Thursday, May 31, 2007

 

Yagatta Regatta - Colorado

Whitewater Rafting is sponsoring the 5th annual Yagatta Regatta benefiting Operation Vacation, a program to help military personnel with all expense paid trips to the community. An array of events are planned starting on June 2nd.

A raft flotilla costume competition, live music, beer tasting, food vendors and children's activities round out the kayak competition this year.

For all rafters, meet at 2000 Devereux Road, by 10:30 a.m. Rafts will float from Grizzly Creek to Two Rivers Park, where festival entrance is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger.

Thanks to April Clark at the Post Independent for this info!

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Friday, May 25, 2007

 

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend is coming tomorrow. Travelers will be out throughout the country visiting state parks, recreating outdoors and gravitating to our waterways. Due to high gas prices, many vacationers will be traveling closer to home and visiting rivers and lakes nearby. Picnicing and camping are the usual pasttimes while river rafting will augment many visitor's plans.

Rafting News suggests that all paddlers wear a lifejacket and proper gear no matter what river or lake you are floating. Watch and supervise your chldren at all times when near a body of water. Even your teens need to be supervised near any water or river.

Keep alcohol to a minimum or not at all if you are paddling or swimming. Alcohol will impair your judgement and also fool you into thinking the water isn't cold enough for hyperthermia. Use common sense when in the outdoors. Keep hydrated during hikes and rafting, especially in the warmer areas of the country. And remember that spring runoff is cold and fast and should be prepared for appropriately before attempting any rafting trip.

If you love the outdoors, then respect it. That respect will go a long way in preventing vacation time tragedies and will help you to preserve the time-honored memories of Memorial Day Weekend!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

 

Sacramento River Whales - California

Whale sightings are an uncommon event on rivers. Two whales, a mother and her baby, were spotted swimming in the Sacramento River in California. Disorientated and possibly entangled by debris, the mother whale is swimming towards the urban center of the state capitol. Hordes of people are lining the banks of the Delta viewing the historical event. Not since the whale, Humphrey was sighted back in 1985, has the populous been so excited. Families, workers, students and scientists are all drawn to the spectacle.

On a more serious note, biologists are worried that the whales organs will be affected by the warm waters in the river. Unlike cold temperatures in the ocean environment, a whale's organs can be harmed by the warm river temperatures causing death.

Whale expert John Calambokidis from the Cascadia Research in Olympia, Washington and Joe Cordaro, a biologist from the National Marine Fisheries Service are helping to monitor the creatures. Rescuers may start distractions and annoyances in front of the whale's path to disturb the creatures in hopes of turning them back to the ocean. Alaska Whale Foundation is tracking the whales with volunteer rescuers. They have asked the NMFS for permission to help the whales.

In the meantime, traffic jams are occuring along the river roads as people are swarming to the sight. Whale sightings may be a spectacular event, but the unnatural setting is causing harm to the poor creatures of the sea.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

 

American River - Coloma, California

The Lotus Coloma Valley, center of the universe for California's rafting community, will be hosting several special events throughout the 2007 season. Music, art, environmental fund raisers, American River conservancy events will highlight the year.

This charming, rural foothill community just outside of Sacramento, California's State Capitol is also home to the original gold rush. The historical Coloma State Park is preserved there along with a museum and gold panning demonstrations. The community lies on the shores of the South Fork American river, the most popular whitewater river in the western United States. For more information on recreation and paddling, visit coloma.com for an expanded read on valley events.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

 

Reno River Festival - Nevada

Reno, Nevada is hosting the 4th Annual Reno River Festival this weekend. Eric Jackson, the 2005 and 2006 men's freestyle champion and 3-time world freestyle kayak champion will be there again vying and surfing for top honors. Tanya Faux, the 2005 and 2006 women's champion from Australia will be there, too defending her crown.

Other well-known names in the kayaking world will be there to offer challenges. Stephen Wright, Bryan Kirk, Ben Guska and Mo Kelleher will challenge the men's titles as Ruth Gordon and 17-year old, Emily Jackson will compete in the women's divisions.

The festival is held in the urban center of Reno on a man-made whitewater park that draws thousands of recreational paddlers each year. This year the festival begins when the Freestyle World Championships on the Ottowa River in Canada ends. There should be record numbers of outdoor paddling enthusiasts there to witness the Reno whitewater event.

For more information, please visit Reno's Visitor's Center for accommodations and lodging.

Thanks to the Sacramento Bee for this information!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

 

Arakawa River - Japan

The beautiful urban Arakawa River in Japan that flows through Tokyo is seeing an increase of rafting tourism. The upper reaches of the river is dotted with rocks and trees and the outdoor paddlers even acknowledge the steam train riders as it crosses the Chichibu Railway bridge.

Gondolas carry recreation tourists over the river as river rafters enjoy the river in rafts and kayaks. As is the case everywhere, the rafters are required to wear helmets, lifejackets and use proper gear.

Thanks to Mainichi Daily News for this info from Nagatoro, Saitama, Japan


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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

 

Chattooga River - South Carolina

Miami Beach Parks and Recreation hosted the North Shore Park Teen Club on a whitewater rafting trip on the Chattooga River. The teens rafted the river in conjunction with three other excursions that included the Salvador Dali Art Museum, Disneyland and the MGM studios. Incorporating these events gave these teens an opportunity to be exposed to activities and an outdoor adventure not normally available in their lives.

More and more youth groups and recreational groups are recognizing the value in these types of environmental programs. With rafting, the teens are exposed to a program that highlights cooperation within a group. A positive influence will work to combat negative forces in a teen's life. And in this tumultuous society, a teen needs more of these activities to brighten their hopes and dreams.

Thanks to the CityDebate in Miami Beach for the info on North Shore Park Teen Club!

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