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October 3, 2006

Hey mate, check out these videos that Rideout put together.

This has been an amazing trip, probably one of the most amazing trips I have been on as I have been able to experience a huge tour with many stops throughout. More of a dream than a tour, except with a whole more tiredness.

Things started off with a trip to Utah from North Carolina for the Outdoor retail show with the highlight being getting on the water with Esquif Canoes. Now O.R. knows how to throw some great parties! Free swag for all and then back to Asheville to get the bus ready.
The fun bus tour started from Asheville heading north to the Ottawa. A few stops on the way including the Potomac river, Washington DC and the Black river NY. By far one of the highlights was passing by Thule, one of our sponsors and meeting the folks there. Our bus got bigger, stronger and more powerful from this stop due to the racks that Thule hooked us up with.

A quick move to the Ottawa and we met up with the rest of the Jackson Kayak Team. Garb was in full operation, big and meaty but with huge 15 minute lines waiting to get in the hole. World cup one was all about getting big air.

A relatively short drive across the boarder to New York and we continued the tour with the Blackwater Challenge. The town went all out and showed us that they wanted us there. A great hole feature this time with big air loops and cartwheels.

Next up was a bunch of driving south to the Yaugh river, technically demanding and a classic creeking river, followed by a day on the New River West Virginia. Paddling with Clay and the team in WV, every river becomes more of a story than just a notch on your belt.
Onwards to the Charlotte whitewater park, a river that is not for beginners and a bunch of fun.

World cup number three at Rock Island, where the parties were awesome and the location spectacular. This time a hole/wave feature was on the cards, with a huge range of moves being able to be completed.

Then on to Gauley Festival where it rained a bunch however the river was awesome, big, and fun. I have never seen a river as packed as it was on Gauley Saturday. Finally on to the Jackson Kayak team week at Rock Island where I learnt a great deal both on and off the water thanks to the senior team inclusive of EJ.

So there it is. A whole lot of fun packed into a small amount of time. If only I could do this every day. With a second place in OC1 overall and a first at Rock Island, competition was by far a whole lot of fun against my good friend Eli Helbert. C1 I realized that I can make a go out of this, getting third in my prelims on the Black. Not bad after just three months in a C1.
This was a tour I will never forget and I could not ask for a better summer. Now it’s back to work and once again dreaming of getting back out on the road.

The End… by Rideout

Early Saturday morning I dropped Jez off at the Nashville International Airport. Unfortunately our grand adventure has come to an end.

We spent 55 days on the road traveling together all across the U.S. and Canada. We visited 2 countries, 1 District, 1 Royal Province, 21 states, and countless Pilot Truck Stops. We drove 10,132 miles!

Jez landed in Sydney at 6:00 am on Monday and started back to work with the police force 4 hours later at 10:00 am. He is crazy! This is a man who truly loves to travel, paddle, and seek adventure.

I am returning to Murfreesboro to spend the fall paddling our beautiful southeastern rivers, and spend time with family and friends. The adventure is far from over. After I dropped Jez off at the airport I led a weekend trip to the Ocoee River for MTSU Campus Recreation.

The past 55 days have taught me that life is short, we are not promised another day. Go out, and do what you love. Treat those who are important to you the best you can. Make the most every situation. Don’t forget the people and experiences that make you who you are. If an opportunity comes available, take it who knows where you might end up!


Check out more info on the tour at our blogspot