Friday, May 22, 2020


"Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today." --- From the movie "Groundhog Day,"

For outdoor enthusiasts, summer is the season we look forward to the most. Those hot days and warm summer nights provide the ultimate elements for paddling, hiking, and camping trips. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, it's time to, "Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink in the wild air."

Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the official unofficial start of summer, but as the novel coronavirus know COVID-19 pandemic stretches into its fourth month of social distancing recommendations and restrictions, the once carefree season is certainly off to an unusual and precarious start.
“We’re ready for a change, we’re all ready to get out of this," Joe Allen, assistant professor of exposure assessment science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health told The Harvard Gazette, "But we don’t yet have the systems in place to manage this effectively. So we should expect that things will be very different this summer. I don’t think this is going to be anything like past summers.”

Without question, our traveling, camping, and beach-going agenda will have to be altered if we're going to decrease the risk of becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus and stop the spread of it to others.
But as we all know, going outside is good for us. Being in nature and the fresh air can help us relax and feel less stressed, which of course, is what most of us could use now. But with things as they are here are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when heading out on this holiday weekend.

Whether on the water or the trail, the key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing. Keep 6 feet apart from one other. If the water access or trails appear to be too crowded or you if you can't even find a parking spot for that matter it’s wise to move on or find another time to visit. It's also a good idea to stay in your own neighborhood. And of course, always wash your hands.
"First and foremost, be a considerate person, and act like you have the virus," writes, travel blogger Kristen Bor in her blog Bearfoot Theory, "This mindset should guide all of your choices moving forward." #RecreateResponsibly

Parks & Rec
Beware, across the country's popular national, state, and local parks are either still closed or slowly opening back up this weekend. Before visiting a park, please check the park's website to determine its operating status.
For the ones in the early phases of reopening the amenities may be limited. Entrance stations might not be staffed and while, visitor centers, some bathroom facilities, and group campsites will remain closed
And while many are celebrating the reopening of the parks, others are raising health concerns about large, possibly maskless, groups of out-of-state visitors arriving and potentially skirting social distancing guidelines.
“We checked the webcam at (Yellowstone National Park) Old Faithful at about 3.30pm yesterday,” Kristin Brengel, the senior vice-president of government affairs at the National Parks Conservation Association told the Guardian, “Not much physical distancing happening and not a single mask in sight.”

Sleeping Under the Stars
Your summer camping trips will vary by location this year as more than 30 states have closed campgrounds or delaying their openings to correspond with new guidelines of social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 according to The Dyrt website.
“We’ve been trying to figure out basically from the beginning how we could get our campgrounds open for Memorial Day because we know how important it is to our communities with that being the kickoff to the camping season,” Danelle Highfill, recreation manager for the Boise National Forest, told the Idaho Stateman.
For those looking for campsite amenities this holiday weekend you're likely out of luck as most public campgrounds across the country are temporarily closed.
“If you are a hearty wilderness camper, you are absolutely welcome to go out into a state forest, one mile away from a developed campground, and do dispersed camping,” Kim Pleticha, a spokesperson from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to the Duluth News Tribune.

Happy Campers?
First the good news. Young campers won't have to contend with horrible food, bug bites, and smelly tents this summer. And now the bad news. Parents will have to contend with their bored kids as summer camps from Maine to California have been canceled or shorten for the season.
"That phrase, "social distancing," is not really in a camp's vocabulary," Ron Hall, executive director of the nonprofit Maine Summer Camps, told CNN.
Online virtual camps, scavenger hunts, and Zoom campfires via computer screen will replace many summer camp programs. While some traditional camps will open with shortened sessions using such precautions as having children wear masks and regularly sanitizing the equipment.
It's not just kids stuff. Many adult instructional programs such as learning to whitewater kayak have been disrupted this summer. Dan Crandall at Current Adventures Kayaking School & Trips said, "Obviously it's gonna be a challenging summer season no matter how or when things do finally open up to allow us to go back to teaching kayaking and getting folks out on the water. We will need to get creative and proactive once things loosen up."

