My friends humored me once again last weekend with yet another trip to the South Fork American River. With week after week of sunshine and dry skies, there’s just nowhere else to go. Thanks, friends. I’m not sure whether it’s because you like me, or because you are just as desperate to dip your paddles. In the end, it doesn’t matter, good times were had.
I was especially stoked that a few other folks wanted to do a double run of both Chili Bar and the Gorge reaches on Saturday so I could get some extra miles under the boat. Among the crew was Matt Parker, a kayak instructor, lucky me. True to my word, I continue to eek out learning a little something on each paddle day, and receiving some tips and instruction from Matt quickly proved that I have plenty of room for improvement.
Shout out to Stephanie Kidd, without whom we would not have had the pleasure of running laps on Satan’s Cesspool rapid. Thank you Stephanie, for sucking it up and taking that swim so that we might all be encouraged to walk our boats back up. Team effort! That was actually the first time I had seen Satan’s from above. It’s always disappointing to see how small something looks from shore when it feels enormous to be inside it.
I took my new techniques back to the river Sunday and milked every little eddy turn, miniature surf wave and hole out of Chili bar that I could. Well, maybe not every one. Gotta save something for a warm day. Bless Diane’s heart for lending me her old dry suit for the weekend. It was so nice to be able to pee through the drop seat instead of having to taking off my: helmet, sunglasses, life jacket, dry top, spray skirt and wetsuit! Oh, and being warm and dry in the sprinkling rain was novel too.
My sister is a super star for helping me with the idea to collectively source one big birthday present for my upcoming (really big but I’m not sayin what) birthday in February. The singular present coming from many people will be a dry suit. Skya, you are brilliant. I will think of you every time I drop the seat.
If you want to contribute to my life on the water, busting ass to follow a river fairy dust dream, here ya go: Haven’s Birthday! Thank you in advance for supporting my addiction. You’ll be paying for rehab next.
The forecasts are calling for sunny skies, but I continue to do my rain dance…