Thursday, June 25, 2009

Keepin' it fun and local in Silverton

It just rained here in the tiny town of Silverton, Colorado for 24 hours, hard. In the spirit of keeping it local, saving gas, and paddling in our backyard I rallied the "Silverton A-Team" (Jen Ross, Michael Barton and I) to go run our local manky creek this afternoon, Cement Creek. When you paddle this one, you don't need to take your vitamins 'cause it's chock full of iron and other heavy metals from the mine debris upstream. Actually, I try to keep my mouth closed and stay upright. But it's not often that the gold Jefe nearly matches the color of the water!

Then, still wanting more excitement, Michael and I decided to go back to a run we had explored early in this spring, the rarely-run Mineral Creek off of Red Mountain Pass. The water was up, up, up from all the rain, but we thought it would be good to go because we'd scouted it for wood after it peaked and had previously ran it at a manageable level. But this time, in the first mile we found a lot of scary new wood and super fast tight blind turns. After barely catching a tiny eddy right before a drop with a hidden log in it, I decided that this was not condusive to my new project; that is, the Keeping Kayaking Fun project.
I realized this year that paddling should, above all, be good for the soul. For me, that's good friends, wild places, and the feeling of knowing water intimately. It shouldn't give me the feeling of just narrowly escaping severe consequences. If it just doesn't feel right, it doesn't matter if the run is "only" class 4, or "easy" class 5. So even though at lower water levels this is a pretty easy run, I had no problem walking out of there today. Live to paddle for years to come, and paddle to feel confident and alive. -Maria K.

P.S. Speaking of keepin' it fun: I got a quick lap in on the Upper East on a whirlwind trip through Crested Butte. Here's the greatest boat ever, the Jefe, boofing like a charm:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 2 and 3 of the Rogue River Adventure

The next morning we woke up early and headed into Medford for a bit of a search. We needed some sponges and duct tape. A quick visit to Lowes solved that issue and we headed back to Leinman for a few hours of playtime.

Pretty awesome spot

The always graceful...getting in

Josh playing around...

Me establishing that my body is out of shape...darn that sick month I had.

After thoroughly wearing ourselves out on the water, we drove to Eagle Point where Josh's grandmother lives. She is such a sweet person and we wasted no time in getting caught up. She has a nice chunk of property with a GREAT pool...he he he this meant lots of cannonballing off the diving board later on. While Josh explained how the kayaking has been for us, I set out our gear to dry and smelled all the roses. Talk about bringing back memories of Texas! We used to have about 30 rose bushes next to our old house too. Anyways between the paddling, the diving board, the visiting, and pizza; we had an awesome afternoon in Eagle Point.

The rest of the family arrived at 9 ish in the evening after a full day's work in Bend. They were pooped from the long drive. Some discussion later, we headed off to bed and tried to catch some zzz's. This wasn't tough and I settled in to my bed snug as a bug in a rug.
Our trip leader, Josh, requested that everyone be up around 7:30 to get the day going early. A few coffee pots later, we were on the road with a 1.5 hour drive to get to the put-in. We arrived around ten at the Galice Ranger station where we picked up permits and organized our shuttle service.

We unloaded all of our gear from our truck and Tyler's and proceeded to pack our paraphanalia. Steve used an inflatable kayak while Josh and I paddled in our spud boats. Our gear boat was captained by Josh's mom, Debbie. She was actually one of the first women to row rafts on the grand canyon. She's a pretty impressive river rat! :) Tyler and Kellie captained what I would like to call the "Green Bean Machine". As Tyler would say, "It's cute in a masculine sort of way". Ha ha ha!!!
(Below) Our multiday crew... L to R: Tyler, Kellie, Steve, Josh, Debbie

Our trusty gear boat captain- Debbie Mckeown

Josh and I in awe of Josh's personal "table"... AKA Overthruster

The famous Rainee Falls-twas a fine line at this thank you

Behold! Our first campsite!

We all arrived at our first available campsite around 3 ish and we took it! There are a few primo sites on day 1 and we got one. It had a nice open beach area with flat camping available. This site just happened to be just across the river from Whiskey Creek cabin so that night Josh and I took a quick hike up to see it. Pretty cool! Those first settlers of the area were nuts. Talk about in the middle of no-where. wow.

Back on track, Josh and I were on cook duty for the night and boy did we cook up one mean meal! Spaghetti with marinara sauce and basil....WITH garlic bread! It pretty much kicked butt. Our only mistake was that we cooked TOO MUCH. Can you believe that? I think I ate the most out of everyone. How wrong is that?! Sun set around nine but I didnt go to sleep until I had spent a sufficient amount of time enjoying the stars. Beautiful! If only I had my telescope...

Check back soon for more pictures of the camp and our second day on the river....

This is Christina, over and out....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rogue River Trip- Day 1

Rogue River Trip- Day 1

Leinman Playspot---------------------------------------------------------------------

This year, instead of our annual Wenatchee trip, we decided to take a multiday raft trip down the wild and scenic Rogue River. Everything just came together perfectly: good group, good weather, and available permits! wow. Josh was declared trip leader and he promptly organized everything. Having finished the trip, I can say that he impressively didn't forget anything!

Here are pics from the first day of our mini vacation :D. We drove to Leinman playspot near Gold Hill- Where Josh went whitewater kayaking for the first time as a kid. Pretty cool to go back there with him. It's about an hour from Galice where we would put on the river for our multi-day. Anyways, enjoy the pics and stay tuned for pics from our grand adventure on the Rogue River!