Spring Carnage
Whitewater outfitters are used to frothy rapid changes at least on the water. But waves of disruption caused the Covid-19 pandemic has sunk a portion of this season at an array of water rafting destinations.
Colorado River rafting has been trips canceled through June 13, leaving guides broached at the possibility of resuming rafting trips through the Grand Canyon. Plans will be revisited periodically to give companies and individuals time to prepare for trips.
Courtesy of Scott Blankenfeld

In California, outfitters are acting accordance with the directive issued by state officials and have suspended all operations through June 7 at the earliest. So far, hundreds of customers have already jumped out of their plans, canceling trips scheduled for this past spring.
Whitewater Excitement’s website said, "We want you to know, however, that we still plan on running rafting trips as soon as we can!"
Meanwhile, in West Virginia, it's "All Forward" for whitewater outfitters in the New River Gorge area, as they hit the rapids using new safety enhancements and options to enhance social distancing while on the river.
“The outfitters had worked together to come up with a plan that identified what they thought to be the best and safest practices” for reopening, Lisa Strader, director of Visit Southern West Virginia told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Many of their recommendations were included in the governor’s guide to reopening whitewater rafting.
For more information see the River Management Guide.

Is the Water Safe?
Is the water safe? Well that's always a loaded question. But according to the  Swim Guide website, "As of March 2020, there is not enough research to say for certain whether or not the virus that causes Covid-19 can be transmitted through water, through contact with feces that contain the virus, or through sewage. Research is ongoing though, so we expect clearer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers in the near future."
Mountain True's French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson agrees as he told WLOS-News 13, “It seems extremely unlikely that the Coronavirus could affect our waterways. It has been shown in some instances that it can go from humans into sewage and although its a low percentage and then it would have to go from sewage into our waterways in any kind of quantity that could get people sick.”
Meanwhile, always wear your PFD when out on the water. U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2018 and that 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. Think of it as wearing a COVID-19 mask.

Clearly, this will not be a normal summer. We need to agree that for all us to enjoy summertime fun, it will require each of us to do our part to keep everyone safe.
“Everyone wants to know when this will end,” Devi Sridhar, a public-health expert at the University of Edinburgh told Atlantic Monthy. “That’s not the right question. The right question is: How do we continue?”

We are always looking for guest bloggers to share the stories and pictures of their adventure. Keep up with Outside Adventure to the Max, on our Facebook page and Instagram and now on Youtube.

Friday, May 15, 2020


 Rivers must have been the guides which conducted the footsteps of the first travelers. They are the constant lure, when they flow by our doors, to distant enterprise and adventure, and, by natural impulse. --- Henry David Thoreau,

Ask anyone why they started paddling and you will likely a hundred different answers. Some are like Thoreau are seeking that cosmic connection to nature and "all her recesses.'' While others like whitewater paddling coach Anna Levesque, say it's a way to face your fears and the perfect scenario to learn about yourself.
"That’s what I originally loved about kayaking," Levesque told Outside Magazine, "You have that exhilaration from being scared, but you have to act in spite of that fear. It’s a great way to cultivate courage, which is being afraid of something and doing it anyway.”
Parks closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kayaking is a sport that can have profound impacts on folks and can indeed be a life-changing experience. Current Adventures Kayaking School & Trips' Dan Crandall says most folks come into kayaking with some element of fear and intimidation.
"But with good instruction can easily overcome that," said Crandall, "And in so doing develop a strong sense of self-confidence that carries through all chapters of their lives. It's my opinion that those who choose to get into kayaking are often subconsciously looking for that self-understanding. And as their confidence builds, they become a better and happier version of themselves."

As a kayak instructor, Crandall has seen this rebirth over and over again in his paddling pupils. They discover the joy of paddling and the intoxication of the water, especially on bucket trips, like going down the Grand Canyon.
"An adventure like kayaking the Grand Canyon is the epitome of self-discovery and reflection," said Crandall who leads annual trips down the canyon, "Removing all semblance of a regular routine and choosing to place yourself in the heart of nature and adventure allows a person to truly come to a recognition of what is most important to oneself."

Face masks due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
From paddling the turbulent waters of the Colorado River thousands of feet below the Grand Canyon’s rim to just about any other river with a bit of current, Levesque says the key is accepting that you can’t control the river, but you can control your kayak.
"Kayaking becomes fun when you learn to navigate your kayak (the only thing you can control) in a dance with the water (what you can’t control, but can learn to navigate)," she wrote in blog, Mind Body Paddle, "Uncertain times and situations can be approached like navigating a river. You don’t always know what’s around the bend, but you can keep looking ahead knowing that you can control your own boat."

In many cases, misadventure always leads to the best adventure as people often surprise themselves by finding themselves.
"Return to routine often puts into full relief the distinction between what you really enjoy and who you envision yourself to be." said Crandall, "The social nature of a Canyon trip or most kayaking outings gives positive support and affirmation to those who allow themselves to open up and be themselves to others because everyone else is there for similar reasons."

