Posts tagged: Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club
Dr. Richard Byrd, a Spokane pulmonary specialist and globetrotting adventurer, died on April 3 after suffering a blow to the head in a fall while hiking a rocky area on the coast of Cuba.
Byrd, 82, was traveling with his wife, Laurie, and a group led by National Geographic Expeditions. The adventure travel organization has clearance to lead Cuba cultural trips that include U.S. citizens, who are otherwise restricted from entering the nation.
Byrd was featured in a 2010 story in The Spokesman-Review for the inexhaustible energy that allowed him to continue a medical practice with the Rockwood Clinic while satisfying a world-class appetite for climbing mountains, paddling kayaks and hiking treacherous trails.
“The group was hiking and he was out in front, as usual,” Laurie said, describing his fatal accident. “He apparently slipped and hit his head. He never regained consciousness.”
She said she finds comfort in knowing he was out exploring new territories and doing what he loved.
“On the other hand, this was such an incredibly active and vital man who still saw patients – and he was gone in an instant. It takes some getting used to.”
Byrd, a former Air Force officer, launched most of his outdoor adventures after the age of 50. He was active in the Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club and a veteran, along with Laurie, on wilderness trips in North America.
They paddled off the Galapagos Islands as well as northeastern Greenland, a trip that took 10 years to arrange with permission from the natives.
“It was worth it,” he said.
Byrd climbed peaks such as Kilimanjaro and hiked to the base camps of Mount Everest and K2.
He'd trekked in Nepal, India and Buton, an island in Indonesia. He’d canoed Alaska’s Noatak River into the Bering Sea, kayaked the Strait of Magellan in Chile and rode out 400 miles of whitewater in a canoe, along with Laurie, on the Nahanni River in Canada’s remote Northwest Territories. The Nahanni trip is epic in the paddling club’s history because the group nearly starved.
After trekking 200 miles across England, walking an average of 20 miles each day, Byrd wondered if he was in good enough shape to run a marathon. He proved he could by finishing the Portland Marathon, just before he turned 80.
Byrd’s ashes returned the United States with his wife. The family is planning a memorial on April 27, 11 a.m., at Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church.
PADDLING — Paddling Across the Continent, a free program set for Monday (Jan. 23), documents a series of trips spanning eight years by Bob Rust of Sandpoint and a group of Inland Northwest companions who kayaked, canoed and hiked across North America.
I detailed the journey in this 2008 Spokesman-Review feature story.
Rust paddled 2,900 miles from Astoria, Ore., to York Factory on the shore of Hudson Bay, following the overland and paddle routes of David Thompson, fur trader and cartographer.
CANOEING/KAYAKING – Long-distance paddler Jim Payne will give a presentation on his trip down Georgia’s Chattahoochee River to the Gulf of Mexico on Monday Oct. 24, 7 p.m., at the Corbin Community Center, 827 W. Cleveland.
The free program is sponsored by the Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club .
CANOEING/KAYAKING – Get a flavor for the Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club as members gather for the annual potluck, awards and gear swap plus a filmfest of videos from recent club trips.
The free event (bring a potluck dish) is Friday Sept. 23, 6:30 p.m. at the Corbin Community Center, 827 W. Cleveland.
Info: Ken Stallman, 991-8494, firstname.lastname@example.org
PADDLING — A boat-load of fun is awaiting youngsters during a new free event that will let them paddle canoes, whiewater kayaks, sea kayaks, invlatable kayaks — as well as the latest rage: stand-up paddle boards.
Paddle, Splash and Play is set for on July 30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Nine Mile Recreation Area in Riverside State Park downstream from Nine Mile Dam.
The equipment and assistance in using the boats will be provided by the Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club, Mountain Gear and Spokane Parks and Recreation.
Visitors who have their own life jackets are encouraged to bring them, as there could be a shortage at times on site.
CURIOUS about Stand Up Paddling?
The photo above shows Rob Casey, author of “ Stand Up Paddling: Flatwater to Surf and Rivers,” recently published by Mountaineers Books.