Monday, December 27, 2010


Yes I know it's a sickness.  Yes I know I have an addictive personality. And yes I have a thing for having the best toys and yes too many toys. My sickness is addiction, my addiction is kayaking and my new desire is the new Rockstar.  I haven't had the opportunity to try one out yet as they haven't started production but after reading the article it makes a lot of sense.  One of the critical changes is the seat being raised an inch and a half.  When you sit lower in the boat it makes for a more stable platform.  Raising the seat brings your center of gravity in line with the pivotal center of the boat.  Basically it sounds like Jackson greased the bearings and you're in for quite a wild ride.  I'm really looking forward to trying one out. I wonder if I can handle this loose of a boat?  Meantime since I am in the frozen north and they haven't started production just yet, soon, I'm going to raise the seat a bit on my Superstar and see how this idea works in the pool up here. Now what color should I chose?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Last Dance?

  November 20th.  27 degrees. Vermilion River at a pleasant play level and still open. Today was my first day off work in two weeks.  Oh Lord did I want to play!
  Friday after work I met up with Jim at the river and we played for a couple of hours in balmy 40 degree weather.  Life was good.  This morning I spent  mountain biking up on Memorial Bluff...I love this new pastime!  My friend Shirley and her husky, Beo, joined me up on the bluff. The day was sunny but cold with a bite to the wind.  It didn't matter as I generated quite a bit of heat on the trails. While walking together a Bald Eagle came soaring above the fields...hunting.  Shirley pulled out her camera to get a photo and just like she called to it, it came and circled right above us. This was special. We're very lucky to have a bluff with some of the best mountain biking trails and an off leash dog park up there to boot. Very special morning!
  A quick stop at home to switch out the bike for a boat...but not my playboat this time.  I have been meaning to take my Villain  to the Verm and play it and decided that since this may be my last paddle of the year it was time.  I've done this with my old creek boat and find it  helps you to bond with your boat more personally so when you get stuck in those nasty holes you have some play foundation established with your creek boat. Believe me it's money in the bank to do this.
  I met Tony at the parking lot at 1pm today.  He's a first year boater with a super dooper helping of natural ability and enthusiasm. A joy to paddle with!  My gear was still frozen from yesterdays paddle and I used the truck heater to thaw it out.  At the put in my skirt had refrozen and Tony had to help me get it on my boat.      Once in the water all was good.  We paddled down to Railroad Hole.  Tony played it. I declined and said I'd wait till Donut.  It was too cold to roll in my opinion but Tony played it well.  With a roll or two....brrrrrr!
  Then it was on to my favorite play spot in the least my world.  Donut Hole!  I kept putting my Villain repeatedly in the hole...first starting out slowly...even a little bit shyly to just get the feel of how he played.  As I got used to the feel I went further. Gliding in softly and controlling the edges.   Anyone can slam their boat into a hole and react to what happens but that's not how I like to play.  Tony and I spent two solid hours playing.  I can say the Villain worked every bit as fun as my Superstar.  I could spin, side surf, front and back surf in him. Towards the end I noticed my face was starting to freeze up a bit and I was having some trouble talking.  My gloves didn't want to work today like they should and my hands were getting very cold.  Neither of us wanted to leave...just the thought that this may be my seasons end for me kept me on the river longer than I should have been.  Finally we had to "rip the bandaid" and just leave.  The Verm has always been an old friend to me.  Many wonderful memories of my friends on this river and so many more good times to come. I felt very nostalgic as I paddled to the take out.
  Back at the truck I saw the water on my drysuit and pfd was freezing up fast.  My fingers were not working very well so I thought the best bet was to have Tony unzip my drysuit for me and then just wear everything home in my truck and let it thaw.  Just getting my frozen pfd off was a chore for my frozen fingers. In the truck I found it difficult to punch the numbers on my cell phone to get my messages. Whoa...just how cold did I let myself get?   With a quick stop at Culvers to get dinner I headed home. A trail of wet gear led to the bathroom where I soaked in a very hot shower for a very long time. Will this be the last paddle of 2010 for me? It's been an awesome year for sure. With only ten days left until my, gasp, 54th birthday...I always hope I'll get a birthday paddle in. Some years I am able to get one...some years not.
  I didn't have a camera with me on the river today but here is some from yesterday that Jim took.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Mountain Biking!

