Rogue River, Oregon- Due to Popular Demand We’ve Added Another Date.

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We just added the dates of August 22 – 25th to our Rogue offerings this year.  Join us for a four day, raft supported trip on Oregon’s wild and scenic Rogue River. Fun class II – III rapids, warm water, great instruction, comfy camping, hearty meals and great wildlife viewing all come together to give you a great river experience.  It’s not just for kayakers either.  If you or someone you know doesn’t paddle but wants to experience a mulit-day river trip the Rogue is the perfect introduction.  Click here to learn more details about the trip and how to sign up.

A Little About Prayer Flags In Bhutan

In October and November of this year we will be returning to Bhutan to lead two, 13-day kayaking adventures.  In addition to paddling on Himalayan rivers we’ll take time out to visit monasteries and temples, hike the countryside and learn more about the culture of these gentle, gracious and fun loving people. Between now and our fall departure we’ll have regular postings featuring images and short stories about our past travels there. You can learn more about our trips by boofing over to our website or contact us directly.

Prayer_flags_Bhutan_riverIn Oct

You’ll find these colorful panels of fabric slung across rivers, posted outside of dzongs and temples, in front of houses, at the top of mountain passes and in meadows. They can be a single color vertically tied to a tall pole, or a series of five individual colored panels joined together horizontally by a string. Their shape, color and positioning all have meaning.
We westerners are probably most familiar with the string of five individual flags colored blue, white, red, green and yellow. Mary and I have a string of them over our porch as a reminder of our time spent in Bhutan. Each color represents an element; water, sky, fire, wood and earth. These are printed using wooden-block printing techniques. The print is a series of blessing which Buddhist believe are carried by the wind across the land and into bodies of water to further spread their benefit to all sentient beings.

On ridge clearings you will sometimes see a cluster of vertical poles with long white flags lashed to them.  These are erected to honor a deceased family member in order to guide them to the next life.  When possible there will be as many as 108 of these vertical flags, a number of significance in the Buddhist religion.  Atop these poles is a small wooden disk that represents the lotus blossom. From the disk extends the blade of a wooden dagger, signifying that the Buddhist teachings slice through ignorance and lead the way to enlightenment.

Outside of monasteries, temples, dzongs and other important structures you will find the tallest of the flags.  They are often white with red, blue, yellow and green colored ribbons sewn to them.  The pole is topped by a metal or fabric parasol that is known as the victory banner. This too signifies Buddhisms triumph over ignorance and harmful behaviors.

Most times an astrologer will determine the exact date for placement of the flags. He may also give instructions for the direction, location and color. The lightweight and loose weave of the fabric assures that they will soon begin to erode under the force of the elements, reminding us of the impermanence of all things.

 Buddhist or not, sitting on a mountain pass with the sound of the wind rippling across the surface of the flags, or seeing the play of light on the translucent fabric will pull you into the moment in a present and meditative way. This slideshow is just a teaser.

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Photos and content ©DeRiemer Adventure Kayaking all rights reserved.

Time Off But Staying Wet.

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Mary crossing a stream on the way to the Cuevas del Tayo.

We finished up our last kayaking trip in mid-February but we’re far from being done here in Ecuador. We’ve extended our intended departure date by a couple of weeks allowing us extra time to travel, visit friends and boat. After bidding farewell to our last group in Quito we returned east to Borja in the Quijos river valley.  That evening we ran into our friends Ken and Juliet and Dan Dixon and his family where they told us they had just come from the Cuevas de los Tayos (cave of the oil bird) and told us what an amazing place it is. We’ve passed by the sign for it a number of times on our way back from running the lower Quijos and had added it to our long list of “things to do in the Quijos valley when we have the time”. After hearing their description we made a point to go out the next day. Continue reading “Time Off But Staying Wet.”

Technique Tip-Hybrid High Brace/ Forward Sweep

With all the rain we’ve been experiencing in Ecuador this season we’ve had plenty of big water opportunities  . Big water can mean big features in the form of waves and holes that form and change shape and size, and that come from all directions. Those features can knock you flat if you shy away or have an improperly placed stroke.  They can also provide incredible support and help you along your way if you know what to do. That’s where a hybrid-high brace/sweep stroke comes into play.

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All the right components of a good hybrid high brace/ forward sweep stroke.

Most people think of bracing as a recovery stroke, something done to right yourself after tipping. That’s only part of the story.  It can also be a great preventative stroke, done in anticipation of tipping, then transitioned into a propulsion stroke that keeps you moving. Continue reading “Technique Tip-Hybrid High Brace/ Forward Sweep”

Ecuador- A Closer Look

Here’s a slide show featuring work from our good friend Merida who joined us for two weeks in Ecuador this season. She’s got a great eye for photography. I enjoy her work because it makes me think. She has such a great sense of form and design! While we are addicted to kayaking, being in Ecuador is also about the places our kayaks take us and the things we get to see from them. Thank you, Merida!

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Middle Fork Salmon, Idaho 2012 Spaces Filling

Middle Fork Salmon_Idaho

Each year we offer two trips on Idaho’s beautiful wild and scenic Middle Fork of the Salmon. These are six day/five night, raft supported camp trips. Our June 25 – 30 date has spaces for both rafters and kayakers. Our July 3- 8 trip has only a couple spots left. These are primo dates for both weather and water levels on this majestic river. Idaho’s snow pack for the Salmon drainage at present is at 80%, pretty good compared to our dry California winter!

For more information, click here to go to the Middle Fork page on our website or contact us directly at info@adventurekayaking.com. To book a space contact ECHO, our rafting outfitter at (800) 652-3246 or info@echotrips.com. Ask for the DeRiemer trips.

If It’s Tuesday It Must Be Tena

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Gearing up at the put in on the Upper Misahualli near Contundo.

If I could package up the Upper Misahualli (Mish for short) river near Tena, Ecuador and bring it home in my duffle I would.  The run just puts a smile on the face of anyone who paddles it.

Chris S., Mr. Dreamflows himself, on the Upper Mish.

Technical and continuous is how I would describe the Mish but you would also be amazed at how “doable” it is for a variety of skill levels. It’s the perfect training ground for developing and improving your creeking skills and a playground for those that want to keep those skills sharp. Continue reading “If It’s Tuesday It Must Be Tena”

Mary’s American Whitewater Article; The Mental Game of Kayaking

We’ve been getting a number of requests for Mary’s recent article on the Mental Game of Kayaking that appeared in American Whitewater.  We had posted a link to the article on our Facebook page for all of those good dues-paying members out there.  After letting some time go by we are now make it available as a pdf download. Click here.

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Photos and content ©DeRiemer Adventure Kayaking all rights reserved.

Ecuador- We’re Here, And Happy Holidays!

This is a quick post to say that we arrived in Ecuador a little over two weeks ago. We purposefully came in early to get things ready for our trips, pre-scout runs and spend time with friends; old and new. Right now we are in the Quijos River valley, east of Quito where the rain has been falling steadily for the last three days. The locals will tell you it is due to the new moon- why not, it affects ocean tides.

Mary DeRiemer_Smiling_Jondachi_Ecuador
You'd better like the color green while paddling here in Ecuador.

The rain has inspired me to post this poem I first became aware of when on a paddling trip in New Zealand.  Very appropriate.

It rained and it rained and it rained and it rained;
the average fall was well maintained,
and when the tracks were simply bogs,
it started raining cats and dogs.

After a drought of half an hour
we had a most refreshing shower,
and then the most curious thing of all:
a gentle rain began to fall.

Next day was also fairly dry,
save for the deluge from the sky,
which wetted the party to the skin,
and after that the rain set in.