South Fork of the American River
Rivers are no longer unknown waters, but still, as Thoreau said they are a constant lure to the desire for adventure, self-discovery, and changing one's destiny.
"Kayakers as a group," said Crandall, "Are amazingly real, appreciative, positive, and fulfilling the natural inclinations that "good people" bring to life when they escape routine and constraining elements in their life."

Here is a look at some of our favorite images from this year so far.


New Year's Day paddle with Bayside Adventure Sports on Lake Natoma

Lake Clementine

Lake Natoma

Carting in past Lake Natoma's locked gates

John Taylor on Lake Natoma with wheels & paddle
Lake Natoma
Sailor Bar & The Lower American River

Lake Natoma
Sailor Bar & The Lower American River

We are always looking for guest bloggers to share the stories and pictures of their adventure. Keep up with Outside Adventure to the Max on our Facebook page and Instagram and now on Youtube.

Friday, May 8, 2020


During their three months at Fort Clatsop, the members of the Corps of Discovery led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark reworked their journals, labored meticulously drawing maps, and to pass the time produced an ample supply of moccasins for the return trip back east.

March 13, 1806, "I this day took an account of the number of pairs of moccasins each man in the party had; and found the whole to be 338 pairs. This stock was not provided without great labor, as the most of them are made of the skins of elk. Each man has also a sufficient quantity of patch-leather. Some of the men went out to look for the lost canoe and killed two elk." --- Patrick Gass 

Fort Clatsop
Life at Fort Clatsop on the south shore of the Columbia River, near modern-day Astoria, Oregon was unbearably dull for the explorers who just the year before had crossed mountains and shot rapids. The weather was depressing and the days were monotonous as often noted several times in their journals. "Not anything transpired during this day worthy of particular notice," wrote Lewis. It was a place they just couldn't wait to leave.

March 3, 1806, "No movement of the party today worthy of notice. Everything moves on in the old way and we are counting the days which separate us from the 1st of April, & which bind us to Fort Clatsop." --- Meriwether Lewis

We don't have to go very far to see the parallels between our exploring counterparts of over 200 years ago and today's outdoor enthusiasts waiting out the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. As of this writing, state parks in many states are closed under the guidance on social distancing. Public health officials have raised alarms about people congregating in outdoor spaces like beaches, climbing areas, trailheads, and some popular river accesses leading to in some cases, these areas being shut down by local authorities.

"These are crazy, uncertain times," wrote California based paddler Cate Hawthorne in her blog Woman on the Water, "I feel very fortunate to have a comfortable home, agreeable partner for sheltering in place, lots of projects, and lots of good books to read. What has been difficult for me is the economic uncertainty and not being able to play outside (hike, bike, kayak, camp)."

For the most part, I've heeded universal rules that everyone should know by now, wash your hands, stay six feet apart from one another, avoid crowds, and stay local. Like the explorers at Fort Clatsop, I've found some diversion to my day with trips in my own neighborhood, all the while looking eastward toward the Sierra. Especially disappointed in missing my annual springtime events and trips, but I'll take refuge in my small solo outings or with my close paddling friends to my local river and lake.

Locked gates and kayak carts
With California state parks gates locked water access has been limited my neighborhood's Lake Natoma. Area paddlers park outside the gate and cart in their SUPS, kayaks, and canoes past the gates and signs to ghost town parking lots and boat access. Once on the water, a sense of normalcy occurs.

"Such a nice afternoon on the water!" wrote a Facebook friend, "Distancing of course with a few friends! So nice to get out of the house as I was cooped up sick over a week ago. Needed some vitamin D and connection. Thankful!"

Sunshine and water are good medicine. Wisconsin based paddler Shari Gasper felt that same rejuvenation just by getting back on to her lake recently.
"It just felt great to be outdoors and physically active," she wrote in her blog, Two Orange Kayaks, " We were a quiet trio on an almost empty lake, not coming into contact with other people, enjoying a day that felt nearly “normal” during the unusual circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. The time on the water made me feel energized and hopeful that I can endure another month of social distancing—if I have kayaking as my escape from the day-to-day monotony."

As with the explorers of the Corps of Discovery, we are counting the days until the restrictions are lifted and we can all travel far from homes. With so much uncertainty and so many changes in our lives these days, it's a relief to know the lakes and rivers will be there waiting for summer adventures. Yes, we'll all have to act responsibly by prioritizing the health and well-being of others when we get there by practicing the guidance of social distancing. And if we do, everyone will be able to enjoy the sunshine and beauty of the summer season. But until then, we'll have to wait.

