And Epicocity's back

Wow, so EP sorta fell of the company blog bandwagon there for a while. To put it bluntly, we had a ridiculous 12 months. We've had experiences we could have never imagined and went to some absolutely wild parts of the world. Maybe we even went too hard and too fast. We certainly won't tell you that though, and the doors that have opened as a result of our push may actually make this lifestyle sustainable. Rivers In Demand has taken off, and we're pumped.

Kyle and Trip applied for a National Geographic Young Explorers grant the spring I was finishing up my BA from Oregon, and when EP was awarded the grant, things revved up to turbo speed. We left for Papua New Guinea in August, returned in October and split up. Trip and Kyle started processing the media from the expedition while I flew to the east coast to run a film festival tour organized by Sam Drevo (which ended up winning an award from National Geographic). That fall, we learned that Trip was honored by National Geographic for the PNG expedition. We published an article in Canoe and Kayak, an article in WEND and cut a segment for the Nat Geo show Wild Chronicles.

In November, I flew back to Oregon and we started working on the next expedition. We applied for a Geographic grant to run an un-run section of the upper reaches of the Salween in China, but were denied. Turns out that Geographic supported the first Tsangpo River attempt that resulted in the death of a kayaker, and wasn't too keen on taking another risk on a Chinese river expedition. Undaunted, we found other funding, got shut down on the Salween due to the riots in Tibet, paddled a 200 mile section of the Mekong, a 120 mile section of the Yangtze (3 times) and some miles of the lower Salween. Overall, an eye-opening experience on life in China and two months well spent. Travis Winn did an incredible job of organizing all of our logistics and, without exaggeration, made the trip possible. Kyle's sent his feature article off to Paddler a few weeks ago and a two-page photo spread from the trip ran in the August issue of National Geographic Adventure Mag. Trip's editing a short film on the expedition as we speak.

We returned from China on May 5th and were on a plane bound for Kinshasa, Congo about 5 weeks later to shoot a National Geographic Explorers Special with Dr. Melanie Stiassny of the American Museum of Natural History. The three week trip contained some of the scariest moments of our lives and we cannot wait to begin to share them through our media. We're still working on stuff from China though, so Congo stories are still a ways off from being told. The show airs in March, I think, and Kyle should be starting on feature articles in the next month or two.

During the last 12 months, it feels like we have always either been planning the logistics for an international trip or recovering from one. In total, we were out of the country for about 5 months traveling and shooting in areas that actively make these things very hard to do. While the experiences we had were absolutely priceless, we sometimes found ourselves overwhelmed and ready to get home--a product of setting the bar of what we wanted to achieve from each expedition so high. We pushed ourselves hard and got so much out of it.

After all that, we're taking a break from traveling and spending some much needed time at home processing all of the media we've gathered, writing, editing, researching and preparing for 2009. We've taken a big step in transitioning from producing paddle-porn to producing HDTV content that blends adventure with science, conservation and culture. We're writing a lot, we're working closely with the sponsors that we value very much and we're doing a ton of editing. Us and Final Cut? We're tight right now. We're also branching out a bit--Kyle and I are working on a film for the Save The Wild Rogue campaign and I'm shooting some TV spots on the side. Trip's continuing to stay focused on developing EP's TV presence for 2009.

So stay tuned as our plans develop for 2009. We've also had an incredible amount of media published this year, which I'll start accumulating here for your viewing pleasure. Our awesome web designer Evan Squire is about to drop some major updates to the Rivers in Demand Website this week, so stay tuned for a release announcement.

Expect to hear more from EP from now on. Please forgive us though if we're silent when things get nuts again. Cheers!

Trip, Andy and Kyle