Monday, May 26, 2008

Lower Clarks Fork Run

The days were still cool and there wasnt much water around other then the local ditch so a couple weeks ago Jake Skeen, Ed Conning and Myself got out for a quick low water run down the gorgeous Clarks Fork Canyon.

As we hiked up the road we were hoping to catch a ride from an atv or truck and we happened to get a ride from both! These guys were great they eventually unloaded their atvs and had there kids ride them up the road, while we and our boats all got a ride in the truck.

Dont ever let this guy fool you and be sure not to follow his lines!

Such a great place and I cant wait for the fall season to get on some of these big walls

Jake steering clear of Mikes Hotel......

Ed getting in Kayaking Epee form,
The rock is bad and is the reason its called Mikes hotel, im not sure who mike is but I know others who have visited the hotel and it looks bad.

The water was low but it was a good day!

Ed is always smiling even when your getting butt handed to you in a hole!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Putting the Elder back in Box Elder

Elder- a person who is older or higher in rank than oneself.

Box Elder was on the buzz and much talk was being sprayed about the run and since I missed out on a section and boated it at extremely low flows it was time to go back to get a taste.

Eric Seymour getting ready for a big hole ride. Eric entered in left like all of us but for some reason re-surfaced river right and got a serious beating, seeing a Super Hero throw ends does not look like play boating. After watching him get a beating and coming out of it with a smile on his face I knew Eric was no joke.

Eric going deep!

Gary was heading to Thermopolis for a meeting and his thought was that we could put in around 5 pm and "just" cruise the run to figure out what it was all about. The flow was 450cfs, which was much different from my previous run at 60cfs so I really was unsure of Gary’s master plan of putting on at 5 pm. We decided to meet in Shoshone around 2ish and then drive to the put in (2hours) and do the creek and drive back to Thermopolis that night so Gary could go to his meeting. Gary enlisted Erik Seymour in Jackson and sandbagged him into the trip, Gary failed to mention to Erik that we were boating that day as they were 2 hours out of Jackson heading towards a new run at extremely higher flows then anyone had seen.

I knew we were going to need help setting up a shuttle and getting private land access so I enlisted Kenny a good friend of mine that lives in Casper and he was ready to take over logistics for the quick mission.

As we got to the put in the rain began to pour and we all gave each other a look of let’s get this over with. We sat in our boats and I remember Gary looking across the water and saying, "it’s always a good level when you see trees underwater". Damn it, I can remember the warnings from other boaters about Gary and his addiction for high water.

The run slowly picks up as you enter the canyon and the flat-water this time went very fast. We were able to boat scout every drop until the above photo. I remember rolling into some big stuff above and our group was all in sync working our way through the rapids as a team.

Gary getting ready to do some hole punching!

I wasn’t able to get a bunch of photos of us running stuff since we were chasing the light of the day and moving fast. All these drops went really well, this one was just a slide with a small hole at the bottom.

Another good slide with a little meat at the bottom to punch through. This rapid has a lot of vertical drop in it which you really cant get justice from this photo.

Eventually we hit our first portage after about an hour of boating. This drop will go but with little time and cold temps we decided to pass it up. The hole at the bottom looked pretty good not to mention the hole directly below that.

The foam was thick and deep!

Me checking the hole for leaks!

Our last portage and thanks to Eric for probing the depth!
This would go but again with limited time and the cold day we weren’t looking for a rodeo.

Damn, these drops were getting good, but the walls were starting to close in, and we were nearing our portage or our hike out. With super high flows and limited daylight we opted to hike out.

Eric looking into the chaos

I remember hitting the very small eddy just above this drop and looking down at Gary. I knew just from his look on his face it was big and ugly.

Gary says no thanks.

The hole in the middle of this drop looked simply violent and you would come out of it for sure but we all felt that the chances of coming out upright we going to be the crux. The bottom of the drop had a serious hole and a decapitating rock that loomed above it, so we felt this was a good option to just take out above to start the hike since it was the last drop on the upper run.

We managed to make the scary fairy above the drop and hit the must make eddy and then began our hike out. The run took us about an hour and half but I would plan on much more time if you plan to go in. This was a good find by Mike in Casper and it runs earlier then most creeks which gives people more options for early season boating.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Huckin Arizona!

