Come Sail the San Juan Islands with Us

11 04 2014

When I say “San Juan Islands,” you think: ___________________

Let me guess–did you think about one of the following?

  • whales
  • sunshine
  • the color blue
  • seemingly unreal sunsets
  • sailing
  • a combination of the above

This place is within a day’s drive, and it’s the stuff that fills our dreams.  Seriously, every time I ask how someone’s trip to the San Juan’s went, they have this far-away look in their eyes, like they went on the most exotic vacation of their lives.  And whales are mentioned EVERY time.

Have you taken advantage of the islands’ proximity to Eugene? No? How do you go about enjoying the best the islands have to offer all in one trip? We’ll tell you how–come sail them with us! We’re going on a week-long sailing adventure, and hitting five islands along the way. sailsanjuan

You can read all about the details on the attached document, but here are main points to keep in mind:

  • You must register by May 1st
  • The trip is September 19th-26th
  • Pre-trip meeting on April 29th, from 6-7:30 at the River House
  • You do not need sailing experience, but must commit to contributing to the sail crew in a variety of ways
  • Optional American Sailing Association certification available

Any questions? Contact the River House staff by calling, stopping by, or commenting on our Facebook page!

San Juan Sailing Adventure

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Winter Olympics Aren’t Over Yet–it’s Paralympics time

14 03 2014

Marek Kubiacka of Slovakia with his guide Natalia Karpisova after finishing in the Men’s Super G Visually Impaired during day two of the 2014 Winter Paralympics, on March 9, 2014.

Have you ever watched sled hockey? How about downhill skiing for the visually impaired? Or maybe wheelchair curling?

Regardless of your feelings surrounding the political tension happening in Russia and Ukraine, it’s hard not to look at the Paralympics and be in complete awe of the athletes. Head on over to the website to check out live streaming of the events. My favorite this year is watching downhill skiing for visually impaired athletes. What about you?

http://www.teamusa.org/Paralympic-Winter-Games-Live-Stream-Schedule

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Sochi 2014

21 02 2014

biathlon

If the Summer or Winter Olympics is the only time in a 2-year span you wish you owned a television, you’ve probably figured out a system by now. Maybe you’re at a friend of family member’s house, maybe you find yourself at a sports bar for 14 days in a row, or maybe you’ve discovered a glorious thing called the internet.

In case you haven’t finagled your way into someone’s home or were kicked out of that sports bar, you can access every event online, through NBC’s website. You can view quite a few events as a full replay or just a clip, if you would rather get to the good stuff. Let’s face it, though, it’s all pretty good.

Let me help you get started on what could be a 2+ hour distraction from why you originally got on the internet by introducing this clip:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/swedish-freestyle-skier-henrik-harlaut-crashes-loses-pants

Pants or no pants, that man has skills.

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Backcountry Film Festival Coming to Eugene!

16 01 2014

On Sunday January 19th at 7pm, the Backcountry Film Festival is making its way here to Eugene! Traveling worldwide, the goal is to raise money “for local organizations working on advocacy, snow safety, outdoor education and SnowSchool programs.” (Winter Wildlands Alliance)  Oregon organizations benefited are CAT-Trips for Kids, based in Eugene, and Educational Recreational Adventures, based in Portland.

The details: 21 and over are invited, $10 per person. Read more about the festival here: http://goo.gl/oICDYW

And, for your viewing pleasure, here are a host of previews of just some of the films that will be featured. If this won’t get you hooked, you might just have to join the River House for some winter wonderland adventures.  Yeah, that should do the trick.

Valhalla

Bolton Valley

Bigger, Braver

Breaking Trail

Morning Rituals

Youth

Nokhoi Seekh: In search of the Wolverine

Strong

Take the Ride

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“Like a Cow on Ice”

12 01 2014
russian_family_2.jpg__800x450_q85_crop_upscale

Credit: http://www.smithsonian.com
The Lykovs lived in this hand-built log cabin, lit by a single window “the size of a backpack pocket” and warmed by a smoky wood-fired stove.

I was first introduced to the Lykov family via an article I read about them in Smithsonian.  The Lykov’s, a Russian Orthodox family living in Siberia, weren’t known to anyone until 1978 when a team of geologists flew over their homestead–150 miles from the closest town. And while 150 miles is quite a ways even when roads exist, it’s even less imaginable when it’s the taiga of Siberia.  The Smithsonian does an excellent job of summarizing their discovery and nearly complete demise once the outside world made its presence known in their lives.  Check it out here:

http://goo.gl/gB7fMP

I forgot about that story until recently, when I discovered a documentary made about Agafia, the only family member who remains alive today.  She is not 70 years old and is out there, right now, living alone in Siberia.  She doesn’t own a Gortex jacket, a gas-powered chainsaw, or waterproof boots to get her through the nearly unbearable 9-month long winter.  Agafia does now have a neighbor.  One of the geologists who originally found the Lykov family decided to build a cabin and move nearby 16 years ago.  For better or worse–according to Agafia, he does not get his own water or find his own firewood.  Yerofei, the geologist, depends on a 70 year old woman to cut down trees by hand, saw them into logs, and drag them to his house.  In his own words, he is “like a cow on ice.”  Without all the fancy gear, my cookstove, a headlamp, and some cash, I think I’d be in the same boat.  If you can spare 35 minutes, watch this documentary about Agafia featured on Vice:

http://goo.gl/0kMpWH

I highly recommend you read the article about her family first, though, to truly put her experience in perspective.  When I read that her brother Dmitry, “could hunt barefoot in winter, sometimes returning to the hut after several days, having slept in the open in 40 degrees of frost, a young elk across his shoulders,” I stop convincing myself that biking in my Gortex raingear in the Pacific Northwest is such an arduous task.  That truly, there’s little difference between me in Siberia and a cow on ice.

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Circumnavigating Crater Lake

20 12 2013

craterlake

Wondering what the River House trip around Crater Lake is like? We offer it every year, and 2014 will be no exception. There’s no better way to learn a bit more about it than to watch the slideshow from last year’s adventure! Thanks to Outdoor Educator and guide, Anne Borland, for putting this together. Questions about what we do? Go to our Facebook page to read more about our events, or to the City’s website to register. Now go outside and enjoy the cold!





Music and Nature

13 12 2013

End your week by playing some Brett Dennen in the background while reading his short and sweet article about his connection with Wild Places.  You can find the article on the Patagonia website, here: http://www.thecleanestline.com/2013/08/returning-to-the-source-rediscovering-wild-places-and-the-wild-child-within.html

“The Cleanest Line”–Patagonia’s blog–features scores of interesting reads that we recommend browsing through.

Might I also suggest a couple of tunes for you while reading?

Enjoy, and have a lovely weekend.

-Michelle Brown, Outdoor Education Instructor

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