Thursday, September 6, 2007

Labor Day weekend in Idaho!

So the original plan, and apparently also a tradition, was to head up to the Thompson, in BC, for Labor Day weekend, but warm water is always better than cold, so I headed to Idaho instead. The trip consisted of myself, Leif Kirchoff, Jonathan Mastin, Scott Waidelich, Tobin Dailey, his girlfriend Ambre, Adam and Megan Blevins, and Mike Hoover. Leif managed to snag us a spot at a group camp of class V cat boaters, saving us from roadside field camping. Turns out that the Payette is a crazy huge whitewater mecca on LDW, there were cat boaters, rafters, IKers, hardshells, and even Creature Crafts! 100 degree weather, 70 degree water, cool nights and hot springs... we couldn't have asked for a better weekend. Saturday morning the boys, minus Scott (who was making his first cat decent down 15 miles of continuous class V on the North Fork), got up and ran off to hit the Swirly Canyon on the South Fork, which turned out to be flat, with class II eddylines and boils. In the meantime, three of us girls, Megan, Ambre and I, went out to the Gutter, a park and play spot. Spent about four hours down there, goofing off, riverboarding, practicing rolls, surfing, ferries and stern squirts. Due to the apparently boring nature of the Swirly Canyon, the guys decided to continue on downstream to the confluence of the North and South forks of the river, on the class IV Staircase section. Sunday morning, we all got up and drove to the confluence of Deadwood and the South Fork, the put-in for the Canyon section (class III-IV (V)) I managed to make it from the put-in to the Pine Flats campground, but wasn't feeling too ballsy, so pulled out and let the boys tackle the gnar. Tobin smashed his shoulder in one of the rapids right above Little Falls, and ended up pulling out due to pain, and another gal cracked a couple ribs in a raft on the falls. Needless to say, I was pretty glad I called it quits after the upper stretch. After waiting for a couple very long hours in the heat, for shuttle, we made it down to the Main, and ran the class III+ stretch, just making it off the river before twilight. The next morning, we all headed down to the Gutter again, and hung out for about two hours. I managed to look like I knew what I was doing in the hole, caught several spins, and pearled a bit, and successfully dug myself out of the hole upside down. We were all pretty darn tired after the sun filled weekend, and hopped back into the trucks, and napped almost the entire way home. It was an absolutely fantastic weekend. I didn't really get any pictures of the runs, too busy trying to keep myself upright, as the Payette has lots of funky eddylines that like to grab boats. Did get a few throughout the weekend though, enjoy!

Ambre makes her way back up the eddy after playing in the hole at The Gutter.

Megan punches the last hole in the fishladder that forms The Gutter.

Megan smiles for the camera, isn't she cuuuute!?

Getting caught making faces with the stunna shades on.

Waiting for my turn with the boogie board.

I'm almost positive that riverboarding is just as fun as kayaking, but only for freestyle. Rocks = bad.

Mike, Megan, Scott, Leif and Jonathan, just before the takeout on the Main.

The weekend group, at the Pine Flats hot spring, minus Scott. Clockwise left to right, Jonathan, myself, Leif, Ambre, Tobin, Megan, Adam and Mike.

Stern squirt-arific, yeeehaw!

Leif attempting to tackle The Gutter with hand paddles.

Adam learning to stern squirt, he's making good progress, don'tcha think?

You could almost hear Tobin's shoulder screaming, 'NO! I DONT WANT TO PADDLE!" It was a bummer than he couldn't paddle more the last day and a half.

Big Falls, a class V, three tiered waterfall on the Canyon section of the South Fork, definately a crazy portage, I didn't make to the falls this time around, but it's a spectacular sight.

Mr. Hoover shows off some mad skill on the upper stretch of the Canyon.

Paddle Happy,

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