Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Idaho Big Water Fun

(Our crew--Don, Darcy, Freddy, and Cooper--in Jaws)

Well, I’ve gotten too distracted with all the amazing whitewater there is to boat right now and, therefore, have been slacking on my blogging.   But the good news is that Don and I have been having lots of fun, boating awesome rivers, and giving away lots of gear to both the paddlers we’ve met along the way, and the winners of our bi-weekly giveaways (see the bottom of this blog for more info on the gear giveaway). 

We just got back to California after spending 3 weeks in Idaho challenging ourselves on some of the best big water paddling this country has to offer.  3 weeks of crashing through giant waves, punching laterals and avoiding monster holes left us tired but oh so happy!

A few of the runs we did definitely put us into “no swim” situations due to the continuous nature of the runs.  This added consequence lent itself to an intense focus that I haven’t felt in a long time in my paddling.  Many of these rivers demanded our full attention; and, while incredibly challenging, it was also really nice to just paddle, focus on paddling, and not worry about blogs, emails, photos, etc…We were just boaters going boating and it was awesome.  It was a great departure from what we’ve been doing lately; and we are super grateful to the amazing Idaho crew we hooked up with.  The “Middle 5,” at this water level, was some of the most challenging boating I’ve done from both a mental and physical standpoint and it was great to have such a solid crew to boat with.

I was also super stoked to have my Snap Dragon spray skirt with implosion bar that I knew I could depend on to stay on the boat even when 15 foot tall waves broke on me!  Having gear you can rely on in these situations is key—that’s one less factor you need to worry about when you feel like all your mental and physical faculties are being tapped!

So, as I mentioned before, we were kind of slack on both the blog and the photo end of things during our Idaho trip.  We personally didn’t get much in the way of whitewater shots, but luckily our friend Henry Munter took some time out one day to get some good photographs.  So, enjoy some shots of the North Fork Payette River at 4,700 CFS—all photos taken by Henry.

(Freddy, our guide extraordinaire, showing the way down the river and making it look annoyingly easy)

(Darcy looking small on the approach to Hounds Tooth)
(Don climbing a big wave in Juicer)

(Cooper punching a big wave in Juicer!)

(The gang, lost in the chaos)

And, don’t forget to get your entries into our summer contest.  On July 15th we’ll be drawing 3 winners.  Winner #1 will get a Sweet Wanderer Helmet (the winner from June 15th never claimed her prize, so we are re-raffling it off).  Winner #2 will get a pair of Sweet Shambala shorts and a 1 year subscription to Kayak Session Magazine, and the 3rd winner will get an NRS Hydrolock dry bag, 4 NRS straps and a copy of Wildwater.  Go to our website to sign up

Good luck!