So what do we do once a winter of great whitewater paddling in Costa Rica and Ecuador is all over?  That’s easy—head back to NC to take in some awesome southeastern spring boating.

Or take a trip to Bolivia.

Okay, the Bolivia trip was Brian’s agenda. And Bolivia is now a “been there, done that, glad to be home” trip. 

So how does the trip go? Start with a three day bus ride from Quito to La Paz.  From La Paz, stop long enough to write:

 “Holy shit.  La Paz.  The stairs take longer here.  Step, breathe, step…next floor, rest.  The cold rain is a welcome break from the oven cities of coastal Peru.  It drizzles here, much like it does on some afternoons in Quito, greasing the sidewalks with a thin, slick film.  Only here the sidewalks fall straight off the mountain.  I’m buying a pair of crampons this afternoon, just in case it snows.  I could write volumes about the joys of transnational travel with kayak.  Instead, let me just say, ¨fuck Peru.¨  My conscience may never rectify itself after the depths to which it has sunk – begging, pleading, lying, extorting children – but it sure feels good to be here.  I hope all is well.  Living is Learning” 

Then take another bus  to the southern border of Bolivia (note: this is while toting two kayaks-one for himself and one for his adventure partner).  Arrive to find out your adventure partner just broke her ankle in a paragliding accident and is in a cast….then start hearing the rattling of sabers as Venezuela, Columbia and Ecuador get in a stand off…and decide that as much fun as the adventure might be, maybe it would be just as much fun to head home!  No sooner home than Brian tracks down Steve and they head off to paddle a good high-water run on Cheoah.

 

After a winter of boating paradise, Craig headed back to Bryson City, stopping at the first phone booth to change from his kayaking outfit to his real estate outfit. Okay, clarify that—there really are not any phone booths left anymore, and while real estate is back on the agenda, the paddling gear never went too far. In fact, Craig was taking advantage of the plethora of water in WNC, and just this week checked out a little known run called Buck Creek. 


And Ken and Juliet?  Back at the shop—heading up the College Tour program.  Back on the river?  Well, just as soon as it gets just a little warmer!!