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Old 02-10-2021, 04:22 PM   #1
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Default River of Doubt

In a slow, but ongoing search for tales of adventure paddling, I recently finished reading The River of Doubt, Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. The book recounts an expedition between December 1913 and April 1914 to an unmapped and, except for Indians who lived in the rainforest along its banks, an unexplored tributary of the Amazon River. It took the expedition, led by Brazilian explorer Candido Rondon and Teddy Roosevelt, two and a half months just to reach the Rio da Duvida (River of Doubt). Once on the river, the expedition faced serious hardships from losing dugout canoes, supplies and equipment to dangerous rapids, days-long portages, unfriendly Indians, insects, disease, starvation, drowning, and murder.

Though this is not a book about paddling per se (there is no detailed description of the rapids, for example) the chapters that cover the two month river descent are gripping. The author will often, however, veer off into discussions of flora and fauna that make the Amazon rainforest such an amazing place but difficult for human survival. There is also a considerable amount of history and insight provided about the 26th president of the United States. For those who might be looking for an interesting read as we bide our cold-weather time waiting for the paddling season, I recommend this book.

There was a paddling expedition in the 1990s that followed the route of the Roosevelt-Rondon expedition, and I believe PBS also did a documentary on it.

Last edited by JPTolson; 02-10-2021 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 02-20-2021, 10:09 AM   #2
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Default books

I have read this book! It was amazing!

Theodore is an interesting character in his own right, but this gave me a new appreciation for his curiosity, fortitude and need for adventure.

So glad you mentioned this. I would love to see the PBS documentary.

Heavy many little time.

See ya on the River of the Mahoning!
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