I have another cover story in Open Air , USA Today's new active-lifestyle quarterly. It starts on page 34 in their handy online reader, and covers all the different kinds of fun you can have on rivers, from whitewater to scenic floating.
Not all the interviews made it into the final piece. One guy told me about how the men in his family have gotten together every summer for 50 years on the same river in Canada. The tradition started when his grandfather and some of his Navy buddies from WWII took a few surplus rafts up there for some R&R.
Another one, a champion kayaker, told me about facing death on the Upper Nile near Jinja, Uganda, at a rapid called "The Bad Place." It sucked him in, tossed him around like a sock in a washing machine until he thought he was a goner, then spit him out for no reason.
I rafted that stretch last summer, taking a break from researching the book, but I'm not sure if we hit that particular rapid or not. It was burly whitewater, anyway. Too bad a huge new hydropower dam will kill lots of the rapids.