We Cast Off — Again
After completing the laborious task of reformatting and uploading nearly 1,000 previously published columns, we wrote the first new article for this site just one year ago today. At the time, it was our settled intention to continue a tradition of weekly columns that began in 1999, when our debut piece for what was then Paddling.net appeared. But as someone — Churchill, perhaps, or was it Keynes? — once observed, sensible people change their minds whenever circumstances change. And since we like to think we’re sensible people, we’ve done just that. So this will be our last new Back in the Same Boat column. If you’d like to know why, read on.
by Tamia Nelson and Farwell Forrest | October 31, 2018
The summer just past was preternaturally hot and humid, a harbinger of summers yet to come in our New Model Climate. It was also preternaturally lifeless. We saw no bats, few warblers or flycatchers, and even fewer butterflies. As for the once-ubiquitous blackflies and mosquitoes, they’ve long been absent from nearby woods and waters, victims of a publicly funded poisoning campaign that began before our first column appeared in 1999. The local chambers of commerce … Read more »
The Art of the Miniature Adventure
On (and Off) the Water
Big Trips get most of the hype in the paddlesport press, but how many of us can afford to take a Big Trip every time we need to get away from it all? Not many of us. And the solution? How about a miniature adventure? Farwell didn’t invent the idea. It’s writer Richard Frisbie’s brainchild. But it’s open to anyone with a boat and a dream. And in this, the last of a three‑part series, Farwell tells you how it’s done.
by Farwell Forrest | May 29, 2018
Originally published in different form on July 26, 2005
I‘ve said it before, I know. Still, it’s worth repeating. The miniature adventure is the escape clause in life’s contract of obligations. It’s adventure on easy terms, close to home and on the cheap. But it’s real‑life adventure, nonetheless. Every miniature adventure is a leap into the unknown, with all that this involves. Guidebooks only rarely offer guidance, and there’s no outfitter to turn to for timely reassurance or good advice. In short, you get no guarantees. To go adventuring is to place your stake on the table and risk … well … what, exactly? … Read more »
The Art of the Miniature Adventure
Getting There and Back Again: Life in the Slow Lane
No chance of a Big Trip this year? No problem. You can have just as much fun close to home. Take it slow and easy. Make every minute count twice. You won’t cover many miles, but you’ll never get a better return on your investment of time, and isn’t that what recreation—re-creation—is all about? Farwell thinks so, and in his second article on miniature adventures, he tackles planning and logistics.
by Farwell Forrest | May 22, 2018
Originally published in different form on June 28, 2005
Last week I invited you to consider the virtues of the “miniature adventure,” a phrase I borrowed from writer Richard Frisbie, whose delightful little book It’s a Wise Woodsman Who Knows What’s Biting Him introduced me to the concept. But if you’re not familiar with the idea, a miniature adventure is the antithesis of a Big Trip. Big Trips involve weeks—sometimes months—of preparation, they often take you thousands of miles from home, and they’re hard to do on the cheap. In short, Big Trips require both deep pockets and a lot of free time. Which is why they’re rare treats … Read more »
The Maternal Line
A father. His daughter. His daughter’s daughter. A river. No, that’s not right. The River. Theirs is a story that began long ago. But it hasn’t ended yet. And The River flows through it.
by Tamia Nelson | May 10, 2018
The girl found The River irresistible. Whenever she could, she scrambled over the cliff that rose precipitously from the swift waters. The snowmelt‑swollen spring torrents carved deep potholes in the cliff’s sheer walls, and when the floods receded, the girl sometimes found stranded trout in those dark recesses, swimming frantically in futile circles. That’s when she taught herself how to tickle trout, catching the imprisoned fish in her hands before returning them to The River. It was a difficult job, even a dangerous one at times, but seeing the trout swim free was all the reward that she asked — or wanted.
When she wasn’t climbing the cliff, the girl often dabbled in The River’s shallows, turning over cobbles to see who might be living under them. And sometimes she spent hours doing nothing more than watching The River flow — watching as it swirled around boulders, leapt over drops, and then reared up in steep standing waves, only to subside into ripples … Read more »