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Illustration: Walker Cahall
Illustration: Walker Cahall

The Elephant in the Boat – Parts 1 & 2

By The Dirtbag Diaries   |   Jul 16, 2018 July 16, 2018

“The definition of kidnapping is moving someone from one point to another point against their will, and that’s exactly what had happened to us,” says Ben Stookesberry. “But, to me, the most noteworthy part of the day was that, for the first time in the entire trip, we were actually all working together as a team and we were all spending an entire day together.”

Ben and Chris are the expedition kayakers. The two of them have what is perhaps the longest running, most successful partnership not just in kayaking, but in the world of outdoor adventure. They’ve been at this together for over a decade now.

And, yet, in April of 2017, the two boaters wound up on an expedition during which the interpersonal dynamics grew so strained that being held hostage by an armed rebel group in the remote Amazon didn’t necessarily seem like the worst thing that could have happened.

Part 1 follows Ben and Chris down a stretch of Colombia’s remote Apaporis River. In Part 2, we’ll get into the history of this epic partnership, what went so wrong and what happens moving forward.

Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links to past episodes, music credits and to pledge your support. You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher and DoggCatcher, or connect with the Dirtbag Diaries community on Facebook. The Dirtbag Diaries is a Duct Tape Then Beer production.

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