A New Year

By Bill Anderson

A fresh year ushers in new opportunities as adventurers seek out inspiring landscapes to chase goals and explore new horizons.

It’s been a while since my last blog post but the start of a New Year offers a good time to both reflect on the year past and to look forward to the year ahead.

2009 was a good year for me paddling wise. I managed to spend a lot of time in my river boat exploring many runs new to me in the North East and also travelling further a field in the UK. I also achieved something I’ve wanted to do for many years; paddle the Tees source to sea. This was a very fun trip taking in a wide variety of water, from good white water to long flat stretches, with nice scenery along the whole river. The highlight of my year paddling wise though has to be my summer trip to California. I spent the majority of June in the West Coast state paddling some of the best rivers I’ve ever been on, managing to squeeze in some wilderness multi-days in the process. The only disappointment being Upper Cherry Creek coming into condition two days after we left. I’ll be back!

Whitewater kayaker descending whitewater river
California Dreamin’

Following my annual Scotland trip over New Year, 2010 has got off to a good start. Lots of snow meant I could get out and try to improve my snowboarding (getting there…) and I’ve also had a chance to try ice climbing for the first time, which was surprisingly fun. When the snow melted it meant paddling time! I managed to get out on one of my favourite local runs, the Upper Swale, and a few trips on various sections of the Tees.

Beautiful scenery Christmas day. Taken during our multi-day walk from Corrour Station back to reality

Looking ahead into the year, I’ve booked a plane ticket to Zambia. The Zambezi is a river I’ve wanted to paddle since I first took up the sport. The pictures and videos I saw shot on the river in the ‘90s were one of the things that inspired me to paddle white water in the first place.

My targets for 2010 are to start spending more time in my playboat which has taken a back seat to river paddling of late, look at paddling some more local runs source to sea and to make sure I attend as many kayaking events as physically possible.

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