March 20, 1806, "The rain rendered our departure so uncertain that we declined this measure for the present. nothing remarkable happened during the day. we have yet several days provision on hand, which we hope will be sufficient to subsist us during the time we are compelled by the weather to remain at this place." --- Meriwether Lewis

 Want to see more about Outside Adventure to the Max. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Friday, May 1, 2020

WATER FIGHT: Last Week's Highs and Lows of the Clean Water Act

The wars of the twenty-first century will be fought over water. ---- Ismail Serageldin

It was famed humorist Mark Twain who was given the credit for the incisively well-known phrase that "Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting."
For environmentalists concerned about protecting water, last week's 50th anniversary of Earth Day celebration offered a wild waterpark ride of slips and slides in interpreting the 1970's Clean Water Act.

The week began with water advocates crying foul has the Environmental Protection Agency under the guidance of the Trump Administration issued rulings that strip Clean Water Act protections for more than half of the nation’s wetlands and millions of miles of streams. The new Navigable Waters Protection Rule, “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS), dramatically narrows the definition of what waters are and the scope of which they are subject to federal regulations under the Clean Water Act. The rule would effectively roll back Obama-era regulations and re-define navigable waterways, potentially threatening ecosystems and drinking water supplies.

American Rivers President Bob Irvin says that the new rule is a matter of law and not science stating that ephemeral streams (one in five streams nationally) and isolated wetlands (51 percent of all wetlands) do not qualify as waters under WOTUS.
"We believe that science is the best guide to protecting our rivers and streams," wrote on the American River webpage, "Now, the Trump administration is dismantling clean water protections that are essential to public health and safety."

The EPA said the changes are the results of two executive orders Trump signed last year aimed at preventing delays of federal projects such as pipelines, dams, and mines that have been limited by states and tribes' abilities to study the project's effect on water quality.
“The EPA’s existing certification rules have not been updated in nearly 50 years and are inconsistent...." the agency said in a statement to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Leading to confusion and unnecessary delays for federally licensed or permitted projects."
The proposed changes would set a one-year time limit for local reviews while allowing federal agencies to demand a quick turnaround. They would also allow federal agencies to veto what states or local entities decide, raising concerns with environmentalists.
"In the midst of this pandemic," Sierra Club Deputy Legislative DirectorDalal Aboulhosn, issued this statement. "The Trump administration has just given polluters another free pass-- this time to contaminate groundwater, destroy streams and wetlands and put our water at risk. The need for clean water cannot be ignored, nor can the consequences of doing so."

The (WOTUS) rule could take effect later this summer, but will surely face potential legal challenges that might delay it. The Trump administration has hopes that a case challenging the rule will end up before the Supreme Court and, with the current conservative majority, it will be upheld by the majority.

However, in the same week, the U.S. Supreme Court sent a loud and clear message to the Trump administration and the EPA, stating: Don’t go too far in cutting clean water protections.
In a 6-3 ruling, the court said that the landmark Clean Water Act forbids polluters from spewing waste into navigable waters like oceans and streams without a permit even if the pollution travels indirectly through groundwater.
“This is unquestionably a win for people who are concerned about protecting clean water in the United States,” said David Henkin, a lawyer for the environmental group Earthjustice who argued the case in the high court told the Associated Press.

In the most high-profile environmental dispute of the Supreme Court’s term, the decision could certainly weaken the defense to the Trump administration’s future (WOTUS) court challenges. Environmentalists will now argue “If groundwater can be the connection to permitting in Maui, then why can’t groundwater be the connection for extending jurisdiction over isolated wetlands and seasonal waters?"
"The administration may be less sure of its strategy now," wrote American River's Ivrin in an email, "After the Supreme Court’s recent 6-3 decision in the Maui case. In rejecting the administration’s argument that only a direct discharge could be a violation, the majority recognized a broader scope of waters of the U.S."

Much more litigation is sure to follow as environmental groups continue their pledge to block the administration’s moves to undermine the protection of rivers and wetlands while industry and agriculture will be lobbying the EPA and Congress to simplified standards and to loosen what they say is government overreach brought by the Obama administration.

"Ultimately, the scope of waters of the U.S. will likely be decided politically," wrote Irvin in an email, "If the Trump administration is limited to one term, a Biden administration would likely revoke the dirty water rule and restore the Obama-Biden administration’s Clean Water Rule. A Democratic-controlled Congress could clarify the broad scope of waters of the U.S. Or a future Supreme Court case could resolve the issue."

