Monday, June 30, 2008

Wow! Wausau!

What an amazing day at Wausau! I met Laura in the morning at Wausau and gave her the tour. It was the Wausau Whitewater Weekend and all the slalom racers were racing. I love watching them! But...I also wanted to get in and paddle. Laura had her first taste of dropping into a "real" playhole for her first time...she did really well! I posted her video below. It was great seeing all the usual suspects paddling today. I've watched them over the last couple of years and they have gotten soooo good! They're a joy and inspiration to watch! Their loops are getting almost automatic! Personally I had a great day with my rolls feeling like they should and not one second try! I am so looking forward to Sturgeon this next weekend! This is going to be a great summer for everyone! The Midwest Freestsyle Championships are going to be killer this year! Laura shot my camera and got some great shots of everyone! Thanks Laura! BTW...Shift!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wow! What a Weekend!!

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.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fledglings Starting to Fly!

Canoe U Graduate, Laura had her first night of Donut play. By the end of the night she was getting on the wave consistantly and also getting some side surfs in! Way to ROCK!
This years group of paddlers are a fun, ambitious talented group. It's going to be a blast seeing them fly!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Paddlemania 08

Paddlemainia turned out to be a beautiful day between the random rain drops. Rosie and I headed up to Carlton for the festivities and had a great time. It's always fun up on the Louis and even more so when there's a party going on. I was able to see several of my Duluth paddling buds that I haven't seen much of this year. Most everyone ran the Upper Louis today at 2800cfs either in kayaks or in Jorge's raft. The highlight today was the Slot Machine Showdown. The House lost today with the score being House, 1, Players, 3. Not saying who though. You had to be there. Swag was raffled off and I won some Sex Wax...OK!? It was either that or the nose plugs. The new venue was great! Thanks Team Midwest Mountaineering!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lesser Scaup

With the water getting really low it's nice when something new shows up on the Vermillion. Tonight it was a Lesser Scaup hanging out in RR pool. This is the first one I've seen down there. My photos of him didn't turn out because of the lighting and distance so I pulled one from the internet. These ducks winter down south and head to Canada during the summer. He made some remark about the tame water and mentioned he'd be surfing Sturgeon by this weekend...lucky ducky!
6-17-08 Update on the Scaup. Still there...tonight we saw ducklings with so she'll be hanging around Railroad for awhile. Talking to my co worker whos a big duck hunter he says that is unusual for a Scaup to nest down here. He see's them come thru in the fall on the third week of October every year.

Monday, June 16, 2008

WOW! Guess Who's Getting Married!

Congratulations Dennis! I couldn't be happier for you and Lisa! Best news of the spring! Plus you get Karthik as a that's a cool kid! You'll have him throwing ends in no time!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Barn Bluff

I got a call this afternoon and joined Lisa, Aaron and Richard from the Wednesday Rocks crew for some climbing before hitting the Verm. I did some leads and top roping today and am getting more comfortable with climbing outdoors. I did some awesome routes like "Goofed on skunk weed" and "Hump the dog." Today was also the first day I got to try my new rope and draws. Fun! Aaron was doing his first Trad leads today and Lisa and Richard were styling all their routes. I went on to meet some paddlers at the Verm and had a relaxing cool down paddle.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

"Wood In It"...Have Been Nice...

What an incredible weekend!! I packed the pug and headed north to Carlton. Rosie was a couple of hours behind me. The rivers had gone insane with the huge amount of rain we had just recieved. Everything was running! Rosie and I scouted out the Lower at around 5000cfs. It was pretty impressive! When driving back to the Outpost Aaron called and said he was on his way and lets do the Upper. Ok! It was just us two running it Saturday evening. I have only ran it to about 2500cfs so I really didn't know what to expect with it being 7000cfs. By far the biggest thrill of the weekend was Rescue Rapids! Looking down from Electric Ledge it looked awesome. I wondered what the heck was going on down there! Well I followed Aaron and being Aaron he went for the biggest water he could find! The waves were huge! So much fun! That was some big water for sure! Afterwards Rosie, Aaron and I scouted the Lester at high water. Aaron met up with Mike and Melissa the next morning for his first run of the Lester...he styled it! On to the Knife with the rest of the crew from the cities and Two Harbors. Running the Knife today was Aaron, Art, Bryan, Brian, Bill, Dave, Graeme, and I. The water had dropped quite a bit but it was still runnable. I was so looking forward to running Fish Falls again but as you can see from the photos there was some huge wood in it. I would have liked to have seen what the water looked like at it's highest level. We ran the river down to the bridge and scouted the ledges. There was one log to avoid going into the chute. We all ran it thru and stopped to check the next drop...more wood. Several opted to run it down a bare bones slide and then take the falls and it did work quite well. What an incredible weekend for sure! To top it off I found the most awesome agate on the Knife today! Be sure to check out Bryan's blog as his photographer friend Ole took alot of profesional photos of us and Bryan will be posting them soon! Thanks Ole!

Photos of the Lower Louis

While waiting for my paddling buds to come up on Saturday I hiked the Lower to see what the drops look like when it's running about 5000cfs.

The Beek.
Octapus below the Beek.

Looking up river from the Swinging Bridge.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Super Canoe U 08!

What a fantastic group of students we had!! There were three classes of beginers and all three rocked! This was my second year safety boating for Canoe U. With my schedule I can only boat the graduation weekend so I get to see the students put to use the hard learned skills from the previous classes. Our group had a great day on the Kettle today! 100% no swim run down Blueberry! 100% no swims down Mother's Delight and 100% no swims down Dragons Tooth. We stopped and seal launched them off "the rock" By time we arrived at Hell's Gate we had tired them out quite a bit. Just a few mishaps in Hell's Gate...but hey...that's Hell's Gate. Jim was hitting his combat roll! Rosie came within a hair of hitting hers!!! So close! One gentleman in Art's class had an OK roll but WOW surprise...he had a killer hand roll he learned off You Tube! So much fun! You can tell everyone of these people will be on the rivers tearing it up! Great time!