Monday, October 05, 2009

2009: Year of the multi-day, part 1


So this summer was a big change-up for me in paddling style. Previously, I'd been running around chasing anything that was going. In 2009, I did some better planning and worked out a whole bunch of multi-day trips. In case anyone out there didn't know, multi-day boating is as good as life gets. I started the year off right by spending New Years, 2009, on a beach in the Grand Canyon. We ate filets, drank champagne, dropped grease bombs and howled at the moon.

Bomb!
My first multi-day kayak trip this year was a two day adventure down the Black Boxes of the San Rafael. Tragically, my camera had been stolen only a few days before and I don't have any photographic evidence of what was likely the first raft descent. I was the sane kayak support. Late June brought Cali calling as usual. I had an entire week to spend with the posse and we first fired up West Cherry Creek. While not nearly as classic as Upper Cherry, it provided from some awesome scenery, super intense V+, and the usual sunny Cali weather.
Almost there!
Alex Clayton coming down flat
I call this shot 'Gorilla in the Mist'. If you know C.Mo, then you know what I'm talking about.

After a great two days we found ourselves pondering a high water Upper Cherry run.
If you're going to get into multi-day trips, especially in Cali, you need to invest into a good kayak pack. The best commercial one I've found is the NRS Sherpa. I add an extra cam strap around to give it just a touch more strength. None of the packs are indestructible, but if treated properly they beat the heck out of the cam straps and pool noodles I used last year on the 9 mile hike.
Here's the reason that multi-days kick ass. This drop is called the Coffee Pot drop because it's 15 paddle strokes downstream from the putin camp. No shuttle, no fuss, just me boofing.
Tyson falling off the edge.
Alex about to disappear into the California Groove Tube, which is a lot less friendly than the original.
Another thing that has really improved my enjoyment of the multi-day trip is Watershed dry bags. They're a touch heavy, but absolutely bone dry and bomb proof. As you can see from this photo, all of us had at least a pair of them and I have 3.

Parting Shot: Alex launching high flow Double Pot.

Stay tuned for the next installment of 2009 overnighters.....

Thanks to Tom Janney for the Grand Canyon shots.