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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Horizon Lines

Team EMS in the middle of a horizon line during 2010 Untamed NE
When you're padding in swift-water a horizon line indicates an impending substantial increase in the river gradient.  In other words, things are about to get interesting.  Lots of proficient whitewater kayakers probably get excited when they first glimpse one, but since i'm a pack-rafter (and only a moderately proficient one) i tend to view them with a not quite equal mix of anticipation and fear.  And yeah, the inequality favors the fear.

Well, my river has just rounded a bend and sure enough, there's a horizon line ahead.  This one happens to be called the Untamed New England Adventure Race - a four day affair taking place in Maine this June.  The race sold out in record time and is apparently attracting some good international teams (which hasn't really happened in US racing since Primal Quest, 2006), including reigning national champions, team Thule.

There's a lot of river between here and there, and i'm sure to soon grow accustomed to the sight of that horizon line every time i look forward.  But i think it is pretty cool that even though i've paddled right over so many in my day, my heart still beats a little faster upon that first glimpse.


  1. Looks like a sweet race! (Although I'm still shocked at the price tag) That's right at the beginning of our summer vacation so you better plan on meeting up with me for a little reunion. Let me know if you need any help with logistics, gear, etc.

    1. mike - i'll let you know the details as soon as i get tickets. and if you think that price tag is high..... Primal Quest was 8000 a team (in 2006!) Luckily jason has worked tirelessly to get financial sponsorship for his team (hence the 'gearjunkie' in gearjunkie/yogaslackers) and typically is able to cover most/all of the entry fee, so most of my costs are travel and bike shipping.....

  2. Awesome, Andy!! I'm sure you'll have a blast and do very well!


  3. Did this race two years ago, first class all the way! Have fun training and let me know if you are ever in my neck of the woods again. JP

  4. And you will get to be "legendary" see you there.

  5. I'm already legendary - i live in north dakota (it's our slogan (; )