Brothers on the Bashkaus: A Siberian Paddling Adventure
From rafts made from old germ warfare suits to lifejackets stitched together from soccer balls and wine bladders, river running in the former Soviet Union has evolved much like Australian wildlife-completely free of outside influences. Brothers on the Bashkaus follows the exploits of one of the first groups of Westerners to experience this foreign style of rafting on a white-knuckled, 26-day trip down the Bashkaus River, one of the hardest whitewater runs in all Siberia. Armed with little more than former guiding experience and a grant from W. L. Gore and Associates, four Americans stumble into a chance encounter with Latvia's Team Konkas and soon find themselves with a group of complete strangers on one of the wildest rides in the world. Along the way they deal with everything from language barriers and homemade equipment to armed horsemen and rapids lined with memorials to those who perished before them. But more importantly, they discover the bonding process of the river, a medium that dissolves cultural barriers as easily as sediment. They find that the river creates a common bond regardless of race, religion, or nationality-a bond in which a group of strangers truly come together as brothers.
"A Class-V ride through both big waters and a fast-changing culture."
-Jon Bowermaster, National Geographic Adventure author/adventurer
"A torrent of a book. Take the plunge!"
-Richard Bangs, founding partner of Mountain Travel/Sobek
"Imagine Hunter S. Thompson-without the drugs-running Class VI. It exposes the unadulterated spirit of whitewater..."
-Jon Turk, author of In the Wake of the Jomon and Cold Oceans
"Buchanan's blood is two parts river. A memorable tale of adventure, friendship, and a confluence, or collision, of cultures..."
-Peter Heller, author of Hell or High Water, Outside magazine contributor
"Superb! A reader could want for no better guide than Eugene Buchanan, an expert storyteller who knows firsthand that if you are good, lucky, and don't mind daily fat cubes, the best expeditions sometimes emerge out of the worst predicaments."
-Todd Balf, author of The Last River and the forthcoming Comet: The Untold Story of Major Taylor and How He Beat the Color Line (Crown Publishing, 2007)
"A fascinating cultural and adventure read."
-Peter Stark, author of The Last Breath and At the Mercy of the River
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