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Why I love northern California

Where else can you find a view like this?San Francisco, seen from the top of Mt. Tamalpais:
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When Things Go Horribly Wrong

...just keep telling yourself, "If I live through this, it will make one hell of a story." That sentence, or variations on it, has gotten me through a lot of things, among them: a 4-hour portage through a mosquito-infested Canadian swamp, getting benighted on the summit ridge of a thousand-foot rock formation in Colorado, the ill-considered choice of a brutal 15-mile trail run for my first race ever, and, of course, the 8-day, two-hospital, near-death ordeal of...
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An altnernative to the standard sea kayaking T rescue

I came across this video from rock and sea productions showing the Brits' take on combining the seakayking cowboy scramble with a T rescue. The video's got good production values and includes bullet points. I did a mashup, published readers' comments, and added related links:http://paddlingtravelers.blogspot.com/2007/07/cowboy-t-scramble-rescue-british.html
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Boat owners want mandatory education

Members of the Boat Owners Association of The United States seem to have no problem with requiring all boaters to have education for their activity. In a recent survey of the membership, 61 percent said mandatory education was a good idea, if a substitute was offered for those not wanting to take a formal exam. Another 9 percent said it was a good idea, even with a required exam.Asked about having to carry an ID card while boating, 75...
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Rock-Paper-Scissors leads to 107 waterfall plunge

"He threw paper, I threw scissors, so I was the first one up," said paddler Tyler Bradt, 21, of Missoula, Mont.... The waterfall of reference is notorious Alexandra Falls, a towering behemoth found along the Hay River in Canada's Northwest Territories made famous when Ed Lucero of New Mexico paddled over the lip in 2003 and established it as the longest drop ever survived in a kayak."Link - Denver Post 
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New Zealand, Sibling Cuteness

I took this on the ferry going from New Zealand's north island to the south island. (New Zealand, by the way, is basically the best ultra-compact country for outdoor adventuring that exists.) If you can't tell, the white triangles are sails. When I showed this picture to my then-five-year-old sister Lilly, she pointed to the triangles and asked, "Are those sharks?"
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Beach Treasures Part 2: What do you do with all the stuff you find?

How about a cigar box beach sculpture? Just fill the bottom of the box 2" deep with beach sand (make sure it's dry and not infested with sand fleas) and stick interesting stuff in it. This one included sand dollars, several kinds of coral, sea sponges and sea fans. It would be super coolto put candles in it too...just make absolutely sure that nothing is close enough to the flame to catch fire.
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Beach Treasures

If I made a list of all the cool things I've found washed up on the beach, the list would be... pretty long. A few of my favorites:-a six-armed red starfish-an enormous tree, roots and branches and all, that was sun-bleached and water-smoothed so it seemed to be made of bone-a human skull-Just kidding, I didn't really find a skull. Wouldn't that be creepy?-half a dozen abalone shells -a rubbery, 10-foot-long alien tentacle*What's the most interesting...
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