Adventurefrik on October 23rd, 2009

Whitewater Expedition 2009Recently I had the privilege to take a 5-day white-water rafting expedition that took me down through rivers in Quebec and into Maine, hitting Quebec’s Rouge River (it is actually red), the Jacques Cartier River in Quebec, Maine’s Kennebec River, and the Penobscot River, also in Maine. There were 50 of us, so we crammed our gear and us into a coach liner provided by Foley Bus Lines and a van for our boats and equipment provided by Wilderness tours and headed to white-water land.


Our first river adventure on the Upper Rouge River was unfortunately pathetic as the water levels were low at the end of the summer. The Upper Rouge consisted of one class 3 rapid and the rest were small rock beds that we constantly got our rafts stuck on. The Lower Rouge was a bit better, we actually had some fun as a boat flipped going down one rapid. Between the Rouges we stayed at New World Rafting Center while it was closed for the winter. The next river we headed for was the Jacques Cartier in the small town of Tewkesbury, Quebec.  We tented in a field that was owned by Les Glissades de Tewkesbury which is a small-town rafting and snow tubing company. The Jacques Cartier was a pretty amazing river; it is really continuous current and towards the end of the river there is a professional white-water kayaking course.


Harris Dam - Kennebec RiverWe crossed the Canadian border into Maine and we stayed at an awesome resort called the Northern Outdoors, basically the Donald Trump of outdoors in Maine. This was by far the best place we stayed at, the lodge and facilities were pretty cool and the rivers we hit there were kick-ass. The first river, the Kennebec, was the group’s favourite almost unanimously. We drove to the Harris Dam, right at the base of the dam. At ten o’clock the dam opened the overflow for the dam, creating the river experience. The water rose 10ft in five minutes. What we rafted was basically a huge wave train (like ACDC’s Rock N Roll Train -from the Toronto concert I attended) all the way down the river. We had three boats flip and have to save themselves (unflip and reload) because of the lack of eddies. Unfortunately because of the dam controls, the trip was only an hour long so we did a high ropes course for the afternoon, but what a ride!!  I’m afraid of heights a little bit so that made the experience a lot more exhilarating. The last day became really boring because it was a four hour ride to and from the Penobscot river. After the thrill of the Kennebec , the only really good feature about the Penobscot was the one class five rapid that we hit, and it was really cool because we had a perfect line through the rapids.


Overall I would give the trip an 8 out of 10. Part of learnings for us in expedition travel is learning and managing things when they go wrong. With this adventure, there were circumstances beyond our control that affected the overall experience, but what a fun trip it was. Until next time!


photo credits by permission: Whitewater Expedition and Harris Dam by Andru Brown


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Adventurefrik on September 21st, 2009

While we were at our Wilderness Tours Training Center, we discussed the types of gear and what to wear in the wilderness for water survival. Surviving whitewaterThat night’s talk mainly centered around the argument between natural (cotton, wool, down, etc.) and synthetic (polyester, neoprene, nylon, etc.) fibres. This was a rather heated discussion as we came to consensus that it really was dependant on the situation.


Synthetics are good at keeping you dry and warm in wet cases where the fabrics would be subjected to heavy wet conditions where water repulsion and separating the body from water were critical to core body warmth, whereas organics are good at keeping you warm after the wet in retaining body heat and re-building the body’s inner core of warmth.  We came to the understanding that if you get organics wet they suck at keeping you warm and they take forever to dry, but applied dry, the benefits of the warmth gained were warmingly insulating.  A blend of the two sometimes became the best option where you needed a combination of the benefits of both fibres: other times it comes down to cost factor. Despite the positions on both sides we came to the conclusion that for the rafting and rescue portions of the  training, the synthetic fibres offered us the best advantage against the rivers fall edge.


MEC logoI purchased my gear from the college and from an awesome gear  shop called Mountain Equipment Co-op. Some of the names I purchased when comparison shopping was the Level Six Dry Suit and the Sierra Designs Rash Guard.  These have served me well so far. As I learn more I will keep you posted.


See ya next time folks!   



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Adventurefrik on September 20th, 2009

Welcome all Adventurefriks! If you don’t know, my name is Nelson and I am enrolled in the Outdoor Adventure Program at Algonquin College in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada, heart of the Ottawa Valley.

Algonquin College - Wilderness Tours Training FacilityMy first week at school was spent at the Wilderness Tours off-campus Training Facility learning the very basics of canoeing and whitewater raft guiding, surfing and flipping. We spent our time learning and challenging the river and ourselves as we stretched our comfort zone and learned many new skills. The week was an awesome time to bond with fellow students and have a wild time on the Ottawa River’s famous rapids.



Whitewaterrafting on the Ottawa RiverWhat I can tell you about Whitewater Rafting so far is if you want to learn how to guide a raft, just like any new acquired skill, you need to take multiple trips down the same river to get yourself comfortable with the twists, turns and currents of the river – build the knowledge and your confidence. Experience the ride as a rower and then advance to the drivers seat. Once you feel the control of the boat and the pull of the river, the adrenaline pumps into high gear. Learn it, feel it, master it!

Each week I will add some new topics we are studying that you can use as a basic resource as we take this journey together … stay tuned next time for a talk on basic clothing qualities.


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Adventurefrik on September 7th, 2009

Home for adventure-seeking freaks/Friks of the outdoors!

Welcome to the launch of! My name is Nelson and I’m a first year student in the Outdoor Adventure Program at Algonquin College in the city of Pembroke, Ontario, Canada. This will be my way to give you first-hand updates on what I’m doing, what I’m learning and what outdoor fun we are having! 

Nelson (Adventurefrik)

My goal is to be able to give you loads of knowledge so you too can get involved in wilderness adventures as well and enjoy these activities like me.

Some of the adventures I will blog about are:

  • White water adventure
  • Sea kayak adventures
  • Rock climbing
  • Snowboarding and skiing
  • And so much more …


My email is so if you have any questions or comments give me a shout and I will answer you to the best of my knowledge. I look forward to hearing from you as you visit again and again!

Log ID:  bi9sxyj26f


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Adventurefrik on September 4th, 2009

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!