Want to see more about Outside Adventure to the Max. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Friday, April 24, 2020


Every Day is EarthDay. The changes needed to safeguard future living conditions for all species won’t come from governments or businesses. It will come from the best available science and public opinion. So it’s up to us. Spread the science. --- Greta Thunberg, via Twitter

This past week was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Under normal circumstances, it would have been a week around the world marked with Earth Day celebrations, festivals, and massive clean up efforts all while promoting a cleaner, healthier environment worldwide.
It’s safe to say, however, nobody expected we’d be celebrating indoors and practicing "social distancing" during an earth-shaking pandemic that has inflicted millions and killed thousands. Environmental groups under the guideline stay in place restrictions around the world to fight the spread of COVID-19 were compelled to cancel all their outdoor and group events dedicated to environmental protection and rally online instead.

"Amid the recent outbreak, we encourage people to rise up but to do so safely and responsibly – in many cases, that means using our voices to drive action online rather than in person,” Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, said in a news release.

Earth Day event organizers went to social media to create creative and fun virtual activities like trivia games, online tours of state and national parks, and interactive scavenger hunts along with tips on how people can honor the earth from home.
“It was hard,” Naina Agrawal-Hardin, a 17-year-old activist told Sierra, "But it was also so clear that it was what needed to happen. It’s not like we were going to pack up our bags just because Earth Day isn’t what we wanted it to be.”

"Like Earth Day, I turn 50 this year," wrote Wisconsin freelance writer Shari Gasper in the Sun Prairie Star, "There will be no party, no vacation get-away, no day at the spa. Instead, you’ll find me outside—in my garden, on a trail, or in my kayak on a quiet lake. My special day will be spent enjoying the simple joys of life, just like when I was a kid, and celebrating our amazing natural world."

But while it might have felt a little hard to celebrate Earth Day locked down in quarantine, the planet earth seemed to enjoy its day during this suspended time out. Around the world, skies are clearing of pollution, wildlife is returning and the normally polluted waters like the canals of Venice are clearer than anyone can remember.

No problems with the natural world have not suddenly vanished. Environmental leaders still warn that climate change still represents the biggest challenge to the globe. They predict that the world will return to its pre-pandemic settings quickly wiping out any environmental benefits of the shutdown.
However, on the bright side, they say the pandemic shutdown does give us a glimpse of a possible alternative into future Earth Days but only if we "rechart our course."
“Whether we like it or not, the world has changed. It looks completely different now from how it did a few months ago. It may never look the same again. We have to choose a new way forward,” Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg told a YouTube audience to mark Earth Day this week.

Like all milestone anniversaries, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day despite this year's lack of fanfare is a salute to the environmentalists who started a worldwide movement and the bold call for action of those like young Thunberg, who continue the crusade by encouraging all to us to honor the earth, not just one day year, but each and every day.
"Each day, every single person," Jane Goodall said in National Geographic's, documentary special JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE, "Has the chance to make an impact through small, thoughtful choices, and when billions of people make the right choices, we start to transform the world. Don’t give up; there’s always a way forward.”

American Rivers Clean-Up Pledge  
While many of the Earth Day river clean-ups were canceled or postponed until a later date due to the coronavirus COVID-19 social distancing guideline, there is still a need. Outside Adventure to the Max and American Rivers is asking those of you who can get outside to take action and clean up and protect the rivers in our own backyards. We need your pledge.
Every year, National River Cleanup® volunteers pull tons of trash out of our rivers, but by picking up trash you see around you every day, you can prevent it from getting into the rivers in the first place.

Will you pledge to pick up 25 pieces of trash in 25 days? Let’s prevent litter from making it into our local streams and rivers. Add your name here:

Make the River Cleanup Pledge, and share your work on social media with #rivercleanup to help grow our movement. You are the key to protecting our rivers by setting an example for your community and help make Earth Day every day

Want to see more about Outside Adventure to the Max. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Friday, April 17, 2020


If you don't know what day it is, you're not alone. As the novel coronavirus know COVID-19 has halted all social activities everywhere to slow the spread of the disease, people have gotten the feel of "River Time" while sheltering in place these past few weeks.
For a lot of paddling folks, it being means stuck inside playing video games and streaming movies, instead of paddling in the stream or river.
So while you can't go to the river, here are some movies to watch (or perhaps, in some cases, revisit) that will keep you in a paddling mood in the coming days and weeks ahead.

The African Queen (1951)
Arguably one of the greatest river movies of all time, as Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, take on the jungle, the rapids, and the German Navy in this classic movie adventure.

Filmed on the Ruiki River, in the heart of the Belgian Congo at Murchison Falls near Lake Victoria in Uganda, just making this movie was a monumental test of endurance for the cast and crew. They endured sickness, spartan living conditions, and even had brushes with wild animals and poisonous snakes while on location.
The African Queen deck was tight and too small to shoot on, given the size of the bulky Technicolor cameras. While on the river, most of the filming had to be done on a sprawling raft mock-up to shoot the close-ups. The cumbersome raft (built over three large canoes) would get stuck on submerged logs, while cameras and lights would get caught in the overhanging foliage of the jungle.

