When can we go again?

The Lower American River with Current Adventures.

And only to go again and again with Erik Allen, Brian Hughes and members of Bayside Adventure Sports. God created the Earth to RIDE IT. CLIMB IT. CATCH IT. EXPLORE IT. PROTECT IT. I'm hoping for some more trips like the one to Angel Island along with many day trips to some area lakes and rivers. 

But mostly I couldn't do any of kayaking without the support and encouragement from my wife Debbie. Always up for an adventure, she shares my same passion of being outside whether on the water, snow or trail.

Lake Jenkinson with Debbie Carlson
In Chasing Niagara,  a film directed by Sturges and produced by Red Bull that focused on Rafa Ortiz’s journey of being the first person ever to go over Niagara Falls in a kayak, Oritz offers this lesson. “I don’t really believe in regretting things, you know?” said Rafa Ortiz. “I believe in that anything that has happened in my life is for a reason and you know there is definitely things that have happened in my life that I would, you know, if I could I would think that I want to change but I think that anything that happens is for a reason and it just makes me who I am.”

Like Oritz, these experiences made me who I am. So as the year comes to a close, I look forward even more adventures on the water, in the years to come and wish you all the same.

The Lower American River with Bayside Adventure Sports

Eppies training on Lake Natoma
Eppies training
Kids Class with Current Adventures
Eppies Race Day
Barking Dog Rapid
The Rainbow Bridge
Lake Valley Reservoir
Loon Lake
Loon Lake with Current Adveentures
The Shoe Tree on the Lower American River
Sunset on Lake Natoma