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The Gearboat Chronicles

Hells Canyon Julep

‘Dance With Fate’ did not win the Kentucky Derby so it’s back to the drawing board for my retirement fund strategy. I never even saw my horse during the race. I was so careful picking the random scrap of paper out of Ken Homan’s coffee can to select my horse that I thought for sure ‘Dance With Fate’ would at least place. Ah well, easy come easy go. I’ll make those 2 dollars back somehow. Since I never laid eyes on that glue pot during the race, I had to do some googling to see where my money went:

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Did you know: Churchill Downs says they sell about 120,000 mint juleps each year on Derby Weekend. They go for $11 a pop with a souvenir glass, OR you can pay $1,000 dollars for a limited edition Woodford Reserve mint julep with gold leaf on the commemorative cup. And if a thousand-dollar drink still strikes you as something a hobo might enjoy with a can of beans under a bridge, get in line for one of ten super juleps selling for $2,000 each.

That means that for the price of one single fancy commemorative julep at the Kentucky Derby, you and a friend can both go rafting in Hells Canyon on the Bourbons Bistro specialty trip, with bourbon industry insider Jason Brauner sharing his extensive knowledge of this Kentucky elixir.

Bourbon Rafting Trip

There will be history lessons about bourbon that include bourbon tastings. I got a college degree in history and feel cheated that not once did classes involve bourbon tasting. There will be a flight of bourbon each night. I like this use of aeronautical imagery applied to spirits. It warms me.

Jason says that there are no bad bourbons. I plan to bring a bottle of Wild Turkey and press him on this issue. Once that is settled, he’ll share what really good bourbon is, explaining the difference in bourbon styles to hone in on your own preferences. The menu will fit nicely with the flights and this trip is sure to be what we call in the outdoor adventure industry, a “hoot.”

To find out more about enjoying your bourbon with a splash of whitewater, go here.

Large Marge In the Lead, If I Have Any Say In This, Which I Don’t

The ‘Name That Gearboat Contest’ is underway, with nominations and voting going on over on The Facebooks. So far, I like “Large Marge,” suggested by Mark Johnson. Other nominees for what to call the new gigantic blue gear raft include: Dreamboat Annie, Dance With Fate, The Steed, Hells Canyon Chrome, Moby, Argos, Providore, Malamute and more. Add your name suggestion and vote for others by clicking Like on your faves at the Winding Waters facebook page. There’s the prize of a free Winding Waters t-shirt or hat on the line here, people.

Meantime, here’s Pee Wee:

And here’s few shots from the weekend festivities at the Homan Hacienda, where Winding Waters naturalist Jan and her husband Ken kindly throw a shindig every Spring and it’s always what we in the weekend gathering industry like to call a “hoot.”

Drinko de Mayo Porch Concert


Sir Paul toting a Morgan Jenkins clay drinking vessel.


Ken has opinions on beer. Here is one.


I’m one of those people who never remember how a joke goes. Except this one: Pavlov heard the phone ring and remembered he forgot to feed the dogs.

Tom Swanson does not suffer from joke memory loss and he was in fine form Saturday. Here’s Tom mid-story.