"The hysteria of each shot was a nightmare”, wrote Hepburn in her 1987 memoir The Making of The African Queen. “The engine on the Queen would stop. Or one of the propellers would be fouled up by the dragging rope. Or we would be attacked by hornets.”
The scenes considered too dangerous to shoot on the river were shot in studio water tanks in Isleworth Studios, Middlesex.
And in the days before CGI, the dramatic sequence of the African Queen going over a waterfall and through rapids was actually an eight-foot model boat shot through a telephoto lens. Flim makers layered their footage, incorporating the location sequences with the miniature boat careening over a waterfall.

The River of No Return (1954)
Riding the wave of the success of The African Queen, moviegoers returned to theaters to journey downriver again, but this time with blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe rocking the boat.
While trying to start a new life together with his son after being released from prison, Robert Mitchum works his farm along the river, only to have Monroe and her low-life gambler fiance wash up along its shores.

On the run, the gambler knocks out Mitchum, steals his horse and rifle, and leaves the three stranded and surrounded by hostile Indians, with only one escape.
"The Indians call it the River of No Return,"  Mitchum's character says as they head into a series of treacherous rapids.  "From here on, you'll find out why."
Including the raft trip down the river, the film is an action-packed western with mountain lions, gunfights, and Indian attacks, but Monroe is still given time to serenade us with four songs, including the movie's willowy title tune.
Flimed in British Columbia on the Bow River, the production was plagued with problems, with the insistence from the director that the cast would perform many of their own stunts. In one incident, Monroe's hip waders filled with water, dragging her under and nearly drowning her after slipping on a rock in the river. Mitchum and others jumped to her rescue, but her ankle was injured as a result.
Another mishap occurred when Monroe and Mitchum's raft became broached on the rocks in the middle of the river, nearly capsizing before some quick thinking stuntmen saved the day and pulled them off the rocks.
It was much safer but not much drier for them while filming the remaining scenes indoors in Los Angeles. Onboard a hydraulic platform in front of a giant screen, Monroe and Mitchum clung to rafting props, while men stood to the sides and splashed them with buckets of water.

Deliverance (1972)
Even people who have never seen the film have encountered Deliverance's legacy, especially those who are connected to the canoe and kayak community. From bumper stickers and T-shirt reading, ‘Paddle faster, I hear banjos,’ to the hearing the iconic movie line "squeal like a pig,” the will film will forever as cause us to "squirm with angst."

It's a Heart of Darkness-like voyage into the rural backwoods of the south, as four suburban Atlanta men take a weekend canoe trip down the fictional Cahulawassee River in the Georgia wilderness. Burt Reynolds' character calls it the “the last wild, untamed, unpolluted, unf*cked-up river in the South." But time is ticking. In a short time the river, the rapids, and even the town will be flooded over with the imminent construction of a dam.
After a bumpy ride through rapids, the light-hearted adventure turns to horror when they encounter a pair of dangerous mountain men. Separated from the others, John Voight's character was tied to a tree and could only watch helplessly as his canoe partner Ned Beatty is violently raped by one of the men. That attack sets off a chilling sequence of events, including a disastrous turn through whitewater that challenges the canoeist's moral codes as they fight to survive.
Flimed on Northern Georgia's Chattooga River, the actors who performed their own stunts spent two weeks learning to canoe the rapids.
"We rehearsed for quite a long period," director John Boorman, told The Guardian in a 2017 interview, "Because we had to get the actors up to scratch in archery and canoeing. I had already been down the Chattooga, a ferocious river, to make sure it was safe."
In the scene where the canoe broke in two (five were actually destroyed during filming), Boorman coordinated a release of water from the upstream Tallulah Falls dam.

