Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Beauties, bootie beers, boofs and bros - the SE Wrap-up

It's been one hellva great year and change.  True, I didn't complete my Southeast tick-list, but a lot of it got ticked.  And I still have a CO tick-list after 13 years of boating.  I guess I just never will get enough paddling done.  Well, I just wanted to post some of my favorite shots from the year and give a shout to the homies who made it awesome:

I gotta start with one of my OGs, Eric.  He was one of my original paddling partners from my first days.  Day one of his paddling career started off in Cataract Canyon where we told him that if he could knock-out 100 rolls in the four days of flat water, then he might survive the class IV rapids.  He made it without a swim!  His triumphant return to the Southeast from CO occurred right in the middle of my time here and it was a blessing to get out and charge with him again!

Eric toobin the Green!

Early on, I spent a lot of time scoping the Green putin for potential paddling partners.  I was lucky enough to find Katie in need as well one sunny day.  Her and Zac will make the next generation of River Gypsies.
Katie likes it Horsey-style

Speaking of the Gypsies, Leland and Andria are still living large.  It is so much fun to see what a life-long paddling career looks like.  Thanks for introducing me to the joys of Fall Dam Boating - I'm addicted.
Leland is still Climaxing

After my soft year in Texas, Jim Janney was so kind to help me back in hard-man's class V. It is hard to catch a good photo of him not because he doesn't fire huge, but rather because he's always rallying off to fast to focus the camera.  I still need more of the West Prong and Raven Fork, so I hope to find myself at his house in the rain again soon.
Jim: N. Chick

This year I was able to wet the appetite of my very favorite River Betty.  Her shuttling skills, while not quite professional like Justin's wife Lori, have become polished.  She's also paddled down the Gauley a handful of times and lit up Bayless' Boof.  Her tick list includes the forks of the Salmon, Rogue and Deschutes.  
Jess representing for the CO 

The 'rado boys showed up to the party as well.  Alex Clayton was first, but we took all the shots with his camera, so I don't have any.  Justin convinced Lori that they should 'vacation' in the SE this fall:
Justin redeeming his frequent flier miles
My other boys rolled out for Gauley season.  Joel just couldn't miss the Green while I was SE livin' and Mother Green didn't disappoint.  We got a spectacular 200% day and Joel got the joy of just rolling Hammer Factor - blind.  "You only get one shot to run it blind" - DD
Damn fine Mank Crew!

One amazing aspect of paddling in the Southeast is the quantity of stellar kayakers.  Meeting big names in the kayaking industry just requires showing up at the putin.  If you want to paddle with them, just pick up the phone and ask.  Toby MacDermontt started by bumming shuttles from me, but by the end he'd shown me the Linville, Horsepasture, and a 200% Gorilla.

Having all of these phenomenal paddlers around also really opens your eyes to exactly what is possible in kayaking.  I watched Pat fire up a new line on Oceana, tail squirt the Triple Crown in pitch blackness, and launch a monster monkey boof backwards while 'racing' the Green.  Dane rock spun the left line at Sunshine.  Lil' A charges so hard that it's nearly impossible to keep up.  I'm just here trying to make the 'classic' class V lines look good.
I've got this shot of Pat at 1am as well.  It was a little to dark to post.

Snowy is the all-around funniest guy I met.  Who'd have thought that a Brit would know the best Mexican food in the Southeast?

Lil' A fighting Gravity

I met Scott Peaches while he was crankin' his Masters in Fort Collins.  He then moved to Disgusta, GA for med school and I followed for my program.  We were able to get out and get the charge!
Pinballin' around the nation

And in the end, there was the Green Race.  It is one of those pieces of paddling lore that I just had to play a part, even if minute.  You can catch the Huckin' Duckie Cape in its full glory here at 3:50 (filmed by Pilot Collective Media).

Cheers to all you boofers out there!  Looking forward to sharing an eddy with you soon!  The Mank Crew over-n-out to the Pacific Northwest via Kiwi land!
True to the 'hood