Eleven of us headed to the Upper St Louis on Saturday to have some fun. With us was three new Canoe U grads and a few paddlers that had never done the St Louis before. It's been kind of funny recently as when the Louis gets down to a newbie level we plan to take the newbies and then it "bumps". The last time it "bumped" to 7000cfs which was waaay out of newbie range but waaay fun for us! This last time it only bumped from 1500cfs to 2700cfs. Challenging for newbies but doable. They did very well and it was a fantastic day on the river. It's been wonderful to see the enthusiasm that this years grads have for whitewater. Everyone is progressing at their own level and each time I paddle with them I see the improvements they've accomplished. There are differences in the way men and women learn whitewater for sure. Men tend to throw themselves at the water with all the testosterone they can muster (I mean that in a good way) and they accel at a fast rate. Women on the whole start a bit slower and take things more cautiously. I'm impressed to see the women this year! They are not going to give up and are hungry for more. I've been able to paddle with Laura, Lynn, Rosie and Sara since Canoe U and have seen them flip, swim and take some good beatings and they still have the determination and great spirit to come back with smiles on their faces and ready for more.