My girlfriend Tori and I were more than a little nervous starting this particular portage. As if the slog around Burr Falls on the remote Fond Du Lac River in Northern Saskatchewan isn't tough enough by itself; there was a mother bear who was very likely in a protective mood and her two cubs standing were milling about right on the trail as we approached in our canoe.
As the expression goes, "nothing last forever." So when your favourite paddling accessory reaches its twilight years, did it give you enough love and performance over its lifetime to be worth it? The feedback that we get here at North Water on this question is a consistent and fervent "YES!"
What do you think of 17,00 kms in 11 years as an RIO?
"Water pours through the crumpled canoe. Our well travelled canoe rests uncomfortably on the bottom of the creek deformed beyond belief. About the only thing holding it together is the spray deck. Moments before in a narrow swift that I could have waded, I lost control of the bow of the boat. It swung instantly into the current and caught on the far side. The force of the water folded it. Everything went in the water: all of our gear, weeks of food AND the kids."
Gabrielle Zerla is a Class III Whitewater Rafting Guide on the Shendandoah/Potomac and the Cheat Narrows. Recently, she had to swim down a portion of Class V Whitewater and wanted to tell us how thankful she was to have her North Water PFD.
The Summer of 2014 is when I first became aware of North Water's awesome custom vests. A select few of the "Old Heads" or senior guides...
Just recently, Leigh and his adventurous family shared this short trip report with us. If you read on, make sure to prepare yourself to be inspired!