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By Jesse Coombs

Hey Everyone,

We are in the midst of a great tour with the largest audiences we have ever seen. Read below to check out the California shows.

Salmon, CA

Now this was a special event. Paul Gamache and Daniel Brasuell organized the second annual Salmon Days event at the Salmon River Festival. This weekend was something that I had been looking forward to for weeks and it was great on all accounts. First of all, the entire weekend was a fundraiser for the family of a lost friend and the Salmon River Council. Everybody you could think of from the Oregon, California region was there, and it was an amazing opportunity to catch up with so many great friends. There was great music Friday night with Rush and a local band. I had never heard Rush on the mic before, and I was truly impressed. He is completely professional and I’m sure that normally to see him I would be paying for a concert ticket. On Saturday everyone was geared up for the big down river race with all kinds of classes and fun. Everyone was dressed up like pirates and super heros and had a blast smiling the whole way down the river. The Mt Shasta boys entered as a raft team and were doing great. Unfortunately for them about half way down the run they got passed by a team of rafting women and their pride was a bit bruised. I opted to be the video and safety kayaker for their team. Luckily that saved me from having to admit I got passed by a bunch of girls, but in reality I did too!

The race ended at Freight Train, and everyone stuck around to watch the carnage and finish of each team. It was awesome times and the Nordheimer section is always too fun.

Not having our fill of the river yet about 15 of us ran off after lunch to get in a quick session on the South Fork Salmon. Ben and I were in our play boats and I just love that section also.

After running the South Fork we set up for the show. This set up could not have been better. As film makers we want to make sure we accomplish some very specific things:

-Can everybody see the film?

-Can everybody hear the film?

-Is the environment conducive to watching the film?

-Is it set up so that we can introduce the film well?

In the case of Salmon days, it was a resounding yes in every department. The outside venue with no rain or wind and a sloped hill in front of the screen lent itself to stadium style seating. We borrowed Devin’s trailer and were able to get the screen up another three feet so we could project on the entire 10 foot by 10 foot screen. Too good! Luckily the sound system from the band was still set up so we combined their sound system with our DVD player and projector to get the best of both worlds. The sound was booming and perfect, and people in the back said they could feel the base in their chests. The evening was perfect without a could in the starry night, and soft ground for sitting, so everyone could enjoy the setting as well as the film and not be distracted. We also hooked up our mic to the sound system, so we could introduce the film properly and pull everyone into the adventure. While the film was showing it occurred to me that the setup looked as professional as a concert in Central Park. Too good!

The hill was packed with people, at least 300, and everyone gave a huge applause when it finished. The crowd was also treated to a great raffle, presentation by the Salmon River Council and double feature as Rush gave a showing of YGP’s new film: The Source.

This was truly a great event and fun for all!

Mt Shasta, CA

We held the Mt Shasta premier with Shasta Basecamp at the Wayside Bar and Grill. Mt Shasta is Ben’s home, and everyone there is a good friend. We made friends with some traveling Japanese guys playing bar shuffle board before the film and had a great time. Styles from Shasta Basecamp is consistent every year, and we really appreciate his efforts to support kayaking in Mt Shasta.

Chico, CA

We had the biggest show we have ever had in Chico this year. Bieca, a new clothing line that we are working with, took over promoting the show and did it all first class. They rented a great venue with catering and drinks. Craig from Bieca did a great job advertising the show, and the event was packed. We got some great questions after the show. This tour has been great for setting new marks for attendance and excitement around the film, and this show was no different. I think Ben and I have been asked for our autograph more this year and than ever before. It is always humbling when this happens, so we just try to have fun with it and make a new friend.

Sacramento, CA

California Canoe and Kayak always hosts our Sacramento show, and the best description I can give of how it went is to share a review we got from someone in the audience. The attendees of the Sacramento show were treated to something that has never happened before. I picked up Pedro Olivia from the airport that morning. Pedro is Brazilian, is in the film and just flew in from Sao Paulo. Ryan MacPherson was there as well, and Ryan speaks perfect Portuguese. During the question and answer period after the film we all answered questions. When ever Pedro would answer a question he would revert to speaking Portuguese because he doesn’t have good enough English to fully express his thoughts. The result is that he would speak Portuguese and Mac would translate. This provided the audience the opportunity to hear a native Portuguese speaker as well as get a first hand experience of what it is like being on a trip to a foreign country. This verbal exchange unexpectedly took me back to the feeling of being in Brazil. I am always relying on Mac and Pedro to help me with the language, and the audience was pulled into this experience themselves. It was truly a unique and special occurrence. One question that really high lighted this unique cultural experience was when Pedro was asked about Carnival. He gave a description and understanding to Carnival that even I didn’t know. To have him tell us about the significance of Carnival from a Brazilian’s perspective was a rare window into another culture. The crowd gave a huge roar and applause at the end of the film and the show was great in every way.

Here is the review that was given by on of the audience members:

If you get a chance to see this dvd at one of the tour stops make a point of checking it out. If you don’t have a stop near you it is a worthy dvd to own.

Three of the expedition paddlers were at the Sacramento stop last night; Jesse Coombs, Ryan MacPherson and Pedro. What was different than most showings about this one was the professional quality of not only the video, but the presenters themselves. Jesse is an engaging and personable public speaker. He clues you into the story line development of the video and draws you into the adventure. Ryan was the principal cinematographer for the DVD and what made him unique in the world of expert boaters is his fluent knowledge of Portuguese. His interactions and translations during the presentation with Pedro, the Brazilian member of the team made you understand what it is like to boat in a foreign country. What became apparent in the pre movie discussion was the bond these guys had and have that is centered on boating. That theme carried through in the DVD.

Most showings, you get a celebrity boater that comes across as too cool or untouchable. Not with these guys. You get something that is rare in elite boaters these days; a humbleness. The crowd was mixed; young, old, boater, non boater and everyone took something away from the show.

I don’t know any of these guys, am not associated with them in any way but just thought that these guys should be recognized for what true boating ambassadors they are.

Check out the video, it is 80 some minutes and includes a lot of footage not shown at the premiers.



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