Last week I was stoked to put on the shorty for the first time this season. Why was I so stoked? Because this simple act signifies something much larger, much more exciting...SUMMERTIME HAS ARRIVED! For students such as myself, this means heading down the final stretch of exams. For many paddlers, it means it's about that time to start pegging out the details for summer trips. Right now it looks like I'm going to be making my first Hajj to California, which seems to be a sort of Mecca for southeastern creekboaters. Hopefully I'll be able to get on some of the classic early season runs out there during the month of June.
Last summer I was able to take a road trip with a few friends out to New Mexico and Colorado and paddle for well over a month. Here are a few pictures from that trip. All photos used in this post were taken by Josh Werts.
The put-in for the Rio Embudo afforded a pretty spectacular view! It kind of looks like a Chevy commercial doesn't it?
Here's me having fun in "Slots of Fun" on the Rio Embudo.
Putting in on the Upper Taos Box of the Rio Grande.
Mid-way up the vertical hike out of the Upper Taos Box.
Josh snapped this picture while taking a break on the hike in to the 3rd gorge of Lime Creek near Durango, CO.
Daniel Windham getting his boogy on in the Gilman Gorge. This run is interesting because it runs straight through a Superfund site. I think it was an old mining operation. Don't drink the water.
This is me probing "Slurry Pipe" rapid on Gilman Gorge. Can you guess how it got its name? There's also some barbwire down in there too. Gilman Gorge is just fun stuff. Not too hard, but enough to keep you on your toes while enjoying a bunch of solid class IV+ boogie.
Although complications prevented us from running this sweet, well-known drop on the Crystal River, we still basked in its post-card-worthy beauty.
It has taken me a while to get around to editing the footage from this trip, but in anticipation of this summer's fun (and in an attempt to procrastinate during the last few weeks of the semester) I have put together the first of several videos from the trip. This video contains footage from Rio Embudo, Upper Taos Box of the Rio Grande, 1st Gorge of Lime at super low flow, a little bit of Gilman Gorge, and the Meatgrinder section of the Crystal River. When I finish with exams, I hope to edit the rest of the trip's footage (including South St. Vrain, Oh Be Joyful, Whitestripe, and more) before heading off to Brazil for two weeks to be a non-boating tourist. Enjoy!
Colorado/New Mexico Kayaking part 1 from Clayton Gaar on Vimeo.