By Tetsuhiko Endo
Since the popularization of whitewater rafting and kayaking, the North Fork of the Payette has become one of North America's premier stretches of whitewater with 15 miles of continuous Class V rapids, including the infamous series of drops known as "Jacob's Ladder." Record rainfall in the region has swelled the river to unprecedented levels over the last two weeks and some of the world's best kayakers have taken the plunge into never before paddled conditions. Check out this video clip of the mayhem at Canoe and Kayak magazine.
Would-be youngest circumnavigator in history Abby Sunderland is happy to be away from that kind of water, but she remains unrepentant about her failed solo expedition on the high seas, reports the L.A. Times. At a press conference in Marina Del Rey, California, Sunderland told reporters that it was a rogue wave, not her own errors that capsized her boat and snapped her mast in that notorious sailor's graveyard, the Southern Indian Ocean. "I've crossed two oceans and two capes," she told the Times. "The questions about my age should have been done months ago.... My trip didn't end because of something I did wrong." Sunderland won't be heading directly back to the sea. First there is the matter of finishing high school, getting a driver's license, and helping raise her new baby brother, named Paul-Louis after Paul Louis Le Moigne, the captain of the French ship that rescued Abby.
Amid the hoopla surrounding the World Cup, it is easy to forget that cycling's greatest summer institution has once again rolled into France. The Tour is back in town and with it, that familiar face that most love, and some love to hate--Lance Armstrong. Seven-time Tour winner and American cycling golden boy Armstrong announced through his Twitter feed that this will be his last Tour, seriously.
Of course, he said the same thing after winning the Tour for the seventh time in 2005 and he was back battling again last year against then teammate Alberto Contador. Contador got the better of their rivalry, and won his second Tour, but they will undoubtedly be going head to head again this year. Aside from being at least a decade older than many of the riders, Armstrong is also being followed around by the incubus of doping. The federal government is currently trying to build a case against him for what they believe to be his role in a systematic doping scheme that the United States Postal Service team engaged in during the late 90s and early 00s. Whatever the truth of the case and the outcome of the race, Armstrong says he will return home happily to spend time with his five children (read more in the New York Times).
The humanitarian and environmental issues that modern day adventurers align themselves with to draw attention to their exploits are something of a grim joke among those in the know. If you were one of the 513 Everest summitteers this spring and you were hoping to raise awareness about climate change, its safe to say that your impact was minimal. However, from the scrum of climate crusaders, glacier conservationists, and whale savers rises a man who has chosen to raise awareness about an issue many modern adventurers often come in contact with, but rarely notice--street children. This term refers to children from a wide range of backgrounds who are either forced to live in the streets due to the death or abandonment of their parents, or choose to do so because of unfavorable living conditions at home. The latest estimates say that Kenya has 250,000 to 300,000 of such children and the super marathon runner Christopher Rhys Howarth, wants us to take notice. In order to do so, he will be running 30 miles a day across the entire breadth of Kenya. Check out his web page for the full story.