Below- Me likey the Biscuit :D

Below- Trying to stay in the hole...twas very flushy

Below- Holy poo!

Below- out humble's a bit cozy but it's home

I think Josh is happy!

Josh enjoying Leinman and not being a gaper like me

Did I mention that Annies Mac n' Cheese tastes amazing while camping? U should try it!

Hope everyone is getting on the rivers and remembering why they paddle- because it's FUN!!! :) Don't let that fact get away! Stay humble and paddle for yourself!

Hasta Pasta,

Christina Russell

Monday, June 15, 2009

Homestake Creek Race- Teva Mtn Games

Day One of the Teva Mountain Games is always on Homestake Creek. Drive west of Vail and get off at the Minturn exit on I-70. Drive ten miles, and you get this view..... Though it is a short race it drops 400 feet per mile in one small section, full of fun spots to pin and get spun out.Tanya Faux and I went up on wednesday to train and she did a good job showin me the fast lines and how not to get pinned. Thanks for the support from you Tanya and your bad assness is sweet!!! This is a picture of the Worlds Perfect Boof, midway through the corse.Photos by: my mom. She is a wonderful woman. The goal posts, line one is good, line two is not so good..... rock is not fast, neither is backwards :-)Mom gets nervous when I race so she only took like two pictures during my physical race but I still love her. The race is nerveracking for sure, no flipping allowed, I want to keep all my teeth and my face and shoulders intact. Almost petoning at the first vertical drop of four at the end of the corse.Comming through eyeing the Worlds Greatest Boof, lining it up right to get the big one!!!Heading into the last rapid which is the hardest of all the drops with a hole at the bottom that will surf you for a bit, and then you get to battle with rocks to roll up...
My first race went really well, I was the first competitor of the Teva Mountain Games and I like to think that I set the bar high. After the first run Nikki Kelly, Tanya Faux, and myself were all less than 1.5 seconds apart from eachother. Nikki had a fantastic second run and came back to win it beating Tanya by 0.12 seconds.... you read that right...0.12 seconds. All the competitors, in third; Myself and Pat Keller both from Asheville NC, second; Tanya Faux from Australia and Tao Berman from Hood River OR, first; Nikki Kelly and Mike Dawson both from New Zealand. Everyone was way fired up to start off the Mtn Games with a bang, literally bouncing off of rocks.
The third placers commin out of the Southeast and representin well!!! Good job Pat

See you all on the flip side!!! Happy summer paddling


2009 Worlds Team Trials- Glenwood CO

In the end of May I packed up my 2004 Subaru Forester with my Red Biscuit and my Ice blue Jefe and drove to Colorado for a trip of epic proportions. It all began in Glenwood. I spent two weeks in Glenwood Colorado to train for the US Worlds Team that will be traveling to Thun Switzerland in August to compete against 30 different countries. It was a hard two weeks for me, without a coach or anyone to tell this "creekboater" how to do an air blunt. Luckily kayakers are very helpful and I found lots of people to tell me how to do things bigger and better.The Glenwood wave is a manmade wave that is right in the middle of downtown Glenwood. With one of the biggest rapids on the Colorado River only 6 miles upstream it is a great place to be. You can play in the morning and then go scare the crap out of yourself on Upper Death and Barrell Springs. The elevation got to me, being a southern girl the first few days were extremely rough on me. After three days of suffering it all got better and it was uphill from there. People were coming in from all over the country to watch and compete for a spot on the Team.The Biscuit killed it on the wave. I was very happy with how loose it felt and how I could throw it around using almost no energy. It is fast going down the face and really edgy, always keeping me on my toes!!!Emily Jackson and I took first and second place in team trials. Thankfully on my last ride I finally brought around an air blunt to take second place behind Emily. I guess this "creekboater" is a playboater too. ;-)
After all the results were in for Men, Women, and Juniors we all had a party surf on the wave to celebrate the new US World Team. Everyone lining up in the eddy above the wave. And then chaos ensued!!! Notice: Jeremy Lauks about to get creamed in the front of the frame, and EJ at the back of the fram who got pushed off the wave in a hot second. Also notice that Jordan, the C-1'er is about to get run over by Emily, what a great team building exercize!!!!The victorious four, Emily Jackson, Stephen Wright, Johnny Meyers, and myself. WaHOO!!What the team lifejackets will look like. Thanks to Astral for makin the hand stitched absolutely amazing looking jackets. There are 28 stars for the 28 people on the team and the team signed this lifejacket. There it is, the beautiful US Worlds Freestyle Kayak Team!!! Nice work to everyone and CONGRATULATIONS!!! WE ARE GOING TO THUN!!!


Friday, June 05, 2009

Biscuit 45- Out of the Oven and on the River

Hey everyone! Holy pooo! I just got my Biscuit 45! YAY! I just took it for it's virgin paddle down Meadowcamp on the Deschutes. I was a bit squirly but I L O V E D it. It's going to take some getting used to as the spin disk and sharp edges were removed. It is super fast on a wave and quick and loose in a hole. Liquidlogic really pulled a great boat out of the, oven. Nice work!

In a week, I will be taking it for its maiden voyage down the Rogue river for five days...YEAH! Can't wait to see what the wild and scenic section is all about. I'll make sure to get lots of pics and video so you all can enjoy it as well.

Stay tuned for a POV video of Meadowcamp and Lava!

Hasta Pasta,