Monday, November 16, 2009

Westwater in November

The Remix XP9 arrived at my house two weeks ago. I had never paddled the boat, but knew I needed to have a whitewater kayak that has plenty of space for my tent, sleeping bag, food, beer, water, down coat, firepan, and a poo system. I filled the kayak with 2 drybags, warm clothes, first aid kit, one breakdownpaddle, two waterbottles and about 5 beers.

Dave and I decided that we need to run Westwater Canyon as a kayak self support trip to get ready for the grand canyon in January. Little did we know that a major snow/rain strom was coming our way. Luckily I packed my down coat and 3 pairs of wool socks.

We arrived at the put in, dropped our boats and gear off; the ranger made sure we had a fire pan, poo system, and 1st aid kit. He looked at us like we were crazy.
(dave got to put the fire pan on the floor of the kayak which fit perfect in his XP10)

We dropped the car off at the take out and biked 14 miles of the kokopelli trail back to the put in. During the ride we saw a few antelope running off in the distance. We arrived to the put in and started paddling down stream. I was nervous at first because I think I had at least 50 pounds in my boat; but the remix was fast and very responsive. The first 5 miles of flat water went by fast. The gorge was beautiful and surreal, I felt like I was flying over the waves. I think I got about 4 feet of air off one wave.

We arrived at our campsite and started making dinner. It's so nice to have everything you need in your own kayak! It's nice not to have to rely on a raft, and it made me realize that you don't need much to enjoy and survive the outdoors. Sometimes I think we get caught up on material things and think we need paco pads, kitchen table, camp chair, etc... for a river trip. When it comes down to it, aren't we trying to get away from normal life? Back to simplicity?

It did rain/snow for about 4 hours that nite, and the tent collasped from the weight of the wet snow mixed with the intermitant rain. I thought a bear was crashing our tent at first! After Dave moved the snow off the tent, we were able to fall back asleep, thankful to have a warm dry shelter.

I can't wait to take the Remix XP9 down more rivers....The Salmon, Selway, Illinois, Virgin, Escalante, and Catacrat canyon are some of the rivers on our list...Starting with the Grand Canyon in January with the Liquidlogic Crew! what I'm learning with age

Cheers, Lisa Marie

Rain, Snow or Hail....Liquidlogic is on the River!

Hello from snowy and cold Bend, Oregon! The down jackets are out and so are the pogies....nooo! Darn those pogies but hey, they're are brilliant. It's now officially that time of the year when you haven't quite adjusted to the cold and you choose to blast the heat in your car and get geared up in the front seat. Did I mention it's also time for the hot chocolate mug to become a permanent fixture in the creek boat? YES! You can't possibly go creeking without having a hot cup of cocoa in your boat. Let's see what else is new? Oh! I dyed my hair purple he he he! You should see my helmet liner! Anyways, back to the actual kayaking portion of the post....

Recently, a crew of us from Bend headed upstream to our "locally famous" drop known as Benham Falls. It is a solid class five drop riddled with lava tubes. It's technically not a falls but it sure is huge. Rumor has it that a TV crew filmed a rubber dummy gettting dropped out of a helicopter above the rapid and its arms and legs came up miles downstream at the end of the lava tubes. From top to bottom, 30% of the water is lost in these tubes. Definitely not reassuring if you happen to go for a swim.

The put-in was snowed in and the all wheel drive barely got us there. The water temp was sitting around 42 degrees and the sun was out. We geared up and checked out the drop. There was a little wood but nothing in the way... special thanks to Irina of Bend for taking the photos!

Here's a photo from a year ago when we ran it. The flow was substantially higher when we recently did it but you can get an idea of the scenery and the drop. Just add 300 more CFS and understand that the ledge drop in the middle of the river is a 12 foot drop. Perspective is the craziest thing.
(Below) Look at those beautiful Jefe's!
(Below) Me in the lead-in rapids
(Below) Just above the crux...
(Below) Cold but very happy!

(Below) All I'm thinking about here is how much I'm looking forward to eating a veggie burger at the local burger joint....not sure what those other folks are thinking though....

Special thanks to everyone at Liquidlogic for your continued support and enthusiasm for making the best whitewater boats on the market. Stay warm out there and remember your mug of hot chocolate!

PS Here's a picture of me and my partner in crime. Her name is Pepper and she is 15 years old. Please send good thoughts her way as she has gotten very sick and can't hear me or see me anymore. :( I'm sure she would wag her tailess bum if she knew you were thinking of her! Thank you!