"I got them to close all the sluice gates upstream, so only a trickle came down," Boorman recalled in the interview, "That let us build rails on the riverbed, so we could mount the canoe on them, and trigger the breakup later. When we came to shoot, I was down at the bottom of the cataract on the phone to the dam. But I got impatient and got them to open all the gates. We just about survived the avalanche of water."
While Boorman was down below, tough-guy Reynolds (who nixed using a dummy in the shot because the stunt coordinator thought it looked too phony), requested to have the scene re-shot with himself going over the falls instead.
"I dream sometimes of the water coming," years later Reynolds told the Hollywood Reporter, "I looked around and there was a tidal wave coming at me. I went over the falls and the first thing that happened I hit a rock and cracked my tailbone, and to this day it hurts. Then I went down to the water below and it was a whirlpool. I couldn’t get out and a guy there said if you get caught, just go to the bottom. You can get out but you can't swim against it. So I went down to the bottom. What he didn’t tell me was it was going to shoot me up like a torpedo. So I went out."
Years before the phrase "wardrobe malfunction" would become popular, Reynolds would have one while caught in the force of that churning whirlpool.
"They said later that they saw this 30-year-old guy in costume go over the waterfall and then about fifteen minutes later they saw this nude man come out," Reynolds recalled in the interview, "It had torn everything—my boots and everything off."
For more about the movie see Canoe and Kayak Magazine article Summer of Deliverance.

Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977)
The Peanuts gang heads off to Camp Remote in this animated adventure. Hoping to use this experience in building confidence, Charlie Brown leads the group in a river-raft race against some cheating bullies. The action transpires as the kids, get lost, battle thunderstorms, wild river rapids, and Peppermint Patty's endless calls for a vote.
After overcoming considerable odds Charlie Brown takes charge. "Let's go to the river," he commands as he leads the gang in paddling over a waterfall and to the movie's climax.
The longtime executive producer of the Peanuts Specials, Lee Mendelson said that he and Peanuts creator Charles Schulz came up with the idea after going on a river trip to Oregon.
"I said to him (Schulz)," recalled Mendelson in a 2015 interview with ToonZone News, “We’ve got to do research and go down the Rogue River.” He said, “Well, it rains a lot up in Oregon,” and I said, “I’m going to find out when the perfect time to go is.” They told me in July, it never rains in Oregon. So we spent three days on a raft in a thunderstorm. Rained the whole time. (laughter) That was the research we did for that movie."

White Water Summer  (1987)
Footloose's Kevin Bacon trades his dancing shoes for a PFD and hiking boots as he leads a group of young teenagers including Sean Astin on a trip into the wilderness. Attempting to toughen up the boys, Bacon and Astin are constantly at odds as they fish by hand, survive storms, cling to mountains and causing the others to become a bit annoyed when they paddle off through rapids.
"We carry the goddamn thing, and look who gets to ride in it!” complains one of the boys as Bacon and Austin canoe off on a difficult stretch of the river.
Mostly shot in Northern California, the filmmakers, however, would travel all the way to New Zealand to film some of the exciting canoeing sequences.
It would only be warm-up for Bacon, as he would take to the river again in River Wild.
"The River Wild' was great, with Meryl Streep," said Bacon, "That guy was really a bad dude who ultimately sorted of fundamentally impotent in a weird way. That was kind of interesting."

River Wild (1994)
We don't think of Meryl Streep as an action star, but when she says "We're are risking death a number of times on this trip", we know we're in for a wild ride. called the Gauntlet. "It's off the scale," Streep's character says. "One man was killed, and another one paralyzed for life. The Rangers no longer allow anyone to try it."
She stars as a suburban mom and former white-water rafter who, while trying to save her marriage, battles wits with an evil Kevin Bacon and runs a dangerous stretch of river
Many of the movie's whitewater scenes were filmed on Montana's Kootenai River, while other scenes were shot on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, the Colorado River in Utah, and Oregon's Rogue River.
While most of the dangerous river scenes did require expert stunt doubles, Streep did several of her own stunts in the film on some milder river sections, but even those had some peril when the star was swept off the raft into the river.
''Actually, I was really very quiet and not scared, which is not at all how I thought I'd react under these circumstances", Streep told the New York Times in 1994. ''I remember sinking down to the bottom with this powerful and freezing water pulling me in deeper."
Wearing a PFD, she was rescued by a hired kayaker after the river pushed her 500 yards downstream.

The White Mile (1994)
Like The Titanic and A Perfect Storm, we have no doubts about the fate of the rafters. But it's hard to look away as we watch their misguided steps that lead to disaster. In the end, five men are killed, setting up moral crises within their corporate world when the surviving relatives file a liability suit against the firm.

