5.26.2009


The goods, 1st gorge of Clear Creek of the Ark.


Scouting Clear Creek.



The BV Rodeo.


BV Scenery.


Had a good string of 3 days of boating, though it should have been 4. On Friday Bridger and I got on Black Rock at a pretty high level. Bridger was in a brand new Nomad after realizing his Habitat was cracked on the way to my apartment, so we had to swing by Confluence Kayaks to get a new rig. The flow was juiced, but manageable. Bridger had a roll in some of the in-between stuff, and I flipped in the run-out of the big hole in the narrows, but I managed to get myself upright before the third drop of the series. In the runout of the narrows, I tried to boof a fan rock that I got pushed into, hung up on it, then dropped into a hole, stern-squirted, and flipped. I got half a roll and a good breath, and then flipped again. I felt myself sliding down a drop, and then stopped. I rolled up, side-surfing, in a huge hole. I managed to pull myself out into the corner of the hole and around the corner. Good thing too; I was pretty winded by that point. The rest of the run was uneventful.

The next day we headed out to Buena Vista for Paddlefest. We got on the Numbers at about 2200 cfs, a healthy flow. It was a fun run, with a lot of big hole dodging and tall wave trains. No real big excitement, aside from the occasional roll in squirreley water. We had planned to camp, but with the incoming rain and a friend of a friend of a friend who owned a house in town, we opted for a roof. We grabbed some food and beer, and then watched the finals of the pro rodeo at the BV play park. Then the rain set in, and we missed getting a table at the new brewpub. We managed to get K's takeout instead, and tag along to a brownie sundae party next door. Not too shabby.

The next morning we got onto the Clear Creek of the Arkansas, a fast-and-not-quite-furious V- that trundles down the mountains of Independence Pass. We blue-angelled the whole thing, dodging some holes (a few of which were a little stickier than expected) and only getting a chance to rest in a couple of eddies. It was a really busy little creek, fun but boat abusive. Afterwards, instead of getting in another lap on the dropping creek and beating up boats and paddles more, we went back to the Numbers and routed it in less than an hour, and then headed home.

Today we had planned to get on the Big Thompson, one of our favorite runs. But for some reason, the gauge reading didn't match up with what was actually happening on the river. The gauge read over 300 cfs; a decent medium level, but the creek could have had more than 150 in it, making it pretty much unboatable, or maaaaybe float-able with massive amounts of boat abuse. What should have been a fun, short run of a great creek turned into a drive to Loveland. Oh well.