About the first of March the spring paddling itch started and since it was still very cold and wintery here Cody, Wyoming it was looking like my only hope of finding water was hitting the road. With so much talk on the buzz about Arizona and looking at photos of Christopher Creek in the New Testament it was hard to think of anything else but that run.

Jen showing the boys how its done!

Gary Edgeworth and I met up in SLC and loaded boats and gear and hit the road. Another person was going to meet us and that ended up not working out at the last minute so we called Durango Bettie Jen Ross. It was 9 pm Thursday night and Gary told her to pack her S--- and get on the road. I remember telling Gary there is no way she is going to get on the road with less then 24hr notice and meet us in Arizona, but Gary was confident she would rally. Jen replied see you tommorow night! We were set now!

Gary and I rolled into Payson Arizona around noon the next day and checked the levels on Christopher Creek. They Looked low but boatable and we did drive all the way from Wyoming to get on it. The canyon looked incredible just pool and drop at its best.

We figured Jen would roll in around 5 so we had time to get in a creek near by. Gary and I have agreed after hiking and running this creek we will no longer talk about it. All I have to say is 40cfs is not fun!

Jen rolled into town and we had a big fat mexi dinner and many spirits that lasted well into the night. The next morning we woke around 10 (yikes) and put on around noon for a spectacular run.

Jen Ross on one of the first drops entering the gorge

Aaron Mulkey on one of the tricky drops.

This drop has a bad ledge that sticks out forcing you to make a mandatory BOOF.

Gary melting it

Jen on the triple drop

You did not want to screw this one up, Jen doing it with style

Gary fighting it, he may have bought ice scream on this one!

This was the entrance to a sick drop that im not sure how often gets run, Gary showed the line well. Its a 8 footer into a tight room that immediately pours down another narrow slot that leaves room for one paddle stroke that must be timed right to allow for a boof.

Jen in style

what a great run!

This was the mandatory 30 plus footer that had the worst entrance I have ever seen to a waterfall, my shoulder is still feeling this one. We all fired it with good lines!

Yes Jen Ross can Boof!!!!!

Gary Kung Fu Fighting!

Note to Gary: When cute girl forgets elbow pads and asks to use yours........ Say No.

This is just a classic shot after finishing the run and hitting the confluence with the Tonto this is the last drop you encounter and surprisingly the paddle stayed and luckily Gary was above to get it otherwise it would have been a long hand paddle out for Jen. She did manage to stay upright tho.

Props to the crew Gary Edgeworth and Jen Ross we had a good crew and great lines all day and Jen was able to get the first female descent of the run which is very proud!

I cant wait to get back to this run again...........slides, waterfalls, big drops Oh MY

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Path Of Life

The path of life seems to take all of us in different directions and so many times I wish there was a road map to ultimate happiness, love and prosperity. The last few years of my life have been hard, many times falling and getting back up only to be struck to my knees again. Many nights I thought, what did I do to deserve this pain and heartache, but I knew there was no answer for that. I believed in the good in someone even when I knew it would bring me pain. I believe the secret is to use your heart and mind together and you are much stronger. The heart reacts without thought and only feeling, paving a trail of emotional ups and downs. The mind sees, hears and touches and reacts with thoughts. Finding the balance between the heart and mind should be a goal for everyone.

"Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever"

Over the past few months I have been searching within myself for .....ME..... I enjoy who I am, I enjoy new experiences, I enjoy life.

The true lesson in life is that we will evolve and change to become better people. For each obstacle in life there is a lesson or two to be learned and its up to us to embrace that lesson. That lesson will not always be clear and more often it’s learned after the heartache and pain. So, remind yourself not to look at the present for answers.

“Some people think it's holding on that makes one strong- sometimes it's letting go.”

We are unconscious of our own strength. When it comes to understanding the power we have to make a difference in our own lives, we might as well be asleep. If you want to make your dreams come true, wake up. Wake up to your own strength. Wake up to the role you play in your own destiny. Wake up to the power you have to choose what you think, do, and say.

“Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines.”

I have spent a good amount of time in the mountains this winter and spring, alone and with my kids, and it has just reminded me how important solitude is for the mind and spirit. It brings me contentment for my life and how I live it. I can’t tell you how important it is to share this with my kids, and I can only hope they can fully appreciate solitude and the wild at some point in there life. I share these experiences thru these photos and hope that everyone is living to there full potential.