We’ve partnered with our friends at Venturepax.com to challenge you to share your kayaking adventures! Venturepax is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts to share their adventures and a way for us to collect adventure stories from our community all in one place! We can’t wait to read your stories and see your pictures and videos. To take the challenge and start sharing your kayaking adventures for a chance to win a Bending Branches Navigator paddle, click here.


  1. Hey Ari & Carol, great stories from both of you! Next time remember to share on the Venturepax website… unfortunately though, the challenge has already ended. Sorry if we weren’t clear!

  2. My first ever paddle ended up with my partner and I getting caught in the middle of a Maine lake during a freak lightning storm. We were both terrified and had to fight the waves to get back to shore. Once we finally made it to shore, packed up the boats, and drove our soaked-selves home, I realized that somewhere along the way I had lost my wedding band. I was sure it had slipped off of my prune-like finger as we fought our way to land, and would sit on the lake bottom for all eternity. I had already accepted that fact that I would never see it again, and made arrangements to purchase a replacement the following week. A few days later, I went to the post office to check the mail, only to find a bright pink Post-it note sitting in the box. I pulled it out, slowly realizing that it was rolled into a tiny scroll and held together by my wedding band! My partner had rented a metal detector, gone back to the beach the following day in the still-pouring rain, scoured the beach for several hours, and eventually found my ring! I was so shocked that I started to cry, right there in the post office. I slipped the band from around the Post-it and onto my finger. It may not have been the best kayaking adventure, and certainly not one that I would care to repeat, but it was absolutely the most memorable paddle of my life.

  3. We are fairly inexperienced kayak people, so when the Fish & Wildlife Service here in Mississippi sponsored a “Summer of Paddling” to get folks out on the rivers and swamps and into the U.S.G.S. natural areas, we jumped on it. Loaded up our kayaks (okay, this time only 15 minutes, getting better!). Headed down the road. Meet at the boat ramp, they told us, at Tippo Bayou, Tallahatchie Wildlife Management Preserve. We got there. Early. Waited. No, wait! we decided. Let’s put in ahead of time and get out of the way. Unloaded the kayaks. Ten minutes. Getting REAL better. Out onto the beautiful swamp, where we encountered a Stork Tree, a tall dead cypress loaded with storks that roosted there the night before. We were REALLY early. Still no other paddlers. Eventually, up drove one of the volunteers, to tell us that the rest of the group was putting in a few yards down the road, but if we kept paddling we should eventually meet up with them. Three miles down the bayou later, we still had not encountered other people in canoes and kayaks, but we did see a pair of ducks we didn’t recognize, several Mississippi Kites, and some of the most incredible scenery we have yet to find in our brief time as Swamp People. Eventually, we returned to our personal put-in, loaded up the kayaks, and went several yards down the road to join the other paddlers. But with all that noise, splashing, and crowding we decided right away: Very soon, we would return to Tippo Bayou by ourselves to further our explorations. And so we have! Before long, we will be training our tiny puppy to watch out for stumps, wearing his own life vest and perched atop one of our kayaks, at home in the swamp. Let us pray he will not become gar bait. They grow them BIG here in the Mississippi Delta.