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In One Ear: The art of adventure

Kayaking the Columbia River: Source to Astoria
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on August 24, 2018 12:01AM

Nautical writer Peter Marsh sent in an interesting tidbit: John Kuntz, 61, is in the midst of what many would think of as the kayak trip from hell — more than 1,250 miles from the source of the Columbia River in British Columbia to Astoria — but he’s loving it.

Kuntz, owner of Olympic Outdoor Center in Port Gamble, Washington, says the purpose of this trip is to inspire kids to get outside more, back to nature, and away from digital and social media. “Summertime from sun up to sun down, we were outside,” he told the Kitsap Sun. It’s a way of life he’d like to see revived.

Plus, his journey is an educational tool. Students from Lincoln Elementary School in Oak Park, Illinois, are tracking his progress by GPS, and studying his trip (geography, math, the environment, Native American culture, etc.) as part of the school curriculum.

Since he’ll be arriving in Astoria around Oct. 13, Astoria schools might want to follow suit (curriculum info is here: Actually, anyone can follow his travels. Kuntz is shown in a selfie from his Facebook page (, where he posts regularly, and his GPS tracking information is at

In addition to teaching youth the “art of adventure,” Kuntz’s journey is also to honor Erica Reith (Eri), who died at the age of 19. “In life we have a chance to pay it forward and that is my goal,” he wrote, “to let youth know there is more to life than the world that they know. That it is OK to take risks safely to gain the reward of a lifetime.”


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