  For several years now my friends have been telling me I needed to give mountain biking a try.  They have said I'd love it!  I have looked at all the injuries and thought yeah right...maybe kayaking is safer.   Well finally my curiosity got the better of me.   And they were right!  It's a blast!  I have found that single track is my far.  It has all the thrills of whitewater.  The lines, the mental game, the challenge, the fun!  So much correlates between the two sports.  There are different levels and when starting out even little looks "big".  As your skills come and you become comfortable, your perspective adjusts it's self accordingly. Today was my fourth time on Memorial Hill in Red Wing.  The trails up there are amazing.  The red trails would make a rock pee it's panties...damn!  But the gnarly boy and girls hit em up!  One jump I am told is forty feet down!  Relate it to waterfalling in kayaking.  It's all good!
   My bike is considered old school but that's OK.  I tried a newer version today at the take out and found there really wasn't that much difference.  Except in price.   My bike is a very good fit for me and works like it should.   I love it!  I did rent a hardtail up north a couple of weeks ago and I have come to the decision that full suspension is the way to go!  Here is  a little video from today.   Remember I'm new and this is just a fun easy part of the trails up there.

Monday, November 01, 2010

2010 in Review...Wow!

Wow is all I can say about the year 2010 and it still has exactly two more months to go.  Spring in Minnesota started out with a fizzle.  The rivers ran for less than a week before the water was gone. My planned week of spring creeking on the North Shore was replaced by Plan B.  The Southeast.  This was my first trip to the Southeast and it was amazing!  After my first years of kayaking the same local rivers over and over I was able to get on new rivers.  The crew that I was with were very experienced and I was able to learn so much more about leading down new rivers.  My season started with a euphoric adrenalin was good!

Fizzle went another tradition of spending Memorial Day at Sturgeon Falls.  Again lack of water forced us to Plan B again.  This time it was Colorado!  The water went insane the day after we arrived.  The gauge shooting straight up!  It was another super trip with great paddling and great friends!

The Triple Crown was completed by my trip to The Northwest!  Oregon, Washington and Idaho!  Words cannot describe how I feel about the rivers and friends I visited along the way. I spent time on some of the most amazing rivers...The Payette, White Salmon, Lochsa...I fell in love with Northwest whitewater.

Truly I feel very blessed by each of these trips and the friends along the way.  Still another blessing is to be able to teach new kayakers though Canoe U each spring. This was my fourth year being involved with the classes and my second as an instructor.  It's always a thrill to see former students going after it!  Showing up at the rivers and throwing it down at the playpark. Their progression is amazing! Love it!!

So many things this year!  This was also my fourth year organizing the Vermilion River Clean Up.  The Vermilion being my home river is important to me and it's very gratifying to see the many boaters that come and put in the hard work it takes to clean a river.  Rapids Riders over the years that they have done this have removed literally tons of garbage from the river it's self and the surrounding park.  The river outdid herself this year by being the highest it's ever been for the clean up! WhooHoo!

Two new boats followed me home this year.  My Jackson Superstar and Villain!  I named them Sunshine and McMurray respectively.  I love my boats!  I made the change from offset to zero offset on my paddles. A good move for me.

I touched a bit on the darkside starting to learn how to OC1. I have so much respect for open boaters that throw themselves down the same whitewater next to me.  It isn't easy but I am enjoying learning a different craft.

I attended the Kettle River Festival and ran the race with good results. Always a good time! I enjoyed the hell out of  Paddlemainia and I competed at the Midwest Freestyle Championships and didn't do too bad for a 53 year old lady.  Most importantly was I was having fun with friends!

I had a super year of personal growth. Both on and off the river.  Looking back on my year I know it surpassed all my expectations.  Although I am not goal orientated I did make a guideline list of things I wanted to achieve this year... I did pretty well on my list. I am reluctant to declare any goals for next year but I know I would like to do one really good overnighter on an awesome river. Do more trips and get a bit better with my canoe.   With such a great year like 2010 has been, I can only hope 2011 is just as good!

Return to the Baptism River

My first creek experience was on the Baptism River on the infamous North Shore of Minnesota.  An amazingly beautiful creek with tough portages and fun whitewater.  First time down I was a still new boater with a so so roll and I followed three extremely talented boaters scouting.  I did OK until the very last drop when I flipped and took a couple of hard hits to the face. Ouch.

