Book Report: Blue Mind

Book Title and Author: Blue Mind by Wallace J. Nichols

Main idea of story:  This book dives into the fascinating emotional, behavioral, psychological, and physical connections humans have with water! Explore the world of water like never before!

Main characters in the book: Author Wallace J. Nichols guides you through the waves of research which provides insight into the powerful effects water has on our mind, bodies, and souls! He also presents compelling stories from athletes, leading scientists, military veterans, and gifted artists!

Something unique and interesting about the story/book for readers to know: The Author discusses the idea of ‘your brain on water’ and how merely being by, on, or in water can reduce stress, increase happiness, and overall improve quality of life! His approach incorporates varying sciences amongst other perspectives for a thorough discussion!

Favorite part of the story/book and why: The entire book is enthralling, but one favorite can be found on page 218-219. Here Wallace introduces the idea of ‘flow’. A beautifully articulated idea which we don’t consciously think about, but simply go with the flow.

Was this book entertaining, educational, amusing, etc?: Overall this book is very educational, but the approach is such that you are entertained throughout, with moments of wonder, shock, and understanding!

Would you recommend this book?: If you are passionate about water and want to learn more about yourself then absolutely, YES, read this book and enjoy!

Blue Mind by Wallace J. Nichols is a National Bestseller! You don’t have to take our word for it though! Check out what others had to say about the read below!

 

“Blue Mind has the power to reveal how your health and happiness are tied to oceans and waterways, no matter where on Earth you live.”

-Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue and Explorer in Residence at National Geographic

“A fascinating study of the emotional, behavioral, psychological, and physical connections that keep humans so enchanted with water.”

-Nicola Joyce, Washington Post

“Using a combination of anecdotes and hard data, Nichols makes a persuasive case for water’s healing power.”

-Amanda FitzSimons, Elle

 

 

Just as Wallace J. Nichols signed off at the end of his book we will bid the same – We wish you Water!

Freedom to Portage!

The locks on the Fox River are very popular to paddle through and enjoy (check out our Appleton and Little Chute Locks excursions, which are the most popular routes), but today we are talking about navigating around them!

No one likes to get “locked” in place and kayaking is all about freedom of flow! Our local locks are not operational all the time and many of them are not functional yet! No worries kayaking friends – we can always portage!

What is portaging? Portaging is the act of carrying a boat or its cargo over land to get from one navigable waterway to another.

Why might you portage? The most common reason to portage is due to an obstruction in a waterway, such as a tree, dam, or lock.

Some of the locks on the Fox River have marked portage paths, but if you come to an obstruction without a referenced portage path, on the Fox River or other body of water, your right to portage remains the same.

Portaging is a physical activity. With a lighter vessel, this can be done by oneself, but it’s always easier and more fun to share the load with a helping hand to cross the path! The act of portaging is as old as kayaks and canoes themselves [1000s of years old first done by the arctic inhabitants now known as the Inuits]. To hop across islands or cross a barrier to continue a journey is something special that can offer the feeling of traversing you to a simpler time. If you haven’t incorporated it into your kayaking adventure yet we recommend trying it!

For more information about portaging or if you have general questions feel free to reach out to us! There are many other organizations supporting paddler’s adventures out on the water as well!

Guest Blog – Surrealist Photography by Emily Showers

We welcome guest blog appearances from all walks of life. We are happy to feature artists, adventurers, writers, and anyone with a story to tell!

This week we are excited to give the spot light to Emily Showers! A local photographer with an eye for surrealism and an interesting perspective on photography. We hope you enjoy the work she created while joining us for our 4th of July festivities!

 

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I enjoy shooting infrared photography because it is a way humans can perceive part of a world they cannot see. Viewing a rendition of an invisible world unearths subconscious thoughts and broadens minds. Our own limits close us off from a universal understanding. Art is a portal to expand our perception and power of observation.

Photographers, including me, like speed, but slowing down reveals transformation, whether it is clouds, boats or people. I superimposed fast images with long exposure infrared images in the gifs. It reveals an infinite number of events can exist in the same plane. Existence is not static. Instead it tumbles and morphs such as a lake’s surface.

Some of my favorite subjects in school were physics, genetics, mathematics, philosophy and art. I attempt to incorporate scientific principles into my work; such as the process of change. People often find those subjects daunting, but I feel as if all humans have an intuitive understanding of them; art helps open the mind to them. Infinite knowledge comes to those who are willing to open themselves up.

 

“Reflection Crash” Infrared gif superimposed over black and white photograph

 

“Neon Psychosis” Long exposure light painting superimposed over color photograph

 

“Round Trip Travel” Color photography gif

 

“Trembling Figures” Infrared gif superimposed over black and white photograph

 

“Infinite Synapse” Infrared gif

 

“Labyrinth’s Vector” Color photograph

 

“Rolling Kayak” Infrared gif superimposed on black and white still

 

“Tinker” Light painting superimposed on black and white gif

 

“How Many Thoughts Were Thought While This Was Produced?” Infrared gif superimposed over black and white still.

 

“Neon Quiver” Long exposure light painting superimposed over color photograph.

 

“Mechanical Spector” Long exposure light painting superimposed over color photograph.

 

Preserving Our Local History – River Time

We are honored to have the opportunity to preserve a small piece of local history! Below you will find a YouTube link to the freshly uploaded video we converted from VHS.

‘River Time’ is a short 30-minute video documenting the history of the Fox River and the surrounding area. Made by local volunteers and community leaders in the 90s, the clothing fashion may look a bit funny now, but the facts are very interesting and informative!

We would like to say thank you to Karen Laws, the Producer and Director who gave us permission to bring this video into the 21st Century! Thank you to Tom Frantz at University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley for assisting with the digital conversion.  Also a big thank you to the rest of the River Time team for providing inspiration for what Fox River Kayaking Company does today!

 

So dim the lights, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!

Happy Birthday U.S.A! Here’s to Freedom!!

Summer is officially in full swing and the long 4th of July weekend is here! Let the baseball games, grilling, and kayaking festivities commence!

Before we get into full party mode, let’s remember what we are celebrating!

 

On July 4th, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, united under a common idea of freedom. A fragile notion unlike any prior governments, our representatives and founding fathers came to a unified agreement and Declared our Independence! Since then, we have been celebrating July 4th as our nation’s birthday!

Hopefully our Lady Liberty won’t mind if we do some math on her age? 2017 – 1776 = 241 years! We are turning 241 this year, and although that seems old, we are a very young country.

 

We are excited to enjoy the long 4th of July with you! We have our George Washington eating a hot dog t-shirt, red/white/blue sunglasses, fireworks and we are waving our American flags proudly!

Want to hang out with us? Come see us at CommunityFest cruising in our shuttle across the island. At our first parade on Memorial Day, we were excited to join but didn’t have any flags to displayed at that time. The organizers weren’t too happy about this, but we redeemed ourselves on Flag Day, and we are even more ready for the 4th of July! 🙂

 

Heads-Up: If you still want to join our 4th of July Fireworks Paddle you still can if you have your own gear! Although our fleet is completely booked, if you have your own gear, you simply need to call us to arrange your booking to join! The floating view from the park shore line will truly be something special!

 

 

Finally — and we can’t say it enough — PLEASE BE SAFE THIS WEEKEND! Whether on water or land, look out for each other, slow down, and be smart! We are all trying to have a good time, but the smiles don’t spread when someone gets hurt!

Happy Birthday Lady Liberty – like a fine wine, you only get better with age!