Friday, November 9, 2007

Green Race 2007...Kat Spanks the Monkey!

Well, I have big news! After years of walking it and being a stupid chicken, I FINALLY RAN GORILLA!!! It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and I nailed the line. The Notch went smooth, I caught the eddy and looked up at the huge crowd of people screaming at me...I smiled, peeled out and hit the pad dead center with a big right boof stroke, landed and punched the speed trap in control. I eddied out at the bottom and pumped a fist or two! It was one of my top moments in a kayak for sure. For years, through mental and physical trials, there were many times when I doubted whether I would ever do it. It felt really good to put the Gorilla "rite of passage" behind me and just enjoy the Green! It was awesome to have my husband waiting for me at the bottom, and my friend Tommy, who I haven't seen in years, setting safety as well, with big smiles on both their faces. What a great day!

Now lets just hope I can keep running it like that! :)Kat

Below are his and hers lines at Pencil sharpener:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Green Narows Again...low, but fun.

His and hers boofs at Groove Tube. (Kat above, David below)

Thanks to Matt Wallace for the photos!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Gauley Fest 2007

After Labor Day, our next big fun paddling trip was to West Virginia for Gauley Fest Weekend. I paddled 3 days on the Upper Gauley and carried my boat up the Panther Creek trail every day. I was so tired from paddling hard and carrying my boat up that steep trail that I slept through the festival! I missed dancing with the Orange Crush, Pole Dancing at the Dagger Booth, and all the rest. Oh well, I came for the river anyway! I did run into many people I hadn't seen in a long while. Gauley Fest is always socially enjoyable.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Cheoah on Labor Day Weekend

Cheoah is great fun, and the tree situation is getting better all the time. The first time I ran this river, back before the releases were negotiated, it was scary and dangerous due to all the class 3-4 rapids literally in a forest.

Kat (above) entering the center line at Bear Creek Falls, or Big'un...or whatever its being called these days. This is such a fun rapid. David (below) running the same line, but a closer shot.

Here's David on the second drop:

Kat's second picture turned out blurry. Thanks to Dneesh on Boatertalk for the pics!

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Decade of Whitewater

Well, I've been boating for 10 years now, so I decided to get with the times and post a blog on the web of all my adventures. Plenty of paddlers have come and gone during these years, but my fascination with fast rivers and falling water is never-ending. I look forward to paddling whitewater for many years to come. Thanks for visiting and enjoy!

Above is me on Bear Creek a couple years ago. The drop is Big Bang, a 5.2 because of the shallow and extremely narrow landing zone. It is a pretty easy boof with a sweet, little kicker pad, but it can hurt you if you miss it.

Below are some more sweet boofs in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Alabama:

A tight little slot:

David scared me on this one...but he kicked it right back up and never got his face wet.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

6 inches on the Green

We hadn't been to the Green in a while, so last weekend we headed over there and found it pretty low (80%?). I had a good run, but then again I walked Gorilla. David ran GoLeft for his first time perfectly, but he had a painful landing off Gorilla. His ribs are still sore. Here's the pic:

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Multi-day trips

Idaho has some of the best wilderness multi-day trips anywhere. We have woven our way through the largest wilderness area in the 'Lower 48' on many miles of whitewater and this year was no different. David had to paddle the classic South Fork Salmon this year without me, since I had an ear infection. I wasn't too disappointed, considering the level was way lower than my high water descent last year. Terry Smith, from Tennessee, joined him for his first self-contain trip, and his Mega Rocker was perfect. They flew out on an Islander at Mackay Bar. To fly out of the backcountry, you just arrange an air taxi. Its always interesting to meet the crazy pilots who fly old planes in the tight mountain backcountry.

We spent 4th of July on Hell's Canyon in our playboats with raft support! We caught plenty of smallmouth bass and a few small steelhead, and we ate some too! It was awesome to see Sarah, Terry's 13 year old daughter, run some HUGE rapids in her new Fun. She did very well. The real kicker of the trip was finding a big rattlesnake basically under David's pillow one morning after we had slept on a tarp under the stars. Creepy, huh?

We were lucky enough to be invited on a self-contain trip on the Selway. The water was low but it was beautiful. The permits are so hard to get, we couldn't turn it down. Only one group is allowed to launch per day.

Ladle (above) and Wolf Creek (below).

Lunchtime at Cougar Bluff:

Typical Selway scenery:

Moose Creek Ranger Station and Airstrip (below). This is where the first smoke-jumps were made in 1940. The farm and buildings were built in the 1920's and 30's. Pack bridges, trails into Moose Creek, and along the Selway River were built in the 1930's by the CCC, and later finished by Japanese internment camp workers during WWII. The Forest Service maintains them in true historical fashion, allowing no motorized or mechanical traffic on the trails. This includes chainsaws as well. Downed trees are cut by hand and most supplies are packed in on foot or on horseback.

Old growth cedar trees, ponderosa pines, ferns, and moss line the banks of the Selway River. Its water is clean and clear.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Main Salmon play

Here are some mediocre shots of surfing Rodeo Hole, Cat's Paw, and Gold's on the Main Salmon in Idaho...where all you have to watch out for is a jet boat twice a day.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Do we stop in Colorado?

You bet we do!! Oh-Be-Joyful is hard to beat. I first ran it back in 2000, and I dragged David there for his first runs in 2005. It may well be the easiest 400 foot mile around, but that doesn't mean its not still class 5. So remember: Oh-Be-Careful!

There are a couple shots of Daisy and the Upper East here too.

Clear Creek of the Arkansas is a nice continuous class 4+ run with little box canyons and ghost town buildings.

Speaking of ghost towns...

This one is called Ironton and it sits at 11,000 feet in elevation. It's one of many towns that sprung up near the old silver mines in Red Mountain that thrived in the 1880's. There is even a ghost town called Chattanooga there! The Yankee Girl mine was in operation until the 1930's but its most profitable years were before the Silver Panic in 1893. Ironton once had over 1000 residents, but the last resident died in the mid 1960's. Several fires have taken their toll on the ghost towns in this area. Its definitely worth checking out if you are traveling from Ouray to Silverton, Colorado. There is a narrow gauge railroad track following the Animas River to Durango. We spent a day on Lime Creek, which is also in the area. Check back for a video clip of Adrenaline Falls! South Mineral is also nearby, which I have run, but rumor has it that it is full of logs now.

On another note, if you haven't mountain biked in Crested Butte or Salida, you are really missing out. The single track is incredible.

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison's South Rim is worth a look if you are in central Colorado.

Can you see the horizon through the natural rock arch below?

Mesa Verde National Park was our final stop in Colorado. The cactus were in full bloom both here and at the Black Canyon.

This is the cliff dwelling by the park museum. We were allowed to walk around the dwellings and even descend into a kiva. Kivas are round pool-like areas within the dwellings that are believed to be a sacred religious worship area for the ancient ones that lived here.

Below is the Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde's largest cliff dwelling. It was discovered in the late 1800's by two cowboys. The dwellings are estimated to be built around 1200 AD.

These pictographs are a 6 mile hike, but it is worth it. Bring water!

Mesa Verde had a breathtaking sunset that evening. After enjoying it, we headed to Moab for a day of mountain biking, or was it 'baking'! Then we were on to Idaho.