 Flash forward 3 1/2 years to this weekend.  Much more experienced now with an incredible year of new rivers behind me I returned to my first creek. 

The crew today was solid!  Andy, Bryan, Dan, Dave and I had an early start on a cloudy morning. The level was 12.7 which was much higher than I had run it before.   I approached this day with a bit of a philosophical view.  The mental game is so important in whitewater kayaking and I was doing "checks" to see if my past experience on this river had an influence on my confidence this run.  I won't lie and say no.  Before putting on I had a bit of the jitters but they soon faded after the first rapid.  Most of us had a great day.  One of us had an off day resulting in the demise of his boat.  Not an uncommon occurrence on the North Shore rivers.  Two were retired this weekend on the shore.  Other than bumps and bruises no serious injuries.

We paddled down to Ilgen Falls where our friend Joi and her husband Dwight waited for us.  Joi is a very talented artist and wanted to photograph Bryan and I, as the only kayakers in the group, running Ilgen Falls for our first time.  We looked and both came to the conclusion that it was on the high side and with only the two of us it would be a bit foolish to attempt.  We hung out for awhile and took photos. Joi and Dwight ran our shuttle for us and we enjoyed a bit to drink in the parking lot.  It was a good day.

Looking back on my perception of what was big to me three years ago and what I consider big today  it's interesting how your view changes. But I guess by looking at the photos one thing never changes and that's my smile...I love rivers and always will!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Caught my Fancy!

For quite a few years now my friends have been telling me I needed to try mountain biking.  Yeah...someday maybe. This year I have spent quite a bit of time on my road bike and have started to develop a curiosity for the mountain bike thing. There must be something there that my friends love. I began researching and realized this is something that can be quite a bit more expensive than some of my other sports.  Ouch!  Especially since I figure I would want a full suspension bike.  For the last couple of months I have been watching the used bikes but just couldn't justify the big bucks for them.  This last weekend one came on that I thought hmmm.  It's an older model but was top of the line when  it came out.  Well taken care of and in good shape and most importantly, very, very reasonable.  I gave it a test drive and it felt immediately comfortable and solid.  I looked the guy in the eye and said what's your bottom line on this bike.  He quoted  a price $140 LESS than he was asking...sold!  Very reasonable! No guilt buying this toy! 
Today was our virgin ride on the single track trails in Red Wing.  The bike was awesome!  It may be old school but we did just fine together.  I had the trails to myself tonight so I was able to take it at my own pace and learn.  The suspension worked super and I was getting the hang of it.  I could have gone for a long time but the sun was setting and I had to get home. Such a beautiful night!  I'm so looking forward to spending whole days on trails and seeing where they take me.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Vermilion River Clean Up 2010!

Oh my I was running late this morning.  I actually forgot my cell phone and had to run back home.  The clean up started at 9am and I was the organizer. I had all the "stuff"!  I made it there at one would know.  Hey, we're all kayakers and on kayak time, right?  But what was this?  9am and a boater pulls in the parking lot?  Followed by more? Paddlers were rolling in on time!  We had a super turn out today despite the drizzly start of the day.  Nearly thirty men and women came to give our local play run some lovin. The Vermilion River is a very beloved urban river south of St Paul in Hastings MN.  Once a year Rapids Riders hold their Vermilion clean up.  The section of river we clean  runs through a narrow, deep canyon with sketchy trails descending down to the river.  Our "run"... from the falls to the old ruins.  Over the years Rapids Riders have removed literally tons of garbage from the river and banks by bringing it up the cliffs.  Not an easy task at all!
  A strategic map of the river was drawn and plans were made.  Some had brought tools for trail maintenance.  Many had brought ropes. Everyone took bags and off they went.  It just amazes me when I see the massive amount of work that gets accomplished each year and the ingenuity of  how the paddlers  accomplish it. The trail was cleaned of all the downed wood and overgrown brush in mere minutes.  Ropes were set up and paddlers worked in unison to gather bikes, scrap iron, tires and miscellaneous items and haul them up the cliffs.   Several spread out and picked up garbage from the park above.  Many beer cans, bottles and articles of clothing and it's always good to know that the park goers are practicing safe sex.  The find of the day was a full can of Budweiser 2009 Sturgis edition beer.  Noticeably the actual amount of garbage being removed each year is less and less!  In the past there has been a huge amount of industrial garbage that has been down in the canyon for years.  From the efforts of paddlers the bulk of this has been removed and the present garbage is the yearly litter.  Yes we are making a big difference!

