As a kayaker I am always seeking the newest thrill and I hate being bored. This past season has been so busy with so much going on, it has been really hard keeping track of all my adventures. But I do my best to fill you in. As of the end of the 2005 season I am now paddling and working as a Sales rep for Pyrahna, IR, WRSI, and Astral. Working with all of these companies to help promote them in the rocky mt. has been interesting to say the least. Leaving Crested Butte last April for the first road trip of the year Brent Toepper and I made our way north towards our first stop of Jackson Hole Wyoming. Arriving there with 6” of new snow on the snake river we prepared for a cold water play. Learning this day that The IR getto booties were a life saver! Not only were the warm they had a extra layer you could add for better grip and warmth.
After returning Home to Crested Butte after a month or so of paddling up north we arrived just in time to break trail to OH-BE-JOY FULL creek. The summer was shaping to be one of the best yet. But little did I know it was only to get better. Meeting up with Pat Keller at paddlefest who was bringing me a new burn, i hung out with pat, billy jones, and scott harky for the next two weeks before Pat headed off to Cali. We made plans to meet in Cali later that summer. After working Three grueling weeks for my dad doing construction I saved enough money to finally take off to Jackson to meet Austin Rathman for a ride to Cali. Chilling in Jackson Austin received a phone call from a buddy who told us his plans for a 1st decent of the Teton creek, which was the head water for the Teton river in ID. After explain there was 7th mile hike in, Austin and I questioned weather or not we felt up to it the hike then the long drive to Cali the next day. After little debate we deiced that we should just hike in and run the shit! Teton creeks turned out to be not a good a we had hoped but it sure was sweet training for cali. After a gurgling 7 mile hike, tons of portaging, and a long day on the river there was nothing but cali on my mind.
Finally in Cali Austin and I met with Christi and Laura, who are traveling around with us. Spending the first three days Running South Sliver, which is a classic cali granite run.
Leaving there to head to the Fordyce which was a sweet run just outside of Truckee cali. Spending two days in Truckee, we were still on a mission to make it north to hood river to pick up Anna and meet Boomer. Stopping for a few days in Etna to paddle the forks of the salmon and hang with Rush. After arriving in Hood river and staying there for 4 days which we paddled the little white, the green truss section of white, and the little wind. Laura was then off to South America while Christi was back in the Dagger car with Anna. Austin, Boomer, and I were off to Boomer home town of McCall ID to paddle the Northfork of the Payette. Staying in the area for 3 days Austin and I finally said bye to Boomer and departed for Colorado were Austin dropped me off and then headed home to Jackson. Now back to work to save money for the planed trip to India, which was put together during the cali and hood river trip, we all wait to meet again at OR.
Finding that the logistics to travel to india and kayak being to daughting Austin proposed a trip to Mexico to beat the cold. All of us having agreed to this new plan we again went separate ways! It wasn’t until I was traveling out east to go to Gauly fest I received a call from Jared who was also in Cali with us for a bit about Austin’s plans to travel to Puerto Rico to paddle to start off the trip to mexico. Jared and I discussed it and decided it cant be that bad. So the plans were put into motion to travel there and get some 1st decent. But back to the east coast trip! After a super long drive out there in a tiny single cab truck Justin and I were ready to paddle, paddling the Gauly one one day before we headed north to the yough river in maryland. Which was a fun class 4 run, we stayed there until the day before the gauly fest started. Which was also when the rain started, It rained for around three day with spots of dryness during the night. But when the night of the festival came it had rained for two day and camping in the Summerville football field the grass had turned to mud. After a long Night of mud wrestling and paitballing Justin and I got word that the Green river in Asheville was running so we packed up our things went to a laundry mat after cleaning some things We started a short 5 hour drive to North Carolina, Arriving there just to find the green not running and no rain in site. We spent our days Mt. biking with Pat and Scott. Then finally the turned the Green on and I got to do some kayaking! Staying in Asheville for about a week Justin and I headed west towards home and work to save for the fall!
Coming home to the beautiful Colorado fall, it had been raining for days in the southern part of colorado and I figured I would try to get some late season kayaking in, I only found flooded river and and more rain on the way, so once again we got shut down.
Returning home to work to save money for mexico, the date I left for Puerto Rico came closer and closer. Austin who had expressed his interest in the island told us that we would need about 600 dollars for the two weeks we were gonna be there. And after arriving and being reunited with my team, Austin lost his wallet! Which seemed just coincidence because I had just lost mine and was traveling with just cash. Waking to blue skies and a long day in the car to travel into the rain forest on the east side of the island, The team was excited to see what we could find.
After driving for a little under 2 hours we found the Rio Blanco which was promising all we needed was rain! So Marking that river we headed back to beach for Some Rum and a place to stay. So after one day of being on a kayak trip and not kayaking all of us were ready to get in our kayaks so we drove right to a know run on the island, only to find there was no water. So once again we head towards the beach of the southern part of island. Not only did we continue to drive around for 5 more days finding the same thing NO WATER. We did spend one day in our kayaks surfing in Ricon which is were we should have stayed. Running out of money and patience fast the team started to fall apart, fighting and bickering almost all the time. And and the days went by we found our self’s drinking more and more, which im sure did not help the situation. Now After 7 days of not kayaking I was broke and ready to leave. As was Jared and Gram. Austin and Christi how ever were not. Causing some conflict but they still agreed to drive us to the airport. Which they did and then left! Leave Us three no choice to fly home, which for Jared and Gram proved to be very costly to leave the island early. This Trip being the WORST kayaking trip I have ever been on. But there are good trips and bad trips I would travel to Puerto Rico again but only under monsoon conditions, which would provide sweet kayaking! Learning many things about group dynamics on this trip. It has opened my eyes for only being 20 and hopefully i will learn from this. And that was my Summer in a nut shell!