Thursday, December 30, 2010

kayaking and travelling in Mexico is dangerous (Narco Killers). So not true!!!!!

I have been traveling to Mexico to kayak since 1994. My last journey there was in 2007. It was time to go again. Everyone freaked out when I said I was going with a group of friends (Ross Elgin, Drew Benson and Ralf Seebeck) to a place we know well. Mexico is crazy right now they said, 28,000 killed since 2007, drug wars, epic gunfights between drug gangs, stupid to travel, you will be kidnapped, killed, tortured and never able to kayak again, get life insurance, blah blah....
Well, we had a blast (and we Drove from CO & NM and had 4,000 miles total) and never saw anything that would make us question our travel decisions. Sure the Narco gangs are heavy down there and the killings are going on but just travel in the daytime and be respectful. We got bribed for 200 pesos by the cops (pay no more than that) and that was our only issue. For example, If you go to LA or NY in the USA, don't hit the bad parts of town. Same goes for Mexico.
We had a total blast and were one of 2 groups of Americans that seemed to make the trip by car. So go, have a blast, ignore the American media mass hysteria and huck some waterfalls..
We did a class 3-4 trip and it was O so good. Don't worry though, The same areas we hit have awesome class 5-5+ hucking. So go do it.....
When you make it to Ciudad Valles, look up Aaron Koch and Kayak Huasteca for all the local beta. The hotel that they base out off is great (on the main drag in Valles) and Aaron has the area dialed for the kayak info and is also getting the Mexico SUP scene activated. He is the man!
If you make it farther south to hit the famous Alseseca, stay at Adventurtec, they rock and have all kinds of good lodging. Give a hug to Tinker, Tormenta and Sheba for me (the local dogs).
Here are some photos I took. I am learning to to take photos and loving it. Mexico is not all about kayaking, enjoy the food, culture, people, roads or lack off and just go now and not be worried.
Thanks to CKS for supporting me over the years. The Watershed bag kept my Canon 7D dry and the new Burn rocked out! Thanks to Leland and Andria Davis (and Hudson) for making a guidebook that actually gives good Mexico river advice and directions. Go explore folks, life is to short. Beers, Atom....

Photo Dump :)
Aaron Koch styling..
Better boof this last hole..
Aaron liking the Burn...
Looking for the best place to 360
Drew Benson on his first ever waterfall
Drew sliding
In between falls
Amilkar Jacinto Moncada Rodriguez
double up

Jungle plant
Morning at camp
My favorite beer

The van that hit 400,000 miles on the trip. original engine and tranny..

Sugar cane season...

Patty B on the Rio Frio
Ross the man...
Drew on the Filo..
Jungle fever
Ralfie Y Tinker...
Trail into the Filo
Ross enjoying the fruits of not boofing...

Tomata falls. A French kayaker broke his back on this the day before..

The look on Drew's face before his first waterfall ever. "Priceless"
Old School Ross learning new technique..

Happiest guy on the h2o

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Idaho Adventure – Part Tres

Over the years I’ve learned that during kayak trips one’s ability to make lemonade out of lemons is often what separates a good trip for being skunked. This year during our Idaho pilgrimage the skies literally opened up and we were left with a decision. Make a beeline for home and deal with high water levels. Following the thought that kayaking is always the right thing to do, we decided to stay in Idaho and heard a run on the SF Clearwater held its water pretty well and decided to give it a shot. The best section on the SF is probably the Golden Canyon section but at high water is can be incredibly dangerous and almost took the life of a legend a few years back. Given the high water, the runout of Golden Canyon aka the Mickey Mouse section was our target but there wasn’t much mousey about Mickey Mouse section this day. Enjoy the pics and remember 99.9% of the time kayaking is better than not kayaking.

Gnomey - Mustache deep in high water on the SF Clearwater

Typical SF Clearwater scenery. Roadside and hey diddle diddle right down the middle

Well maybe not always right down the middle

Turning up the fuzz and working through plan B