10.21.2006

Looks like I've been stood up on paddling this weekend; pretty much everybody bailed. Boo for hanging around South Bend.

On the bright side, it sounds like there may be a trip being put together for Thanksgiving, and if I really work at it I may be able to sneak away for a regular weekend. Stay tuned.

10.20.2006

Zach and I headed south for an hour or so to go catch Pipe Creek, a little II+ stream so we could get on some new water. It was a decent run, and when I was taking some photos I thought I'd do a photo dump. Here ya go:

Fall and summer paddling 001

My new Shuttle.

Fall and summer paddling 085

The big waves on Lake Michigan. Windy as all hell.

Fall and summer paddling 058

D-Rad's still life from our Canada trip.

Fall and summer paddling 092

Me on the big-ish wave on Pipe Creek.

Fall and summer paddling 091

Fall and summer paddling 111

Zach on the pipe creek wave.

Fall and summer paddling 115

Zach sticking his roll. Woot.

Fall and summer paddling 119

This is a dam/ledge combo that we looked at for awhile. There was a line down the right hand side of the double-drop, but it required some cross-current speed and a boof at the end. I would have given it a run if I had my creeker with, but I didn't trust the Kingpin's speed or ability to get out of the significant hole at the bottom. Next time.

Fall and summer paddling 120

The weir half of the drop, along with a pensive Zach. Fortunately, he is using proper scouting posture, with the hands tugging down on the PFD. Well done.

10.17.2006

I'm just back from my trip to West Virginia to paddle the Gauley River. It was a good trip. We got a late start, not leaving South Bend until about 6:30 and not rolling out of Indy until 10, which got us at the take-out of the lower at about 5:30am. I went from sleeping crumped up on the front seat of the van to sleeping on the ground under the stars. Hoffman was supposed to hook up with us at the Gualey but bailed, leaving him without a weekend of paddling and me without a place to sleep. Fortunately, my sleeping bag was warm and I was tired.

Saturday morning we paddled the Lower Gualey, a Class III big water run where a good time was had by all. The weather was cool but clear, though a little windy. It was a good run, though I was excited to hit up something a little more challenging the following day.

That night my sleeping situation improved, and I managed to snag a spot on the floor of a hotel room. Much warmer.

Sunday morning brought on the Upper Gualey. The Upper is a legendary run and a Southeast classic, with five big, pushy rapids, Insignificant, Pillow Rock, Lost Paddle, Iron Ring, and Sweet's Falls. I was a little nervous about the run, since I had heard lots of talk about it, but in the end it wasn't nearly as challenging as I was expecting. I had good lines on all of the major rapids, and only flipped on Pillow Rock. Some of the smaller unnamed rapids in between the big guys still had some bite to them, but our team managed all of them without too much trouble. Al swam below Sweet's Falls when his backband slipped on him, but fortunately he wasn't pushed into the surging, rocky slot benieth the falls.

Hopefully some photos and video will be forthcoming. As for now, it's time to blow the dust off of the old creekboat, as next weekend it looks like I'll be off to the Green Narrows.

10.14.2006

Lake Michigan was windy as all hell; I only got 2 rides in before the 40kt winds stopped me in my tracks and I was too tired to paddle out anymore. I could hardly move. I also got trashed by a 15 footer, and since the few boardies who were out surfing were headed in, I realized that I didn't want to be paddling 50 degree water on a freezing day in 15 foot waves by myself. On the bright side, tonight it's off to the Gualey

10.13.2006

I've been hitting the East Race pretty hard lately, and this weekend I'm headed to the Gauley, and next week I'm off to the Green. Should be a good break. This afternoon I'm off to Lake Michigan to hit up the 10-15 footers which should be hitting the beach about now. Woot.