7.18.2010

Big South

Snuck in a couple of more trips in the past few weeks.  Bridger and I got onto Joe Wright Creek and Spencer Heights up on the Poudre.  Joe Wright was really low, though Carnito Canyon was fun.  Spencer was a blast.  We hiked Rocket Launcher (which, as it turns out, lots of the locals walk as well, which made me feel a bit better about the decision).  The main canyon was a lot of fun; I wish it was 5 miles or so longer.  Then things got a little interesting that night; I managed to shear off my car key in my lock cylinder.  I tried to fish it out that night, and settled for drinking beer instead.  In the morning I managed to pull out the key fragment with the scissors of a swiss army knife.  Then I plugged that into the ignition and managed to start the car, which was a blessing since I was about 2.5 hours (one way) from my spare set of keys.  When I called AAA from my house to get the key fragment extracted from the ignition, the locksmith couldn't quite figure out how I had sheared off the key so deep in the cylinder.  I just shrugged.

Last weekend I finally got out to the Big South (the big south fork of the poudre).  It's 13 or so miles of wilderness boating, with plenty of class V thrown in for good measure.  It's a run I had been hearing about since I first got to Colorado.  I missed it one or two years because I wasn't sure if I was up to it, and last year because the season ran right up against the bar exam.  But this year was the year.

We had a solid medium flow, and things went fast from the Weird Creek put-in.  A bit scrapey, but very very fast.  Starter Fluid was a lot of fun, as was Barroom Brawl.  We portaged bouncing betty out of respect (it took the life of a fellow boater last year) and fantasty flight and meltdown due to wood.  We all walked the big 3 (meltdown, cool world, and double trouble).  I walked Slideways as well, which tore at me a bit, but I was cold at that point (my drysuit needs to be repaired) and not feeling up to the long, complicated rapid.  I was dreading it somewhat when scouting, and when I realized that I may just walk it, I started feeling a lot happier.  Seemed like a sign.  After watching some of the marginal lines our crew had on the rapid, I didn't regret the decision too much.

Overall, Big South was gorgeous, but I think I had my hopes for it set a little high.  It's a quality run for sure, but over the years I had it built up in my mind as something that was different from anything I had ever boated.