Author-kayaker Jon Bowermaster speaks in Vail |

Author-kayaker Jon Bowermaster speaks in Vail

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado ” Jon Bowermaster has traveled through Alaska, Vietnam and Africa ” all by kayak. He’s even paddled into remote Antarctic seas, where he negotiated frigid water and glaciers.

“If you break a leg or rupture a spleen, help is very far away,” the 64-year-old Stone Ridge, N.Y. resident said.

Bowermaster will visit Vail tonight to discuss his sea kayaking adventures with audiences at Donovan Pavilion. He has chronicled his travels to seven continents in National Geographic Adventure and several books, including his latest non-fiction work “Descending the Dragon: My Journey Down the Coast of Vietnam.”

Bowermaster will pre-release his upcoming book, “Wildebeest in a Rainstorm” at tonight’s gathering. Due out Feb. 1, the book profiles people such as Richard Branson and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

For Bowermaster, kayaking is an avenue for exploring the environmental problems facing the world’s oceans.

“I’ve always used adventure as a way to kind of draw people into the story and then that allows me to talk about things I’m really interested in, which are the environmental impacts we’re seeing in these places, the cultural history of the place, the politics of the place,” he said.

He identifies coastal plastic pollution, climate change and overfishing as major threats to the Earth’s waters.

Beyond environmental issues, Bowermaster enjoys learning about the local cultures.

“My real interests are the people we met along the way and when we arrived by kayaks, because we were meeting people who live on the edge of the sea and work on the sea, they totally accepted us.”

Carrie Marsh, executive director of the Vail Symposium, said Bowermaster brings a unique perspective to the landlocked Vail Valley.

“He is bringing firsthand experience about our world’s waterways … he’s been everywhere,” she said.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

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