During lunch, Tom Lewanski gave a talk about Friends of the Mississippi River and all the great projects they do to help the Mississippi river and it's tributary's which the Vermilion is one of.  Not an easy task these days with invasive species invading  many of our rivers and lakes. They also fund projects to restore habitat along the rivers.  Fight urban runoff. This organization are our advocates at the DNR.   A very good cause!
  After lunch was the drawing for door prizes!  Our awesome sponsors really came through this year!.  Midwest Mountaineering has been our sponsor since the beginning of the clean up 11 years ago!  My favorite store!   This year we had two great helmet manufactures donate helmets.  Shred Ready and WRSI.  I personally own a couple of both helmets and love and wear each.  Yes I am a woman and they're kind of like shoes for me.  The right helmet for the right occasion, and of course color is important too. Werner Paddles was a new sponsor this year and I am so glad to have them! I love my Werner paddles!  Are you getting the hint I just went through my gear when I made out the sponsor list?  I did!  New this year are KIND bars.  I love these bars! 3M provided the gift bags of various products again for the fourth year.  Thanks so much to all our sponsors who donated so generously!

Then the fun begins!  This year the Verm was the highest it has ever been during a clean up!  A very strong rain event happened on precisely the right day to bump the river to peak precisely on our clean up day!  Yes we had another spontaneous sponsor from above! With the river running at insane levels for the third time this year the brave paddled the mighty Verm.  The incredible played the mighty Verm at this level! A few beers were cracked in the parking lot and it was the end of  another great clean up!  Thank you to all that came and made this the special day with special friends that it is! Good times!

Click on any photo to enlarge it for detail.

Monday, September 06, 2010

OC1... My First River Run with Montana

For a while now I have been watching my open boating friends and wondering "How do they do it"? All of them awesome paddlers styling their way down rapids with one paddle and an open boat. AND on their knees. Last fall I bought a Dagger Ocoee with the intent to try to learn. I named her Montana after the state I bought her in. I have many reasons for wanting to learn OC1. Extended whitewater trips. A reason to keep my body flexible. A new challenge. And mostly I just admire all the C1 and OC1ers I paddle with.

This summer I must admit the canoe didn't come out much. I took it to Wausau and did a tiny bit of practice at the bottom of the course but nothing much. I did some outfitting the day before on my boat and a quick flatwater paddle to see how it fit...ready or not. Today Alan Faust was going to take me down my first river. I considered myself very lucky to be able to learn from him. He has the ability to inspire you to be the best you can be.

We first worked on basics in the flatwater. My worries about today centered in thinking that my legs wouldn't be able to take the kneeling on an extended basis. My other fear was swimming....funny! I felt like a newbie again. My thoughts drifted to when I took my friend Joi for her first run down to First Wave. I knew exactly how she felt that day.

Entering the first riffles it felt good. I eddied out just fine behind a large rock and then it was on to First Wave...the first rapid on the St Louis. Easy swim if you crash and burn. My river skills and kayaking skills easily crossed over and we styled it down. We did more work on turning and edging as we made our way down to Two Hole. At this level on the St Louis I knew the rocks were going to come into play more the further down the river we went making it more technical. I really am a fan of more water. Things went fine and I had my first feel of maneuvering my boat. The Canyon was next. Now here Alan changed things up. I have run the Louis many times and I usually pick the same lines down. Alan knows this and he had me do things very different. Catch the eddy on the left and then a long ferry back to right, turn and follow him down. All through more rocks. Again it challenged my skill and it did go very well. Same again with Hidden Hole.

We came to Electric Ledge at the same time the rafts were running it. We watched hoping for a little carnage but not to be had. Alan had me portage and he styled it down with his signature move. Then we were at the last long rapid called Little Kahuna or Rescue Rapids. At this level it would be a technical and pick your way down carefully or broach rapid. I figured this to be my most likely swim of the day. Towards the bottom it got tight but I was very happy with how Montana edged and glided around the rocks and down. Smooth! Very smooth!

