In River Rafting

Here at Copper Oar, we’re just crazy about mud (or glacial silt, to be exact). Found alongside all our glacially-fed rivers, the mud is a result of the upstream glaciers carving down the landscape and chewing up rocks into fine-textured silt. Washed downstream by the river, the silt deposits along the riverbanks, gets scoured away again, and eventually reaches the Pacific Ocean, visible by this beautiful silty plume on the Copper River delta.

But the main reason we love our glacial mud is because of its play value. With its small particle size, our glacial mud has thixotropic properties. For those of us who are not scientists, this means that the glacial mud flows differently under different forces. (Think of ketchup – it stays stuck in the bottle and won’t budge until the bottle is agitated – then it flows VERY quickly, and you’ve overloaded your hamburger). For more information, Wikipedia has a great page on thixotropy, but if you’d like a visual example, check out this video! Along the Chitina River, our tallest guide, Mike (also known as Shaggz) experiments with the thixotropic mud as it behaves similar to quicksand. Don’t worry – no guides were harmed in the making of this video. Enjoy!

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