Saturday, January 11, 2014

2013 review

the beginning of 2014 started with me breaking my collarbone playing indoor soccer.i should know better then to get that competitive,but i am not that smart.with this down time i can ramble on about a few of whitewater adventures i had this past year.which was one of the slowest years i have had on whitewater.Many factors are limiting my time on the water,,the main reason is last year we bought a new home,,well new home to us..a1870 farm house on 4 and half acres with more projects then i can count,also my kids are at a great age [ 6 and 2 ] they are so fun to be with,my desire to go away every weekend to West Virginia is not as great as it ones was,,i am looking[more] forward to sharing memories with my kids on rivers  then the next class V adventure,but if you were ever an aquaholic at one time like me,we still need to get out and scratch that itch.i have been getting out locally when the water levels are favorable to hold me unique experience i had with my neighbor as copilot this spring was a first , last,and only D of a raft over the sheraton dam on the cuyahoga,,the dam got removed about 3 months after this decent  pic of below the dam
i only got out of ohio 4 times in 2013 for whitewater,, first was top yough race weekend were i packed 2 upperY and 5 topY in two days,,next was cheatfest weekend,only missed one fest in 15 years,always a great time,catching up with friends and usually great water levels,,this year levels were normal but 2012 levels provided us with the best two days anyone could ask for in the blackwater canyon,,i did two laps on the upperB to hendricks with big flow on lowerB,then two laps on northfork of the B sunday.
with alot of work around our new home and bike rides with the kids i did not get out of state again until my friend Jeff talked me into a well needed trip to NY,,labor day weekend in adirondacks is a guaranteed good time,,4 of us car pooled from Eire Pa 7 hours north to meet up with alot of other fellow paddler and soft maple campground,,one of the best camp site there is ,,,,the first river we did was the Black,,pfd for me,my favorite run of the weekend,manly because it was new to me,,,,nothing like a new river..the Black might not be as popular as the moose and other rivers in the area but it still has alot to offer ,,with it urban fell,,reminded me of my favorite local run

also we did the raquette and beaver river,,on my first run of the eagle section,i realized i am getting old as i pulled my stomach muscle when the water forced me back as i went through the main hole,,with me being stubborn and this section being as fun as it is,,i went one more time with pain,,,with this old man injury i was able to paddle on one side but not the other,,,,then we paddled back to camp after a pit stop at the rope swing,that i had to sit out this year 

even though i did not have the best of lines this weekend,,i had a great time with great friends.

the last weekend out for me was gauley fest....i started going to gauley fest before ever kayaking and i haven't missed one yet..back when me and friends went rafting commercially afew times a year,,we were on a upper gauly trip when the guide told us about some river festival[big party]so we checked it out and we were hooked. since then we have always had a group of friends party at the festival..3 of us from that original raft trip did not miss a fest until recently when John moved to Oregon with his wife that he met at gauley fest afew years ago,but that is a whole story on its own.

third year or so,i bought a used bucket bailing raft and have took many friends down the lower G,then about 5 years ago i  got a shredder with my friend Jason and we tested it out a week after getting it on the upper G,,
and been only using the shredder since then,,taking one friend at a time down the upper or lower G the weekend of G fest.
this year i thought it would be fun to take more then just two friends down,so i lined up 4 friends for sat and 4 other friends for sun...Friday quickly loaded gear after work for weekend ,,Saturday drove to swiss[the take out] to meet up with now 5 friends,,6 of us piled in my focus wagon to the put in.we all got dressed for the river and started to blow the raft up when i noticed the mouse size hole in the raft.
my crew seemed fine not be able to go down the river and just go back to the fest and drink,,2 of them,i think were relieved after me telling them stores of what happen the last time i took friends down the lower G above 5000 cfs,,,while we were driving to the put in..........we gave up and started to drive away,,when i saw my friend that i  just did a road trip to NY with,, Mike Bailey.i stopped to BS with Mike and told him i was going to take my friends down but i cant,my raft cant be riverside fixed,,he replied ,,just take mine,its down by the river,,me really with eyes open wide ,,mike,,, sure it will save my friends from carrying it up,,,,,timing could not work out any better,it was a gauley miracle,,,the knots in my friends stomach come back and we were on our way.
we had a clean ride except for not being able to get right after the big wave on lower mash,,i yelled,, dig ,,dig,,  ow shit ,high side,high side,,,,,and as we were stuck on the rocks, i saw a raft coming strait for us,,,i know the saying the captain is should go down with the ship,,,not this guy,,i jumped to the other raft,,never getting my face wet,,as i watch the raft flip,,we gathered our crew up with some help of our new friends from Tennessee as we floated the rest of the river trouble free

