List: Hydrate or die

I have lived most of my life in an exceptionally dry climate. Colorado is the sort of place where you step off the plane and your nose promptly starts bleeding.

“At least it’s a dry heat!” chirp out-of-towners from humid places as they slather lotion on their peeling hands and faces. When friends visit, they often spend the first day or so feeling generally lethargic and remarking on how difficult it is to breathe when, say, walking up a flight of stairs.

“Drink lots of water,” we tell them. Continue reading “List: Hydrate or die”

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Throw bags, throw up, and other things I did this summer

It’s an uncharacteristically rainy May afternoon in Colorado, and I’m gasping for breath in the deep end of the Evergreen Rec Center pool.

What the hell am I doing here? I wonder, but I don’t have much time to rethink my life choices.

“Again!” the head boatman cries, and I do my best to hoist my slippery carcass onto the upside-down raft for what feels like the hundredth time. I wedge the t-grip of my paddle into one of the boat’s self-bailing holes, shakily rise to my feet, and flip the beast onto its back.

It is my first day of raft guide training, and right now, I’m pretty sure it will be my last.

Continue reading “Throw bags, throw up, and other things I did this summer”

An Adventure on the Arkansas, in which I tackle my own River of Doubt.

I like to think of the great explorers of our age whenever I’m out in the wilderness. I’m certainly a weenie compared to Teddy Roosevelt, but his adventures are perhaps the most inspiring to me. After sorely losing the 1912 presidential election, Roosevelt, his son Kermit, a Brazilian Colonel, and a troop of assorted adventurers set out to chart the River of Doubt, a tributary of the Amazon flanked on all sides by dangerous flora and fauna and choked with impassable rapids. Roosevelt nearly lost his life, and the story of his expedition to the River of Doubt is one that will render your most gut-wrenching outing completely moot. You could argue that Roosevelt was the last great all-around adventurer of our time, and you might very well be right. Adventurers today aren’t nearly so versatile.

Continue reading “An Adventure on the Arkansas, in which I tackle my own River of Doubt.”