The Paddler Bucket List

first_imgKayaking is a sport that changes lives.  Few people know where it will take them when the current first sweeps them away, but no one is ever the same. While every day on the river is special, there are certain experiences that stand out as unforgettable. Here is my list of 12 of these bucket list experiences.1. Nail your first combat roll.After many, many frustrating swims, the first time a paddler holds it together and rolls back up from chaos into sunlight is exhilarating beyond belief. Suddenly there is a self-sufficiency that wasn’t there before, many new rivers open up, and the learning curve skyrockets.Bonus tip: Create good habits in the beginning by seeking quality instruction. It’s much easier to create good habits than break bad ones.2. Run Nantahala Falls.Probably the most famous class III benchmark rapid in the world, Nantahala Falls is a huge stepping stone for beginner kayakers. It represents the first stride into the world of technical whitewater, and it can either be a great confidence booster or a sobering reminder of the river’s power. Fortunately it is a safe swim downstream, and your line will be immortalized by the paparazzi and crowd that forms on the shore during any summer weekend!Bonus tip: Whatever river features you encounter, square them up and hit them with speed.3. Surf Z-Dam.A premier playspot in the Southeast, Z-Dam is a symmetrical hole in Richmond, Va., that is perfect for every manner of trick. Paddlers spending some time there can perfect their spins, cartwheels, loops, phoenix monkeys, and every other hole trick imaginable. Couple this with several other excellent rapids under the Richmond skyline, and you have a great day on the river.Bonus tip: Try not to get shown up by 12-year-old local, Isaac Hull.4. Successfully execute a first descent.First descents represent the transition of theory into reality, one of the most special experiences a paddler can have. Many boaters think that First Ds are only for the top-level pros, but the reality is that new runs and rapids are always out there waiting to be discovered. All you need is the desire to explore.Bonus tip: Be wary of the legal ramifications of accessing and running stretches of river.5. Attend Gauley Fest.With over 5,000 kayakers in attendance, Gauley Fest is the biggest gathering of river people in the world. This event occurs every September, and it also happens to be the largest fundraiser for American Whitewater, a nonprofit that secures access and releases for hundreds of rivers throughout the nation.Bonus tip: Camp away from the center of the fairgrounds, and bring earplugs.6. Paddle in our nation’s capital.D.C. drips of legacy in this sport.  The first waterfall ever run in a kayak was part of the Great Falls section of the Potomac, and that community has long been host to Olympic athletes and world-class extreme racers.  Paddlers of all abilities can enjoy the waters of the Potomac, from paddling flatwater through some of the nation’s most iconic monuments to the peacefulness of class-III Mather Gorge and the maelstrom of class-V Great Falls.Bonus tip: If you have them, bring multiple different craft. There are creek lines, surf waves, and attainment eddies. The only limitation is your own energy.7. Compete in the Green Narrows Race.One of the most prestigious extreme races in the world, the Green Race now boasts over 150 competitors and over 1,000 spectators every year. The experience of paddling into the Green’s marquee rapid, Gorilla, is in my mind the closest that we can come to being a gladiator entering the Coliseum.Bonus tip: Spend equal time learning the lines of the river and honing your fitness.  You’re going to need both.8. Squirtboat in the Halls of Karma on the New River Gorge.Squirtboating is a niche within a niche in the sport of kayaking.  It involves paddling extremely low volume kayaks and using the currents of eddy interfaces to submerge both boat and paddler in the depths. Once underwater, the appeal becomes apparent, and real-world stresses wash away as you experience the river in a more intimate way than ever before.Bonus tip: Pop a few Ibuprofen beforehand; those boats hurt.9. Spend a day training with slalom gates.As far as improving the foundational skills that will be used in perpetuity as a kayaker, there are few things as effective as weaving in and out of slalom gates on whitewater.  As paddlers push the limits of the sport further than ever before, the basics can sometimes be overlooked.  Slalom gates allow a return to these skills by creating class-V moves in class-II water.Bonus tip: Try to get your hands on a fiberglass slalom boat or a snappy plastic equivalent like the Dagger RPM.10. Ride the USNWC conveyor belt.This is everyone’s dream: a whitewater playground that can be run a limitless number of times. The conveyor belt is a true luxury, and is worth experiencing by any paddler at least once.  After you’ve worn yourself out with endless laps of the Comp and Wilderness channels, grab some food and a beer.Bonus tip: Bring multiple boats.11. Run a waterfall.This is the most aesthetic aspect of kayaking: paddling off a cascade and into the plunge pool below.  Approaching a horizon line where the water falls out of sight is an experience only a paddler can have, and it is something that keeps us mesmerized for life. The thrill is the same no matter what the skill level or height of the drop- all that is needed is for your own limits to be pushed.Bonus tip: A few of the best beginner waterfalls in the Southeast are Valley Falls (Md.), Baby Falls (Tenn.), Hooker Falls (N.C.) and Second Ledge on the Chattooga in Georgia.12. Do a dawn patrol.  There’s no better place than on the river to welcome the dawn of a new day. Follow blue herons into the mist as the sun rises.  The possibilities are limitless when you are willing to get up early.Bonus tip: Try to wipe that perma-grin off your face in the office afterwards… no need to make your coworkers feel bad about their lives.SUP & Canoe Bucket List MentionsPaddle the French Broad Canoe TrailRecently developed by the French Broad Riverkeeper, the 140-mile French Broad Canoe Trail is an excellent opportunity to experience the North Carolina mountains from the water.Race in the Carolina CupThe Carolina Cup is the East Coast’s most competitive SUP event.  It is a perfect place to get a feel for the sport, try out the latest products, and brush shoulders with the best athletes in the world.  From beginners to pros, there is something for everyone.Go for a SUP paddle under the SupermoonThe longest day of the year coincides with the moon’s closest proximity to Earth.  This results in an exceptionally bright full moon, and is the perfect opportunity to go for a night-time paddle. There’s nothing in the world like cutting through glass on a beautiful lake or river with the full moon overhead.last_img read more

3 reasons to live WAY below your means

first_imgHaving “stuff” is awesome, but life can be amazing even when it’s simple. Eating at home more will definitely help you save a wad of cash, and I’m sure we’re all realizing that right now. When was the last time you used your credit card? I’m sure you’re not doing it quite as often as you used to. Living an easy life can be quite satisfying, especially if you’re watching your net worth increase. Even if you haven’t missed a single day of work due to COVID-19, here are three reasons you should live way below your means…To pay off debt faster: Debt is not cheap, my friends. Anyone who’s ever had to swipe their credit card for an unexpected bill knows it’s true. It can sometimes feel like it takes years to pay it back. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it’s even worse. These days, you’re spending has probably plummeted, but if you focus on cutting back even more, it will provide you with a great opportunity to pay down that debt even faster.To have amazing experiences: Sometimes, we remember that “stuff” we spent our money on years ago, and it seems ridiculous that we actually wasted our cash on it. The things I remember most are people and experiences. Once things start to return to “normal”, we’re all going to want to have those experiences with the people that we’re missing right now.To teach your children: If your kids never see you trying to keep up with the Jones family, not only will they not base their self-worth on objects, but they might grow up to appreciate the little things in life. They also may be a lot more frugal when they’re spending their own money one day. 127SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Detailslast_img read more

UN official: Bird biosecurity lapses could worsen food crisis

first_imgJun 20, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Lax biosecurity measures around poultry in some countries could lead to an increasing number of H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks that could exacerbate the global food crisis, an official from the United Nations Food and AgricultureOrganization (FAO) said at an international infectious disease conference in Malaysia today.Juan Lubroth, senior officer with the FAO’s infectious diseases group, made the comments during symposia on influenza in animals and people at the International Congress on Infectious Diseases (ICID), which started yesterday in Kuala Lumpur and runs through Jun22. ICID is the annual meeting of the International Society for InfectiousDiseases.Lubroth said though fewer countries have experienced recent avian flu outbreaks, numerous small outbreaks continue to occur, according to an Associated Press (AP) report today. “It’s like a boiling pot, and we need to keep the lid on that before it gets worse,” he said.He said 80% of the world’s poor depend on livestock for their livelihood, and poultry has been an inexpensive protein source, the AP reported. However, he added that about 240 million poultry have been slaughtered to control the spread of H5N1.Failure to protect the food supply of the world’s poor only makes worse the effect of rising prices of rice, corn, and other staples, Lubroth said.Global veterinary service capacity needs to be expanded, and more countries need to be transparent regarding disease surveillance and develop surveillance systems and policies to manage the disease, he said. “We fail to see that political commitment.”In the abstract that accompanied the presentation, Lubroth wrote that veterinary experts worry that government officials, in a panic over the threat to human health, are focusing nearly all of their efforts on accumulating antiviral and vaccine stockpiles, “forgetting that the origin of the malady was—and remains—a poultry problem.”Lubroth wrote that a lag in funding for poultry safety initiatives has prevented national veterinary services from mounting the border and regulatory controls needed to contain the disease within Southeast Asia.Biosecurity: stalled or improving?Today’s comments from the FAO seem to counter some of the recent comments from a UN official on the state of global pandemic preparedness. On Jun 18, David Nabarro, the UN’s influenza coordinator, listed national improvements in poultry biosecurity as a reason behind the organization’s assessment that the world is better prepared for an influenza pandemic, according to an earlier report. He also said more countries are focusing their efforts on the link between human and animal health.Other pandemic experts, such as Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News, disagree that the world is better prepared for a pandemic and say governments have not planned for supply, medicine, and utility disruptions that could severely damage the world’s economy and worsen the impact of the disease on health.Nabarro, however, expressed concern that the virus remains entrenched in several countries, particularly Indonesia, the country that has had the highest number of human cases anddeaths.Indonesia reports on diagnostic challenges in human casesIn another presentation during the same ICID symposia, Sardikin Giriputro, director of the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Disease Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia, gave an update on that country’s clinical cases and spoke of challenges in diagnosing H5N1 infections.With 135 cases and 110 deaths from the disease, according to the most recent World Health Organization (WHO) update, Indonesia has been hit harder than any other country by the H5N1 virus.However, early this month Indonesia’s health minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, said that the number of human cases has slowed this year, according to a Jun 5 AP report. She said only 18 people have been infected with the virus so far this year, compared with 27 for the same period in 2007 and 35 in 2006.Giriputro said that some patients with H5N1 infections have been misdiagnosed with dengue fever and typhoid, which has delayed antiviral treatment, according to a report today from Reuters. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is the drug of choice for H5N1 illnesses and is best given within 24 to 36 hours of symptom onset.He told the group that medical officials in Indonesia are finding that rapid test kits used to diagnose the H5N1 virus in animals are less reliable for testing human samples, according to the Reuters report.”It depends on the viral load [from human samples],” Giriputro said, adding that false-negatives can occur when there isn’t enough virus in the human sample.Indonesia’s government has been distributing oseltamivir to health centers in areas that have had poultry outbreaks and human cases, he said. Physicians prescribe the virus without waiting for laboratory results if patients have influenza-like illnesses and may have had contact with sick poultry.In an abstract that accompanied his talk, Giriputro said about 50% of Indonesia’s H5N1 patients had a history of direct contact with sick birds, 30% had indirect contact, and 20% had no contact that could be determined.See also:Lubroth and Giriputro ICID abstracts (pages 2 and 3, respectively)Jun 18 CIDRAP News report “UN:Pandemic preparedness pays off, but threat remains”last_img read more

Football: Wisconsin receives No. 8 in first College Football Playoff rankings

first_imgWisconsin helped build its top 10 case after defeating current-No. 10 University of Nebraska last Saturday in a 23-17 overtime thriller at Camp Randall Stadium.Prior to Tuesday night’s verdict, the Badgers were also ranked as the eighth-best team in the country by the AP Poll. While the Badgers didn’t budge in the new CFP poll, this wasn’t the case for most teams.Football: Wisconsin survives Halloween scare from Nebraska in 23-17 overtime winThe last two times Nebraska visited Camp Randall Stadium, the University of Wisconsin football team imposed its will in the Read…The committee delivered its first top 25 poll of the 2016-17 season  ruling the current four playoff contenders as No. 1 University of Alabama, No. 2 University of Michigan, No. 3 Clemson University and No. 4 Texas A&M University.Undefeated and AP No. 4 University of Washington was the lone team from the AP’s top four that did not align with the playoff committee’s original cut Tuesday night. This may come as a surprise to some considering Texas A&M — the team that replaced the Huskies at No. 4 in the CFP poll — already suffered a 19-point loss to Alabama earlier this season.Football: Wisconsin survives Halloween scare from Nebraska in 23-17 overtime winThe last two times Nebraska visited Camp Randall Stadium, the University of Wisconsin football team imposed its will in the Read…Overall, the Big Ten fared well in the College Football Playoff rankings compared to the previous AP Poll evaluations. While the conference lacks any representation between the No. 13 and 25 spots in the new rankings, the Big Ten managed to land five teams inside of the top 12. The SEC was a close second as the only other conference to boast five teams inside of the top 15.With Michigan currently occupying the No. 2 spot and a one-loss Ohio State team looking in from the outside at No. 6, the Big Ten is in a prime position to make a third consecutive College Football Playoff appearance.As of now, it appears the winner of the Ohio State (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) vs. Michigan (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) game is the team most likely to represent the conference in the 2016 playoff.While the possibility is hanging on by a thread of probability, Wisconsin (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) is still technically alive in the playoff race. For this to happen, they would not only need to win out, but they would also need some help from Nebraska.Football: Wisconsin feels the loss of its physical and emotion leaderJack Cichy will not step on the field again for the University of Wisconsin football team this season. A torn Read…If the Buckeyes can hand the Cornhuskers their second loss in Columbus this weekend, Wisconsin’s chances — though still slim — would increase. This is because a 10-2 Wisconsin team would hold the head-to-head advantage over Nebraska, which appears to be the Badgers’ greatest competitor in the Big Ten West title chase.If the Badgers can win all four of their remaining games to win the West, they would still need to defeat an unbeaten Michigan, or perhaps a one-loss Ohio State team, in the conference championship game to claim one of the four most coveted spots in college football. The College Football Playoff selection committee named the University of Wisconsin football team No. 8 in the nation Tuesday night.last_img read more

