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River Valley Blog
When Is Too Old?
Recently I have a couple of conversations that got me to thinking?
What was I thinking about?
What I was thinking about was the old question of when are you too old to be active on the river and adventuring in general?
What set me on these thoughts was talking to Jeffe Aronson, a 60 year old river guide with 35 years experience mostly on the Grand Canyon, and secondly an application for a trainee position on the river here from someone who is 50 years old.
Of course my own age of 55 years was a factor!
Do we lose something on our trips when all the guides are in their mid twenties as is the norm in most of the "adventure" industry? I think we do.
Of course the question is not only about the guides, but also about our customers. We regularly have people on our rafting or horse trekking trips who are in their 60s and even occasionally 70's, and sometimes even older.
I think the real point is, if we are physically capable, and just as importantly still passionate about adventuring, then it is a lose to the experience we provide our clients if we retire, just because we "think" we are past it.
Abraham Lincoln had that great quote that sums it up;
"In the end, its not the years in your life that count. Its the life in your years"
Clients or guides, it is good for our souls to continue to experience and share the things we are passionate about.
Posted by Brian Megaw on 8th March, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: rafting new zealand, adventure holidays, Ngaruroro River, natural horsemanship
First OARS trip to River Valley and New Zealand
There is a cheese advert on New Zealand TV that talks about the art of making good cheese. In the advert the lead actor finishes off with the statement that good things take time.
Well that certainly was the case recently.
After several years of work and discussion, we finally had our first tour from OARS on the ground in New Zealand. OARS are an American rafting and adventure travel company who operate from California but also have operations on a number of other rivers including the Colorado through Grand Canyon.
The tour started in Auckland on board a sailing ship with dinner and quite a breeze. Over the next few days people got to experience some of the North Island. This included, black water rafting, Maori concert and hangi, jet boating on the Whanganui River and over nighting at the Bridge to No Where Lodge, a cycle winery tour in Hawkes Bay and a visit to the Pukaha MT Bruce Wildlife Centre.
Of course the tour would not have been complete without spending some time at River Valley. A couple of days here were busy with a farm tour, inflatable kayaking, horse riding, some visited Gravity Canyon, and a bit of time was taken for some relaxation.
What Sort of Group Were They?
I always find it refreshing to spend time with people who are a little older, but still adventurous, still interested in trying new things, and pushing themselves a little. This described the group.
The other thing I notice with these types of people is how interested they are in other people.
Thanks OARS and Carrie Aronson who put so much time into organising the tour.
Bob, (with mohawk) getting some sheep shearing tips during the farm visit.
Posted by Brian Megaw on 2nd March, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: OARS, adventure travel, inflatabale kayaking, adventure New Zealand
Revisiting The Best River to Be On
While I have already visited this subject in a previous post, I think it needs revisiting.
Every time I take customers down the river I am always asked, "What is the best river I have ever been on?"
And what do I answer?
All of them
All those rivers have something special, something unique. It could be the powerful warm water waves of the Zambezi, the immense Canyon Walls of the Colorado through the Grand Canyon, the remoteness and beauty of the upper Rangitikei, the busyness of the first day on a Ngaruroro overnight trip, and so on. Too many to mention here.
However, what often as not brings these rivers truly alive is the people you are with, especially when they are also listening to and feeling the rhythm of the river.
"Best" can only be measured in some way in which facts and figures can tell the story - longest, steepest, most rapids, most big rapids, most fall outs and so on. And of course best for who?
When you are next on the river, just be present. Today, this river you are on is simply the best.
The Colorado River through the Grand Canyon
Posted by Brian Megaw on 15th February, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: rafting new zealand, Rangitikei River, Ngaruroro River, New Zealand rivers, rivers to raft
Doing Your Bit
Got im! This Stoat will not be killing anymore native birdsOn Thursday I came off a 4 day trip down river. We enjoyed beautiful sunshine days and pretty campsites.
While floating downstream we checked a line of Stoat traps - 2 more Stoats killed and a few rats, plus poisoned an invasive Old Man's Beard plant that had established itself outside the containment area. Over the four days doing these "public good" jobs probably took a couple of hours.
This got me to thinking.
A couple of hours over four days, not too hard was it? And yet we made a difference. A difference for a bunch of native trees that would have been strangled by the quickly growing vines of Old Man's Beard plants, and we probably saved the lives of quite a number of native birds that would have fallen victim to Stoat predation.
How hard would it be if we all just did a bit? All those bits I am sure would make a huge positive impact to the native plants and animals that we share these Islands with.
Rather than pointing a finger at those not doing their bit, how about finding a way you can contribute and do your bit.
There is a challenge for you.
Posted by Brian Megaw on 9th February, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: New Zealand, rafting new zealand, Rangitikei River, conservation
What Really Matters In LIfe
On this site you will notice that there are quite a number of testimonials.
We believe that well written and considered testimonials often answer questions that other people may have and that in some way we have not addressed. In other words, other people's experiences can lead to you making a more informed choice about booking a River Valley experience.
Occasionally however we receive a testimonial, a testimonial that totally stands out with the amount of thoughtfulness, honesty and consideration that has gone into it's creation. Recently we received one such of these from Clive Anstey who was a guest on a River Philosophers four day rafting trip.
This is a trip that is invite only from the organiser. In this case that was author, David Young.
A quote from Clive's thoughts of his trip:
"I came off the river with a huge sense of well being and satisfaction. Four days in the natural world, moving with a river and in the company of good friends, brings with it a strong sense of ‘connection’, the feeling of being at ease with oneself, the place, and the group I was with. We all ‘know’ this feeling but we forget how to capture it, how to rediscover it!"
I found what Clive wrote deeply moving. It is not some sort of yah yah about River Valley, rather it is the effect that being in nature amongst good friends over a number of days can have. It is about the rhythm of the river and the effect on your soul.
You can read more here
Posted by Brian Megaw on 26th January, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: rafting new zealand, adventure holidays, Rangitikei River, conservation
Progress on the Round Pen
An unforeseen consequence of the move to using a natural horsemanship style of riding for our treks with River Valley Stables has been the need for training facilities.
These training facilities are used to establish better connections with the horses, to teach them and their riders some of the finer points of natural horse training, to desensitize them to unexpected obstacles, and also to have some fun with the props, big balls and small jumps.
We finished a 60m x 30m arena early 2013, and now it is the turn of a round pen.
This round pen is 15.6 metres (50') feet in diameter and will be tremendous asset to the Stables. Completion is a couple of weeks away.
These facilities are not only for the use of River Valley Stables staff however. We find that people who are on one of our horse riding holidays, such as a Home on the Range package, also enjoy being able to have some fun at the Arena.
These facilities in close proximity to the Lodge also means that they are very suitable for more specialised horse related camps and work shops. In fact one of these, a three day Parelli Trail Riding clinic featuring several 4 star instructors, will be held here in a couple of weeks.
And what a setting!
Posted by Brian Megaw on 13th January, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: New Zealand, adventure holidays, River Valley Stables, natural horsemanship, horse riding holidays, horse trekking in New Zealand