I learned some very good lessons today. One being your anxieties are for the most part useless. With several stretch breaks my legs did just fine in my canoe. The vision I had of pulling out at First Wave with unbearable cramps didn't happen. Swimming didn't happen also which was good but I know it's coming and I know I swim very well.

Will I give up kayaking to go OC1?  No. I look at it as another aspect of enjoying the river. I am definitely going to keep open boating. It has a graceful feel to it that talks to a part of me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Taking the Guess out of Vermillion River Levels

With the huge amount of rain the Vermilion River has came up to epic levels this last week.  The gauge is on one of the forks and only records the amount that that actually passes through there.  It has always been a guess as to what is in the river by time it gets to Hastings. This Sunday I went up to see if I could see the old stick gauge on the mills just above the falls.  I was happy to see that they had installed a new gauge to the left of it and it is readable from across the river.  Here are some videos rcording the level of actual level of the river along with the gauge reading.  This will be helpful in the future when the level is playing the guess game with us.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Polish up Those Paddles! Midwest Freestyle Championships are almost here!

Can it be only a few short weeks until the Midwest Freestyle Championships?  Only two more weekend releases to practice your moves? It's coming up fast! 
  The Midwest Freestyle Championships are rapidly becoming a premiere event attracting several Pro Boaters last year.  The moves are more daring and complex and it takes a whole lot to shine in the expert class now.  Last year had a huge showing in all of the men's divisions from novice to expert...the number of men competing keeps growing. I have been watching the men grow as playboaters over the summer and there is some very, very solid competition out there this year.
  I remember a few years back when I first started coming to Wausau the women's division could only be described as scant.  Very few wanted to brave throwing themselves in a hole in front of...well...everyone.  Last year with the combining men and women in the  Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert classes encouraged a lot of first time beginner women to give it a try.  The result was a very large turnout and incredible fun had by all.
  The Women still have a division of their own.  Last year had the most women participating to date.  I expect even more this year!  What is even more fantastic is that the Midwest women really have a tight Sisterhood and encourage each other to do their best.  The resulting synergy is really a reflection of the love and respect we have for each other. The women have come a long way over the last few years with a few competing in the Expert division and everyone really throwing it down.  The Midwest girls are rocking!
  If you seem to be short on "moves" Colin Kemp and John McConville from Jackson Kayak have a Freestyle Clinic on the Thursday and Friday before.  Awesome teachers that have paddled around the world. These classes fill up very fast so be sure to register today.
   Think you're too old to throw down....not so!  The Masters division is for anyone over 40.  And of course if you just want to bomb down a river, racing some other bomb dudes, the Boatercross is for you.  Fun to do and fun to watch the carnage. You never know what to expect here.
  There will be an OC1 and C1 division.  I have a lot of respect and admiration for these men and women.  You'll see some amazing moves here from our local home gown paddlers!
  Free camping as always and the swagg is like none other with top prize being a Jackson kayak of your choice.  Now how awesome is that?
  Here is my post from 2009.
  Here is my post from 2008
Check out the photos and moves from the recent past!  I hope to see everyone there this year!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Northwest...Washington and Oregon!

I cruised into Hood River just after dark wishing I could see more of the Gorge.  I had spotty cell reception on this trip and directions that told me to go a mile exactly from a gas station and I'd find the private drive to Lori's.  No problem...I've had worse directions and still found my way, in the dark.  Lori gathered her gear and we set off to find the boys at our home base camp at Trout Lake.  I had recommended to Lori to take the job at Wet Planet leaving all she knew in Minnesota for the unknown.  As an avid "mother hen" I was anxious to see how she was doing.

She was doing fantastic!   We went to the The Trout Lake Country Inn for breakfast and I walked into my past.  The building is ancient with all the original woodwork.  The front had a small bar area and tables with a comfortable sofa area and TV. The back was the old style dance hall with a classic stage. In the olden days I was told there used to be bath tubs lined up for the locals to come and buy a bath.  The decor was antique everyday items.  My favorite item is the picture of the Duke, John Wayne,  hanging on the wall.  The front porch was just how I remember the porch on our old farm house was.  Memories blew through my mind like the cool evening winds I recalled rocking on that porch. Lori and I schemed our first day together...heehee!
Scott on Husum Falls

