Zambezi?

Just finished Canoecopia. It was great to see so many dear friends including crews from the Arctic, Boundary Waters, and the Rio Grande. Nothing seems to bond people like a canoe expedition. It’s more than the adventure; maybe it’s the vulnerability or the shared toil. I cannot explain it, but I am blessed with so many wonderful friends and I loved seeing them even if I was strung-out from the 1500 mile drive in two days from the Rio Grande.

Several people asked me hopefully if I would be guiding Zambezi River trips next year. I have been mum on the blog about my Zambezi experience and for good reasons. Is the Zambezi incredible? Absolutely. A huge flow, drops like I have never before experienced, crocs slithering into the river like a Tarzan movie, African river guides that I quickly grew to love. But, I think it’s one and done … Continue reading

That Dog Sammy, We Meet Again

I know I am way behind with my Blog and people have been clamoring for more Africa stories especially the Zambezi River trip, Rio Grande updates, and more; however a singular event occurred last night that pushed this take to the the top of the pile.

Last February 17, I blogged about “That Dog Sammy” the toughest Yorkie in Texas. Well last night I was walking across the parking lot of Terlingua’s Starlight Theater with a can of beer in my hand and a hankering for some West Texas brisket when I saw that same Yorkie dragging his glowing penlight flashlight which dangled from his collar through the dirt and stirring ups cloud of dust.

My scream, “That’s Sammy!” is all it took for his cowboy sidekick to start a three minute soliloquy. Apparently, earlier that day, blind, dumb, deaf, mute, Sammy had fallen down an old abandoned mine shaft … Continue reading

Back from two months in Africa

Back from two months in Africa. Completed a harrowing river trip on the Zambezi, toured several national parks in South Africa, Botswana and Tanzania. I will write more later but I thought readers may enjoy my wildlife tally.  The wildlife in Africa is truly astonishing.  Anyone that calls Yellowstone America’s Serengeti has never been to the Serengeti.  We worked hard getting into the parks before sundown and staying till closing and we had amazing guides, but the wildlife viewing was almost beyond belief. At any moment you can watch dramas unfold all around you. Clicking off 145 lions…. 40,000 Wildebeest…. 22 Cheetahs…. flabbergasting. The stalks, the chases, the kills and the scavengers, it was as if I was living inside of a National Geographic film. Africa is also the most expensive place I have ever traveled. I came home 2 weeks early flat broke, but with a smile on my … Continue reading

Into Africa

intoafrica270x180Left today for Johannesburg, South Africa on a journey of discovery and adventure. Paddling the Zambezi River, witnessing the Great Migration in Tanzania, and diving the coral reefs of Zanzibar. This expedition has been in the planning stages for a half-century. Next year I just may take you.

I will be back stateside mid-January, just in time for three runs down the the Rio Grande’s Lower canyons. Don’t despair if you have procrastinated. With my satellite communicator I can register you for a Rio Grande crew while on the Zambezi doe-see-doeing the hippos.

no phone service for ten weeks just e-mail rob@robkesselring.com

Rob Kesselring
Guide Service Anywhere
rob@robkesselring.com

Rio Grande Lower Canyon February 2017

You are invited to be on the crew of one of three canoe expeditions through the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande. Each run downriver is almost 100 miles long and spans 8 days and 7 nights, traveling every day and passing through spectacular canyons some over 1500 feet high…warm, sunny, gentle rapids, hot springs, unusual birds, desert wilderness solitude, safe, camping, archeology, mesquite campfires, slot canyon side hikes and the zodiacal cloud.

You can choose between three trips: February,  Feb 6- Feb 13, Feb 17-24, Feb 28-March 7.  These trips are fully insured and licensed by the National Park Service. Be warned an expedition with me is not a typical “guided trip”. We will make group decisions togethr and share in camp chores. We take a Minnesota approach, we don’t “float”, we paddle, and we don’t bring tables, coolers of beer and all the comforts of home. We embrace … Continue reading

Astounding Bushcraft/Paddling Seminar this Year

The sixth annual Bushcraft and Paddling BWCA Seminar/Trip is over and it was a great experience. You never know what you are going to get from the northern sky in October. This year the first six days were August-like: warm, calm, bugless and clear. We even went swimming a couple days. A wee bit of snow and wind came the final day so we set up the “hot” tent and fired up the wood stove, but more for fun than necessity. The crew also had the opportunity to safely practice paddling in wind and waves.

I have never seen the water so high in the BWCA in October which enabled us to dodge a couple portages with some whitewater paddling and to view robust waterfalls framed in peak autumn colors.

No moose this time, but great views of five mink, an otter and a couple dozen swans.

There was one … Continue reading

Guide Service Anywhere

Over the last 12 months, I have swum in the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean and, with just 48 hours to spare, the Atlantic Ocean. That’s right. All five of them! So when I say, Guide Service Anywhere, I mean it. if there is someplace you want to go. Some experience you want to do — Eyeball to eyeball with a grizzly bear, look down the barrel of an AK-47 at the bottom of the Copper Canyon, AKA the Butcher Shop, land a float plane on the North Pole, whatever you want — It can be arranged. And I can help you do it.  Just name it, and sign the check. Always with my implicit guarantee, DOA you don’t pay!

2016 Bushcraft and Paddling Trips in the BWCA

Registration is now open for the 2016 Bushcraft and Paddling Skills Trips.

This is the sixth consecutive year Dan and I have been leading these trips and they are always fun learning experiences. We cannot guarantee great weather, although that was the case last year, when we enjoyed clear skies and warm daytime temperatures. Maybe it started a trend because for several years the trip has been characterized by snow and wind. Either way, it’s a trip that works. If it’s cold we will have a “hot” tent heated with a wood stove.

Usually, it’s a small group and we can accommodate solo or tandem paddlers. We work on the skills you want to work on. If you just want to travel we can do that too. Led by me and … Continue reading

2016 Noatak Expedition – a Big Success

Writing this blog in the Seattle airport after a red-eye flight from Anchorage. The first darkness at night in over a month seems as if it is the closing curtain of a great Broadway play. Curtain drawn tight, the applause already fading. It’s all over now.

We successfully completed an 18-day, 400-mile canoe expedition down the Noatak River in arctic Alaska. It was a strong crew of ten with excellent weather and perfect water levels. Wildlife count included 14 grizzly bears, six muskoxen, two wolves (playful pups), six foxes, numerous sic sic, raptors, loons, ptarmigan,and three moose and three Dall sheep seen from the air. Fishing was also excellent for Salmon, Grayling and Dollies – yum. It is a spectacular river with different challenges and rewards around every bend.

Those familiar with my tripping style, especially on far north expeditions, know that I prefer an expeditionary regimen. I meticulously plan … Continue reading

NOATAK CANOE EXPEDITION 2016

Making final preparations for the 2016 Arctic Noatak Canoe Expedition. 400 miles, all north of the Arctic Circle. You can follow my crew’s progress at https://share.delorme.com/RobKesselring

We leave Fairbanks on Saturday, July 16 and fly on two, twin engine, planes to Bettles on the south slope of the Brooks Range. That afternoon or the following morning we shall board a float equipped, DeHavilland Otter and a float equipped, DeHavilland Beaver (both these venerable planes were built in the 1950’s) and make a long bush flight across the Arctic Circle, and to the headwaters of the Noatak River. This flight passes over one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the world. If the weather is clear we will view hanging glaciers and granite spires just off the wingtips. My niece, Karen Kelley, exclaimed four years ago that this flight alone was worth the price of admission…..but that is … Continue reading