Owner Scott Armstrong to Present His Nile River Expedition Slides at Sierra CollegePosted March 13, 2006 by Robyn Suddeth
Scott Armstrong, Owner and Operations Manager here at All-Outdoors, is temporarily trading in the logistics and adventure of a rafting company for the bifocals, slide projectors, and esteem of the intellectual community. In a slightly hurtful statement the other day, he informed us that “you can only teach a river guide so much,” and that he was therefore leaving us in order to pursue his much loftier dream of becomming a college professor.
OK so he didn’t really say any of that. But he is toting projector and notecards to Sierra College this Friday to give a slide presentation of his latest international adventure, on which he and All-Outdoors guide Adam Walker joined an international team of boaters and explorers in Ethiopia last winter to lead the whitewater portion of the first source-to-sea decent of Africa’s Nile River.
Scott and Adam’s adventure lasted nearly 40 days and 800 miles. They explored the source of Africa’s Blue Nile, then rafted from Lake Tana to Bambudi at the the Sudan border. Their journey took them through miles of intense Class V whitewater and deep, committing canyons, with the river sometimes roaring at 80,000 cubic feet per second. But the river portion of the trip, although exciting and inspiring, was not the heart this story. The real adventure for Scott, rather, was the interaction he had with Ethiopia’s peoples and culture.
In a letter to us last year, he wrote: “I am continually impressed by the people of Ethiopia. The search for the material wealth we strive for in the U.S. is unknown here, yet the happiness we seek in our country seems to abound here. And they are incredibly interested in this journey. When we were back in the town, we couldn’t walk down the street without twenty to thirty people walking with us. Now that we are on the water, every morning when I awake, there are at least ten people outside my tent waiting for me to rise. As in many of the villages and towns we have passed through, we are the first white people these folks have ever seen.”
His slide presentation is therefore much more than another documentary of crazy whitewater, brave boaters, and beautiful scenery. It also tells of the interesting and colorful culture of Ethiopia, and the effect its people had both on the expedition and on Scott himself.
The three pictures shown in this blog are a few of Scott’s favorites that he sent along to me. (Hopefully he doesn’t leave us for professional photography if this professor gig doesn’t work out.)
They aren’t enough to do the entire slideshow justice, however, and it is definitely worth seeing the whole collection and hearing Scott’s stories and interpretation. Anyone in the Sacramento, Auburn, or Placerville areas on Friday night should rack up some culture points and check it out. For detailed information on the event go to:
For more detailed information about the expedition, you can read this AO e-news article from last year:
Crocodiles, Class V Rapids and All-Outdoors: Rafting the Nile