4.18.2006

TR

I had a solid weekend of paddling over Easter. Things kicked off on Friday with a park and play session with Sally, Kent, Nate, and Paul on the Kettle. All of the features on Blueberry were playable, though the best hole of the lot didn't have any eddy access. A couple of the waves were fun though, and the weather was beautiful.

Then I continued north to the Lower St. Louis; sort of the standard advanced boater run in the state. I scouted the whole thing, then met up with Paul, John, Aaron, and Walter for a run. John locked his keys in the car, more on that later. The run went well, though we portaged the lower tier of Octopus. When I scouted it earlier I didn't see any lines that I liked, and the group agreed. The last set of drops near Swinging Bridge were fun, though Walter took a swim below the 2nd ledge. We had a solid rescue though, and swimmer, boat, and paddle were all recovered.

Zinger joined us once we got off the river, and we called AAA to get John's car unlocked. At the same time my car snapped its alternator belt. Boo. We camped at Jay Cooke, and in the morning tracked down belts and bolts for my car, but decided to forgo fixing it until after paddling.

We ran the East Branch of the Beaver; a really fun run with a set of three IV-ish slides not too far past the put in, some great boogie water, and then a set of three big falls. The first looked runnable, but the 2nd wasn't, and since they weren't too far apart we ended up walking both of them. We ran the 3rd though, a really clean 15 footer with a deep landing. A little more boogie water lead to the take-out and the end of a great run.

The rest of the group went farther up the shore, but I decided to limp my car home, since I had to be back for family stuff on Easter Sunday. My car didn't make it though; just before Duluth she gave up the ghost. AAA saved the day again, and I was towed to a repair shop where they replaced the belts, and I was on my way once agian.

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