Thursday, October 25, 2012

Might as Well

The week after school got out I headed up to the Lewis River to camp with my family.  My sister's boyfriend was there and was talking a lot about how he wanted to try out kayaking.  I happened to have my boat and an IK in the back of my car so offered to take him from the pool below Upper Falls to the pool above Lower falls.

 Ready for John's first kayaking trip.

Most of this section is pretty tame class II with some III.  However, right in the middle of this section is a chunk of bedrock called Middle Falls.  This drop is incredibly easy, but does drop close to 30' over a long slide.  He was game, so I taught him some basics within the put-in pool and soon enough we could see the steam shooting up from middle falls.  I told John to follow right behind me and keep the boat straight and all would be good.  He followed me right over the intimidating horizon line and greased the slide.  The fire in his eyes hinted that this would not be his last time in a kayak.  I let him lead the rest of the trip, learning to read the water and play around. Taking out at the end I was happy to see not a drop of water made it into my boat.  There has been a noticeable difference ever since I began using the Bomber skirt and drytop together, which has been creating a fantastically dry seal.  As we climbed the stairs at the take out John was beaming and exclaimed that he would be picking up a paddle again in the future.

I love that rivers can offer so much.  Even a class III river can be as stimulating as class V if adventure is present.  I still think of the Lewis River as one of my favorite rivers, whether it's sailing off lower falls, repelling into the pothole atop Upper Falls, or showing the beauty of the stream to a novice the experience is rewarding.  This is a river I will return to time and again.

Stoked on kayaking.


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