Sunday, July 30, 2006

Wausau Rodeo!

The Wausau Rodeo was a really great time! Lots of fun to be had! The Minnesota girls really represented with Melissa taking a great first place finish! The Michigan ladies really showed how it was done also! This was my first time surfing that hole and I ended up with 6th (out of 7) place. Sunday was the radical racing day starting off with the Boatercross race. I opted out of the race and was going to just run it down with Heather and have some fun when the other ladies showed up and organized a women's Boatercross race. Well since I was going to go down stream anyway...We were off paddling like @*%#. As I approached the gate...Hint..Never line up river left for a race here...I realized that when we got to the dam gate I would be squeezed on the left corner so I back paddled until the main crush went thru. I should have waited a little longer because Laura had breach pinned on the rock. Kari was tight right to me so I couldn't go that way and if I kept straight I would have speared Laura so I opted left and bumped her stern. This pushed her out into the current and shot me between the wall and the rock. It took me a bit to work my way free as any edge dropped would flip you. I finally worked free and paddled to the eddy behind the abutment, took a few breaths and then figured heck...This is a race...Someone had to have missed a gate and took off again. Catching gate 5 was OK but I flipped on big drop and submarined...Waited to roll but it seemed like the boat wasn't coming to the surface. I took a look and saw I was still under quite a bit and yes I swam. But I did get back in and finished the race. Wausau had a team of safety swimmers on duty all weekend. What a fantastic crew of men. The kayakers would head off in a race like a thundering herd and they were followed by a safety swimmer. Much like a shark following a school fish, these men were like rescue predators. On top of carnage the second it happened. What a great job!! The play was great and the people were fantastic! What a great time! I'll be loading up more photos over the next few days. Hope you enjoy them! Thanks Wausau! See you there next year! By the way I'm calling that rock Casanova rock as it got half of the ladies regardless of marital status or age and even a couple of the men.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Barge surfing?

Today I took my friend Shirley down to Colvil Park to do her first flat water in a whitewater boat. We launched in Bill's Bay and paddled the inlet until she felt very comfortable with the boat. We then ventured out on to the mighty Mississippi for a little??? current??? The river was so low it was barely moving. We paddled down river for a bit and then we saw a barge coming around the bend. Now I have seen a sea kayaker surfing the wake behind barges so I was hoping for a little wave action!! Well the barge passed with barely a ripple on the river:-(
The barge was empty and moving too slow. Shirley and I headed to the island up stream where I know there is a good sand bar that allows waves to break and waited for the huge power boats. We weren't disappointed. We'd bob just off the beach, chit chatting, until they would pass by and then we'd paddle out and catch their wakes. At one time 5 boats passed thru! Low water fun!
These next couple of weeks I'll be getting my sea kayaks out and putting on the miles to get ready for the Two Harbors Kayak Festival. They have an 18 mile race and a 5 mile race. I always go on Friday night and sign up then and enjoy the free gourmet food, free beer and raegae band. It's a really good time and there have always been close to 100 sea kayaks to demo. This will be my fourth year going.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Taylors Falls...The Sequel

Went back today and finally got one good solid surprise flip in big current and roll up! Several good stern squirts and a couple of swims. Gotta have those;-) I also practiced rolls in current which I hit every time. It's just the surprise flips I have trouble with. Good day on the river!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Taylors Falls

I went up to Taylors Falls today to try to get more bigger water experience. I can roll on quiet water and I can roll when I plan it in current but I still am having trouble when it's a flip and need to roll. I can tell it's getting closer though. On the bright side Kent was teaching me stern squirts! I got a few really good ones and only one flip. It's getting there though. There were two otters down at the end of the run. This little guy decided to pose for me.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Jim Falls Release

Pure Water Paddlers hosted a great dam release today. Lots of flips and swims along with lots of fun. Thanks for the good time Pure Water people. The fry bread was the greatest!!!