Sunday Mike hooked me and my other 4 friends up,as we floated down the new river gorge,,this was the first time i played raft guide on the NRG but wont be the last,,alot of fun for rafting ,tubing and swimming.3 of my friends walked back up fayette station and swam as i tubed the rapid.

in dec with snow melting and rain falling,my friend Jeff met up with me for the best day of kayaking anyone could have in ohio,we got tinkers creek at 1000cfs,the trib when tinkers was at 1600cfs and then did a first D on a near by micro that ended up being a fun class 3+ creek

Thursday, February 23, 2012

adventure's in Mexico ,part 2

week 2 in Mexico
we drove to the Alseseca river, about 3 and 1/2 hours north of Veracruz,we took the mountain road,up and over 8000 feet elevation pass to the river.Arriving late at the Alseseca,  and not knowing  road side run,we decided to go for a hike up stream.
after our hike, we drove to aventurec  which is paradise for kayakers,it is located near a mecca of Mexico's finest rivers,the hospitality is top notch,you meet tons of great people there and it's super affordable.thank you Sophie and Antonio for sharing your place with us.
 after a good nights rest,we went to the road side Alseseca

we started by lapping the 20+ ft falls just up stream of the put in before heading down river.this run was full of water falls,a few sticky holes and fun slides.The high light of this run is S-turn rapid
s-turn from above

s-turn from below

super fun drop that looks intimidating but is forgiving.From s-turn on the 6 of us paddled with our new friends Nate + Heather from Oregon and Brett + Sean from BC.we took our time scouting and taking photos and recovering boats.

 there are afew holes on road side that can dish out a beating and hang on to your boat.this hole typewrite,is were the race ends that ,we did later in the week.after more fun drops ,we came to an Innocent looking 15 ft falls ,that looked to have a great boof[wrong]we all had bad lines except Sean Easton,the common line started with a great boof but the stern of the boat hit and slammed you in the water.after carnage falls was another drop or two,then another lap on the race section.
day 2 at aventurec
We joined our new friends from the road side and Isidro from mexico,on a cold foggy run down the Upper Jalacingo.this creek is full of slides,in a tight low flow,around 100 cfs ? there was a mandatory 25+ footer
then more fun slides that seem to never end
then we came to some mank. we all walked the cave rapid except for Adam and Dave,who saw a line they liked.
 portage past the sieve rapid with seal launch help from Isidro.then was log drop, Chris saw a line,went first and made it look ok.Then Adam went for it,he usually makes difficult rapids look easy[not this time] he got pinned in the middle for 45 seconds.We all choose to walked then.

Isidro and Dave hiked down to were Adam and Chris, where they were above a 40 foot 80% slide.
the rest of us took an easy hike around.soon we arrived at the main attraction.A super slide to a 20 footer

after roping our boats up,we hiked 20 min to our shuttle,on the way we crossed over a shady bridge,it was basically a slippery telephone pole across the creek,with a wobbly cable for a guardrail. this was one of the funniest creeks i have ever done .
           day 3 at aventurec                 
we used the shuttle service again.well,well worth it 1500 pesos for us to travel three and a half hours to the Tatempa put in. One of the most amazing shuttle rides i was ever on.

we went from roughly 7000 ft elevation to 2300 feet.From looking out over the clouds,to riding down the carved in dirt roads along the mountain,to riding ridges of mountain tops that were not more then 20 ft wide steep on both sides.then passing mud slide and crossing a small creek on our way to the put in.we ate breakfast at the put in and put on the water at noon,giving us about 6 hours to paddle 17 miles of whitewater.

One mile in we had an incident and drew some concern,just because of how long the trip is and hearing stories of unplanned overnighters on this run.but we kept pace well.there were endless read and run rapids,with afew bigger ones in a deep remote canyon.
after about 6 miles in,the river let up a bit but still lots of fun all the way to the take out,which we were happy to see before dark,after paddling 5 1/2 hours.
day 4 at aventurec 
was a day of rest.we were all very lazy till 2 pm,then went to town for lunch and then were going for some laps on the roadside section of the Alseseca,but because of the late start and some swims,we had enough time for one lap.
day 5 at aventurec 
down to only three of us for the 7 sisters south because of injuries.this run involved a 100 foot repel to the put in.After over coming my fear of heights,we were in a deep canyon to run 6 quality drops.we repelled past the first 12 ft drop because it was an easyer repel to land then water.
i walked #2 drop due to wood,while Adam and Brian made it look easy.
the 3 rd dropped 30 ft in all,you want to angle left down the slope to boof off the furthest point
4th drop Brian and Adam had good lines,but i got to far left and went deep
5th was hard to took Adams climbing skills and rope for me and Brian to be able to take a look at the falls.Adam led,i went second with an ok line aiming left, as the water wants to turn you right.Brian went deep on his run
 6th drop is just pure fun,a massive 20 auto boof with a soft landing
7th was a 10 ft drop,then a hike through the banana fields[with fresh oranges for snacks]on our way back to the van
day6             race day
headed out to the roadside,were me and Adam got a quick lap in before the race.this event was great. they went all out,putting this on. spiritual gathering and blood pressure check pre race,banners everywhere,cameras everywhere ,amazing safety everywhere ,and a bunch of god people from all over the world.
after the race,everyone picked up trash[very cool idea,,the race was held to promote clean water]then there was a awards in the town square of Tlapacoyan and after party at aventurec
last day at aventurec
most of us went zip lining ,,it was so much fun
when done flying through the jungle,we drove to San Pedro Falls to huck a waterfall.Rob,Brian,and Dave fired up the 10 ft slide ,to a 35 ft free fall as a finally to my trip.Mexico is an amazing place,  that i was very lucky to visit and experience .

Sunday, February 12, 2012

adventure's in mexico ,part 1

for months ,i was listing to my friends plan a trip to mexico,,just in case,, i would become unemployed ..Well , the wed. after Christmas i became unemployed,talked to Dave  as he was 2 hours from driving over the mexican border in his van loaded full of kayaks,got my wife's blessing to leave[very impressive sense she is taking care of our 6 week old baby girl Sienna]talked to Brian about plans ,and bought a plane ticket to leave Friday for mexico.
meet up with Adam,Brian and Brenton in Houston on a layover,then fly to Veracruz,Mexico,, to meet up with Chris and Dave who made the long drive in the stout van ,loaded full of kayaks, from Pennsylvania. Sense we arrived at night we got a place in Veracruz to sleep. Before crashing out some of us paddle a bit in the gulf and joined in with the locals in celebrating new years eve .

New years day we started our drive south to Chiapas.On the way ,we tried for the Rio de oro,about 3 hours south of Veracruz. Using the river gypsies guide book for info,we went to the small town of Playa Roca Partida and asked around for a guy named .We had our doubts this plan was going to work,but to our pleasant surprise it ended up being the best all around day in Mexico.Found  Fernando,he joined us in our van for a short ride to put in 
There he led us on a 45 min. hike through pastures to get to the river,then we portaged around a 50 ft waterfall,then put on the water and enjoyed some fun class 3-4 rapids that brought us to a 30+ ft waterfall.Fernando was there when we got there,he swam across the river,right above the waterfall,and then  stood near the lip of the falls and gave paddle and tuck motions to us.[awesome]We all, basically, had good lines.Shortly after,there was another 30 ft falls ,then a short paddle to Gulf were we surfed the waves for on hour or 2 before beaching our kayaks and getting great foods at Fernando's restaurant,located right on the beach

the next day we continued our drive south to Chiapas.we drove alot,but because of slow traffic we did not make it to Palenque . Day 3 ,we traveled to the agua Azul where the river was brown and high,boating turn tourist day.We drove to Ososingo to devise a plan for our stay in Chiapas with high water.we used info from mayan white water to help us.
Day 4
 we choose to do the  upper tzaconeja a fun mini canyon run,that was at low flow
at the end of the run,some locals showed us another waterfall,so while Chris biked shuttle for us[thanks Chris]me ,Brenton and Dave carried up to run a fun 30 ft drop.
day 5,we started early for a long day on the upper agua azul. Chris took one for the teem and drove shuttle[thx again].this run had it all, beautiful with great drops.the first good rapid had 6 to 8 ft rock garden drops far as the eye could see.
there was a canyon that took 3 hours to paddle through with fun rapid, slick rock,me and Brian had to repel to portage the drop,while Adam, Dave and Brenton fired up this sketchy drop

the high light of the run was there was a canyon that gets so narrow that the sides actually touch and you are in a cave for 10 seconds or so
after the cave,the river does not let up,after a trib helps the flow,there is a quality rapid 1/3 mile long or the take out,all the towns kids greeted us.we finished the day with food down by the agua azul.

Day 6
At breakfast, we met up with 2 boaters from Colorado, 2 from Montana and Seth from the UK. We all put on the Agua Azul after starting out to far left, we hopped over a channel and found the goods. A 40 ft slide above a 20 ft to 30 footer way beautiful and intimidating.
then portaged the 50 footer and another group of kayakers  joined in,Ben and company
the middle section was phrased as valley falls times infinity by Dave,with lots of fun drops around 5 feet or so
then we arrived at the big 5 . the first and easiest?is a 30 to 30 ft and the second person over miss judged his line,checked a tree,piton and broke his ankle.we all pitched in,roped him out of the canyon,carried past the big 5 and paddled 3 miles under moon light. all 15 of us then slept at the Zapatista's camp
more pics of agua azul
Day 7
early start to drive to Veracruz.first we helped Lief out by giving him and his wife a ride to the hospital to get his ankle taken care of.on our drive we got extorted out of 65 US[we had to many boats on the van]is what the shady cop wrote a ticket for on a blank piece of paper.o well ,we made it to Veracruz safe and on time to drop Brenton off at the airport and pick up Rob.Thank you Rob and Brenton for letting me use your boats in Mexico for the week each of you were not there

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

russell fork detour to manns

thanks to work being slow,i was abail to join kyle for a three day trip to the russell fork.
on our way south ,we got an invite from john  to join him on Manns  creek.After quick decision making we went  Keeney creek[take out of Manns]to meet up with john.then,On our way to babcock state park,.after scouting  grist mills falls at the put in,we all had great lines over the falls,which was good my confidence,sense my nerves were ramped up,to say the least.This creek is not for the weak of heart.Manns was full of blind drops and boofs everywhere.john did a great job guiding us down,i can't imagine being able to remember all those lines ,we made it to the new river in two and 1/2 hour,to paddle the new in the dark .this may be the best run in West Virgina.
sat. and sun.were spent with great people and whitewater at the Russell fork

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

labor day weekend 2011

Jeff Blood getting some action at knife's edge on the Moose

Went up to the Adirondack's to paddle the whitewater release of the Raquette and the Beaver and was fortunate to get a run on the Moose the Friday we arrived .Saterday our group grew from 12 on the moose to 15 for the Raquette,most with good lines.Sunday was more chilled on the moshier section of the Beaver,unless you choose to run the spill way.then a short drive to the eagle section of the Beaver for several laps on the short fun run.When tired from all the laps,alot of us paddled  to our campground just down stream.That evening we ate great around the fire,thanks Dave and others for the food.After a long night of rain,,,me ,Jeff and Karl ,wanted on early start because of the long drive home ahead of some info for the Oswegatchie. and made our way down the run,,on the low side but a fun run to end a great weekend with new and old friends.the next day found out our other friends did the section down stream of were we took out and then headed to the water gap.

Merv on the slide part of Colton falls on the Raquette
David Carey making the spill way on the Moshier look easy
rope swing on paddle out of the Eagle section of the Beaver
last drop above the portage on the Oswegatchie,section #3

for more pics of the labor day weekend