Loosely based on a true story, the movie depicts an advertising agency taking 11 executives rafting on Canada's Chilko River. On a Class V section of the river known as the White Mile, the rafters suffer catastrophe after their raft capsizes, tossing them all into the raging current.
A not-so-nice Alan Alda stars as a hard-charging and unrepentant advertising executive who bullies not only his colleagues and clients into the male-bonding trip but also the raft guide by piling too many men into the raft.
During filming, however, California's South Fork of the American River (standing in for the Chilko River) dished out more than a few licks on Alda.
In a 1994 interview with St Louis Post-Dispatch, Alda tells how he and co-star Robert Loggia were struggling to stay afloat in the rapids while shooting one of the extremely edgy and authentic whitewater sequences above a big drop in the river.
"We didn't go over, but we came close enough I remember thinking to myself," recalled Alda "When the hell are they going to come out here with one of those kayaks?' Everybody thought the scene was going great and they weren't going to interrupt it. We had gone twice as far they said we would before they stopped us. And we were heading for the waterfall!"
In search of legendary skyjacker D.B. Cooper's loot in the Oregon wilderness, the three childhood buddies encounter a bear, a pair of sexy treehuggers, a couple of bumbling but well-armed pot farmers and, with a nod to Deliverance, even wild-bearded Burt Reynolds.
Shot in New Zealand, the producers use sections of the Waikato River and Wellington’s Hutt River for the boating scenes and South Auckland’s Hunua Falls for our hapless canoeist's trip over the falls. The actors performed many of their own stunts, including paddling their canoe through some hurtling rapids.
"We capsized that boat more times than I care to relate to you," actor Seth Green told The Morning Call in 2004 interview.

And some other favorites

The River Why
The Bridge of the River Kwai 
Cape Fear 
Apocalypse Now 
Rooster Cogburn and The Lady
A River Runs Through It
Black Robe
Damn River
Up The Creek

Hopefully, this list reminded you of some classics you want to watch again or gave you some new ones to rent or stream while you stay home and stay safe.


Want to see more about Outside Adventure to the Max. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Friday, April 10, 2020


Our favorite outdoor places certainly are not being spared in this world gone crazy. Thought to be a good way to improve mental health, relieve stress and get some exercise during last month's early days of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, our national and state parks remained open, despite orders to stay in place. Park officials then, encouraged folks to remain diligent by taking steps to make park visits as safe and as enjoyable as possible while recommending "Social Distancing" policies.

But with spring break temperatures, the first weekend of the order produced large crowds as people packed beaches, parks, and hiking trails either oblivious to or ignoring the pleas stay at home. Public health officials said by drawing large crowds of people who congregate too closely together it could easily spread the virus even further.

“I wish we could find refuge in national parks right now but in many cases, the parks are too crowded to be safe,” Phil Francis, chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks told the Guardian, “It’s just not possible to keep people far enough apart on the trails. If CDC guidelines aren’t being followed then the parks need to be closed.”

To limit usage, many park managers have since shut down open spaces and park areas around the country. While others have closed off vehicle access but left trails and beaches open to visitors who can still travel via bicycle and on foot in efforts to prevent visitation surges.

Kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding are considered to be a form of exercise where the practice of social distancing can easily be accomplished and abided once on the water. However, for paddle sports enthusiasts it means limited or challenging access to public waterways that are often part of the state, county, and national park's venues.

Like Clark Griswold in the movie National Lampoon's Vacation, many have been left wanting to punch a moose statue while being frustrated by locked gates that have shutoff easy access to the lake or river.

But still many like Orlando Sentinel's John Cutter, have managed to get to the water.
"Talk about your social distancing!" wrote Cutter in his column about kayaking in Florida's Dora Canal, "A few boats and one paddleboarder passed me, but otherwise my only company was my thoughts and herons of various types, including one not-too-shy Great Blue Heron. It was an easy trip, perhaps a 1.5-mile roundtrip in the shade and calm waters.

Others like Chicago's Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin of Have Kayaks Will Travel, a paddlesport coaching business, ultimately decided against it, in the spirit of supporting physical distancing and the possibility of requiring assistance from an overwhelmed emergency response system.
"So we put away our paddles and PFDs," she wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times, "Personal flotation devices. Everyone is making sacrifices. Some are huge. Ours, honestly, are small. But we must do our part, we decided, to not only practice physical distancing but to support the general appearance of physical distancing that normalizes this abnormal behavior and helps keep everyone safe."

Coronavirus is affecting the world in so many ways now. While for some, the best thing is just not paddled for a while. As for others, paddling responsibly offers a great opportunity to get out of the house, stay healthy (mentally and physically) and connect with nature with social distancing and isolation is the key.
Social distancing measures seem to be holding down the spread in some areas as health experts say the country is not ready to shift to normal. They say, easing social distancing too soon could risk a huge resurgence in coronavirus cases much worse than what we've seen already.

Meaning for paddle sports enthusiasts expect in the coming weeks and maybe months of the hearing, Sorry folks the park is closed. The moose out front should have told you.

Want to see more about Outside Adventure to the Max. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram