Sunday, February 21, 2010

Volcan Villarica from a distance

The rain continues to pour. The students huddle around the wood-burning stove, and reminisce about the ambivalent slaughter of a sheep for an endless feast that made full bellies and empty hearts. Our driver and cook converse over coffee, deciding what should be done to repair the van that has lost it’s trailer hitch, accelerator, starting mechanism, and drive shaft in the course of two weeks. Capo, our Spanish teacher, gazes into the distance, no doubt fantasizing about el Rio Fuy with a smirk on his face. As I take in my surroundings and compatriots I ponder the meaning of it all. Why are we here in this place, where it is cold, raining, and devoid of sunshine?

I can’t help but become nostalgic, thinking back on my childhood. Thinking back in my father, who first brought, and left me, at Cub Scout camp. I was nervous, scared, and fiercely excited to explore my natural world. Entering the woods as a starry eyed child I wondered at the unending immensity of the North Woods, the beauty, grace, and vehement power it contained. From that summer experience I began to realize my place in this world. I loved the blue sky, green earth, coursing waters, tranquil snow, and towering mountains. I knew my place from that point on.

Being here in Chile, working as an educator, kayaker, and world traveler I realize that I am still on that quest, that quest to find the next adventure, my personal legend if you will. I don’t know where I’m heading, but I do know that this is indeed my path. I cannot believe how lucky I am. My gratefulness to everyone who has helped me get here is abounding. To be able to watch these kids grow, learn, and mature into young men and women is a gratifying experience. I am so proud of what they accomplish day in and day out. Learning how to work together, share, and in some cases place trust of life in each other. The amount of trust that they must develop with each other is profound. It brings them together in a way that no other experience could, and being an influence on that process is exciting.

So here’s to you, young man or woman. Maybe you can read this and find a shred of yourself in my words. I too was once a confused youth just looking for his place in the world. I indeed do not have all the answers, but one thing I can tell you for sure is to follow your heart, dream big, and run some stout if you have to. This life’s worth living, and as Morgan Freeman put it, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”, damn straight.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

WCKA video update

Hey there caballeros y damas. This is the first post from one of my students on the Maipo river. It gives you a nice little intro to the students at staff for this semester. Check it out! (It is low quality... working on a better one soon!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Long awaited post

So a lots changed since the last TM post. For one Team Marginal is now spread across the world traveling, working, schooling, and generally just getting life figured out. For myself I am now sitting in a cyber cafe in Pucon Chile with a few of my students. I now currently work at World Class Kayak Academy as the head coach, math & physics teachers. This fine school has been around for almost ten years now and has bred some of the best kayakers in the game right now from Tyler Bradt, Rush Sturges, and Evan Garcia. I truly feel priviledge to be a part of this school.

From here in Pucon we are going to head to el Rio Fuy and then over to Argentina and on to the Futalaefu, one of the most beautiful runs in the world. I'll keep this one short and give you guys a little taste of the WCKA lifestyle with some sweet pictures from our travels across the globe!

WCKA at Skookumchuck in British Columbia

Not part of WCKA, but its purty

The crew on the Apurimac in Peru. It was a sick five day multiday with a High School. Now those are some lil' shredders!

Hucker Erik Johnson giving 'er on Gorilla. Good day on the Green. Thanks for showing us down Shane and Adriane!

Erik getting beat down on the Apurimac. This rapid was called "Purgatory" and it was an incredible place to be able to make some strokes.

Capo dropping into the gorge on the Urubamba. This is the river that flows beneath Machu Picchu and is a super quality classic Andean run.

First Decent on the Rio Urubamba. The potential for epic whitewater in Peru is crazy. You could spend a full month just doing self-supporters.

Some of the boys heading to the put-in of the Cotehausi, a five day river trip in the deepest canyon in the world. Needless to say it was a incredible adventure!

The boss man Scott Doherty firing up a big one on the Cotehausi.

Hudson Moe giving 'er the juice on the Cotehausi. This run kept the pace up with sick unique drops around every corner. Truly a World Class mission.

Scott "The Man" Doherty taking some time for the little ones after an epic descent of the Cotehausi.

Outdoor Leadership class takes in the view in the Chilean Andes. Today's lesson: "If your heart speaks, take good notes"

Eric Parker stylin' the first drop of Siete Tazas.

Brian Jamieson looking good on the goods of the Palguin. Watch out for that cave!

So there you have it. The adventures continue, and I'll try to post up here a little more regularly. Next we head to Rio Fuy and then off to the always bonito Rio Futaelefu. Ciao Compadres!