Author: Richard Bangs
In the early 1970s, in a quest to run the last unexplored
rivers of Africa, two young men drowned: one a client
on his first river expedition; the other, author Richard
Bangs's rafting partner and best friend, Lew Greenwald.
Bangs and Greenwald, who had pioneered several wild
rivers in Africa, shared a goal to raft Ethiopia's
unrun Tekeze, but Greenwald's death and political turmoil
made the dream impossible. Twenty-three years later,
Bangs returned with survivors of the earlier expeditions
to complete what was left undone - to run the Tekeze.
The Lost River is the story of Bangs's mission to fulfill
a promise, to close a circle, and to face the ghosts
of tragedy. It is also a deeply personal story as Bangs
recounts his beginnings on wild rivers, the relationships
forged in pursuit of adventure, and the primal joys
that come from exploring uncharted territory.
"It was Saturday, March 10, when we pumped
our two rafts along the banks of the Awash. Stepping
into the rafts there was that first sensation of rushing
water beneath us, a sound like compression brakes.
Then we pushed off into the African unknown. The first
morning the boats leapt, turned, and tipped down cataracts
in rapid fire. It was a great beginning spirits crackled
with excitement. Being first to travel this river
we tried to stop and scout each rapid. We would tie
up the rafts and make our way along the cliffs until
we found a vantage point where we could best determine
how to make the run. Then we'd cross fingers, make
the SOBEK handshake that Lew invented, and go for
-- From The Lost River
About the author:
Richard Bangs is founding partner of Mountain Travel
Sobek, America's oldest and largest adventure travel
firm, a world adventurer, international river explorer,
Web pioneer, and award winning author.