  First off was paddling the White Salmon. Lori is truly blessed to have this stream as her home river.  Everything from class II to V.  What a beautiful training ground.   We then went to the Wind River and dropped three of our group off there and then Lori, Chris and I went to do the hike into Falls Creek Falls. Walking in the northwest woods is like walking in a fantasy world. Emerald greens and rustic colors so rich it's hard to believe they're real.  The hike was long and we had almost given up finding the falls when we came out on an overlook and saw the falls down below us.  We cracked our celebratory beers, took some photos and wondered why our path didn't take us to the bottom like the guide book said it would.  Darkness was on it's way and it was a long hike out.  We decided to finish our beers as we walked further on the path to see if it went to the top of the falls.  Sure enough just as I was finishing my beer we arrived at the top of the most magnificent, three tier falls you could imagine.  Standing at the top was breathtaking! The guide book mentioned a root ladder along the side of the falls you could use to climb up.  We started down climbing the root ladder.  With each level the falls revealed more!  Wow!  This is THE BEST part yet!  Down climb some more...No no!  THIS is the best view yet.  The beauty and immensity of the falls is humbling!  I found myself trying to capture the complete aura in one photo but was unable to fit so much into my lens. There are so many hikes they recommend out in the Gorge area...I recommend this be your first. We took lots of photos and then with dark almost upon us, headed back out.  Personally I love trail running downhill.  It was over two miles to the car and we trail ran most of it until it was too dark to see the roots and rocks on the trail.  We ended the day hooking back up with the Wind river group at the bar for dinner. Great start for our Washington/Oregon trip!
Chris and Lori Falls Creek Trail
Falls Creek
Me on the overlook
First Tier of Falls Creek Falls
Second Tier Falls Creek Falls
Third Tier Falls Creek Falls
Awesome hiking crew!

  Day two started with breakfast at my favorite inn.  An early morning run on the White Salmon.  Then we all went for a group paddle on the Clakamas River in Oregon.  A friendly playboat run just outside of Portland. This river was just pure fun!  We followed with a group hike to Punchbowl Falls on Eagle Creek.  Some of our group deemed it to be runnable and made plans for the next day to huck it.  We finished the evening with dinner at the Full Sail Brewery.  Awesome stout beer and an awesome day two!
Below Punch Bowl Falls on Eagle Creek
Punch Bowl Falls on Eagle Creek

  Day three, Lori had to go back to work so we did an early morning bomb run of the White Salmon only starting higher up on the run.  Afterward the group scattered to do separate adventures. I wanted some alone time in Hood River just hanging out, getting my bike fixed and taking in the neighborhood.  Some of the others went to huck Punchbowl Falls and Oggie went hiking with his Uncle and Brian waited for his friend, Eric, at the campsite.   On my way back from town I stopped to drop some lunch off with Lori.  She heard there was going to be an ender contest at Top Drop that evening.  Wow!  We need to get one of these started here in the Midwest!  The rules were your boat had to be nine or more feet long.  You get three minutes to see what you can do in the hole and with each move the crowd shouts out a number from  1 to 10.  A score keeper does his or her best to average the score.  Sound like fun?  You bet it was!

Ironic that day four was the Fourth of July!  By this time Brian's friend Eric had joined us and our group did another paddle on the White Salmon.  Lori had to work but begged off early in the afternoon so our core hiking group consisting of Lori, Chris and I could hike Sleeping Beauty.  A small mountain (by comparison) from which on a clear day you can see Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood and Mt. St Helen's.  It was clear when we started but after hiking to the top we were just in some light clouds that obscured the view.  Still we were able to look down at an incredible sight!  We celebrated this hike with an awesome stout!

Back at camp Chris was talking about going with me when I left in the morning so we could do the Lochsa River on the way home.  Chris was fired up to hit this river and I was curious.  I loved the Payette and was having thoughts of going back to it and doing one last big water playboat run on my way home.  Chris assured me that the Lochsa was big water and you can do it in a playboat. We were on the road at 5:30am headed east.  Just because you're headed home doesn't mean the adventure is over.
Kiters in Hood River.  Maybe I should have brought a kite or two.

I really need to apologize for the lack of abundant river photos.  My Optio took a dive off my truck and I hadn't replaced it before the trip.  I used my SLR camera for these shots so if you click on the photo it will enlarge and I truly hope you enjoy them.  I have since replaced my Optio and I promise you I will go back there next year and shoot up the rivers. I have some helmet cam that I will be editing as soon as I find a bit of time.