Sink or Swim Japan 2018

Sink or Swim Japan 2018

Our trip to the Squirtogether mystery move competition in Japan this year was hallmarked by some dramatic moments- some welcome- others not. First- a typhoon hit Japan about a week before our flights. Japanese mystery spots often change with floods from typhoons. And there was a significant earthquake near the home of one of our hosts and friend- Taiki Sugawara. He only had to deal with no electricity for a few days. But still- a typhoon and an earthquake make for a pretty dramatic beginning.

Seams Like a Dream—Adventures in a Japanese Underland

Seams Like a Dream—Adventures in a Japanese Underland

A mystery move is a convergence of currents and intent- and in our case- cultures. At the core of it, it all comes together.  Our trip to Japan this year was an example of everything coming together beautifully. I had enjoyed the previous meetings I have had with this...
Stalking the Red Bull

Stalking the Red Bull

Japan has SO much to offer the casual tourist- perfect Tonkatsu (deep fried pork filets), Udon and Ramen soups, even earthquakes, volcanoes, and typhoons! What would we sample this year?? Just past the island is where is all comes together. “Casual” does not really...
Sled Shed

Sled Shed

The original sled was built from ethafoam in 1980 and was my first squirt design- named the “Slake”. I used it to do the first eddyline mystery move at Lost Paddle rapid on the Upper Gauley of Sept. of 1981. I called it an “Under” because I was actually going for an...

Love runs deep….

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Albert Einstein, What I Believe (1930) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   Oh boy!  Another trip to Japan to share in the 20th annual Squirtogether-...
My wood selection process

My wood selection process

Rivr Styx Ash Selection Process Stalker, Pennsylvania~ Keith Backlund’s home place~ late 90’s Crunch crunch CRUNCH! The collapse of the ice crusted snow punctuates our every step in the otherwise-silent forested hillside on a bright January day. Keith is hunting for...

The Spice of Life…. (Japan~ 2014)

Our trip to Japan was centered around the “Squirtogether” event scheduled for the first weekend in October,  but there were distractions…. The first was that a volcano near our destination, Mt. Ontake, decided to erupt ~unfortunately killing dozens...

Jim’s Japan Trip 2013

Our trip to Japan this year was a few weeks later than usual- the end of September and beginning of October. It was a bit after the rainy season and the rivers ran low and clean. My guest of honor this year was Joshua Tracy from Charolettesville, Virginia. Josh is an...

The Lure of the Realm

The “Realm” is our name for where we roam.  We just go around for a little while and then come back to the real world.   And the Lure is strong. “Just one more good one” , and “One more like that” ARE good enough reasons to get frazzled to the point where you’re not...

Paddle Anatomy

The anatomy of a paddle is pretty simple really. There’s only a few terms  to learn. Shafts are usually made in two halves which are “scarved”  together and made of three pieces each. “Plated shafts” have a lighter  duty core- like spruce...