Jeremy Lin sits while Los Angeles Lakers struggle again on defense vs. Golden State Warriors

first_img“There were a lot of guys we were going at in our session, mostly our bigs because they did a poor job of recovering,” Scott said before the game. “Our pick and roll coverage was mostly soft.” The Lakers also struggled offensively. Nash and Bryant combined for only nine points on 3-of-18 shooting. Wesley Johnson also bricked a fast-break dunk, sparking loud boos that were usually reserved last season for Dwight Howard’s return or Mike D’Antoni’s presence on the sideline. Words of wisdomDespite his looming presence, Bryant has said he has adopted a more patient leadershop approach with the Lakers’ young roster. “He’s been a little softer with older age,” Scott joked about the 36-year-old Bryant. “It’s fun watching it. He takes it very seriously. When he pulls guys aside, he’s really trying to show them little things about being successful in this league.”Scott mentored Bryant during his rookie season 18 years ago. The only element of “hazing” involved Bryant delivering Scott donuts or water. “He was one of those guys who was a student and real serious as an 18 year old,” Scott said. “I just remember this guy is driven. The last thing I remember telling someone is he will be the best player in the NBA.” ONTARIO >> Thankfully for the Lakers, these games do not count. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they are already dealing with issues that plagued them in past seasons.The Lakers cannot defend. They cannot keep their players healthy, either.Lakers guard Jeremy Lin sat out of the Lakers’ 116-75 preseason loss on Sunday to the Golden State Warriors at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario a day after spraining his left ankle in Saturday’s practice. Lakers coach Byron Scott described Lin as “walking gingerly” and believes he can play Thursday’s exhibition against Utah in Anaheim. But Lin said his ankle feels “sore” and walked in an arena hallway pretty slowly. Lin joins a heavy cast of players already sidelined, including Jordan Clarkson (left calf muscle), Nick Young (right thumb), Ryan Kelly (left hamstring) and Xavier Henry (back spasms). “I’m not really worried about it,” Scott said. “Unfortunately for Jeremy and unfortunately for Nick, it gives other guys an opportunity. I really don’t look at this as unfortunate unless it lasts longer.”Kobe Bryant may have stayed in the lineup, while Steve Nash returned after resting for one exhibition to preserve his 40-year-old body. But for a team that has put heavy emphasis in training camp on bolstering its defense, the Lakers haven’t seen immediate returns on their investment. The Lakers opened the first quarter of their game on Sunday against the Warriors allowing them to open with a 20-4 lead, punctuated by Stephen Curry’s consecutive 3-pointers and an alley oop lob to Harrison Barnes. The Warriors converted on two four-point plays in the first quarter. The Lakers conceded 17 points in transition. Lakers guard Ronnie Price even drew a technical with 8:50 left in the second quarter for throwing his loose shoe at the Warriors’ Andre Iguodala apparently to stop a fast break. Add it up, and the Warriors easily won their first preseason game in Ontario after four appearances in the past five years. All this happened only four days after the Lakers hosted the Warriors at Staples Center where they conceded a combined 45 points to Curry and Klay Thompson.So much for the Lakers’ film session on Saturday that involving critiquing their defense. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more