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:


BK said...

awesome writing. sounds like fun.

hi from India!

Anonymous said...

Good attitude Maria,


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KP said...

What drop is that? Upper East? Doesnt look familiar.