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Old 09-11-2008   #31
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
i like coloyomintana

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Old 09-11-2008   #32
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 08
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 20
Thanks for the all the posts, good to know some places to consider next time the urge to move hits, always thought I'd like Oregon.

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Old 09-11-2008   #33
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
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Posts: 2,404
I enjoy whitewater in many states. I guess my favorite state is slightly intoxicated.
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Old 09-11-2008   #34
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 47
I'm only a 2nd year boater and so I have zero experience outside the state (I hope to change that dramatically in 09). I honestly do think this is a valid debate, and it's funny how a passion that I have about boating can really have an impact on where I want to live.

One thing I have seen little commentary on is the boating community in particular for each state. I can't say enough about the great community of boaters in Colorado. I can't comment on the other states other than to say that in a recent trip to Idaho, Montana Wyoming, I could not find groups similar to CO Kayakers and CO Whitewater. Idaho has a yahoo groups site, but nothing other than that. Finding a guide book similar to Whitewater of the Souther Rockies?, no chance. The Montana Surf Book (found in the COOSR book) is out of print, and per the two kayak shops visited, I was told that boaters were expected to "earn it". Just can't imagine the good folks at Confluence, CKS, Alpine Sports, etc saying this.

One negative observation with Colorado that I've already experienced on both the Lower Elk and the Numbers is the river access laws. Getting yelled at for standing on the river bed in the numbers just seemed a bit obscene and frankly a bit backwards. Hell, even Utah changed their laws as it relates to access (see attachment). Seems CO boaters can unite to push for similar law changes in our states to protect the right to boat, and I would argue the right to portgage and rescue when necessary.

Feedback on how the people in the states view boaters and just how the community of boaters in each state see each other is very helpful.


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Old 09-11-2008   #35
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Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 120
how are you gonna judge this? i once made a sheet that factored in all different things that make the perfect paddling location. my factors were:

1. quality of whitewater
2. abundance of whitewater
3. accessibility
4. quality of culture
5. natural beauty
6. paddling community
7. season

all of these put together, it was a simple choice, wa/or. i really have to say that id prefer washington, with rain fed rivers all winter and spring and glacial/spring fed creeks that generally run all summer and often into the fall.

the one thing that the area generally lacks is good multi day kayaking, some on the olympic peninsula but nothing like cali. the only problem with cali is that it is super expensive to live, buy gas, food and everything is a few hours away. the quality of whitewater is highest but you need time to go boating because everything is so far away unless you are lucky enough to have a job in some awesome little town near the boating.

go to washington or oregon, plenty of jobs and the boating is all really accessible. the water comes all year long, its super beautiful, there are endless creeks, shuttles are generally really easy and short, and the reasons go on. or go cali and get the best of the best and spend all your money and drive too much
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Old 09-11-2008   #36
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 207
Most of the significant runoff in the spring/summer up here is snowmelt, so the season is longer than Oregon's. Everthing's pretty dried up right now except for a few creeks that are a ways away (mainly bc).

But...fall rains should change all that in October.
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Old 09-12-2008   #37
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
you were probably getting yelled at for standing up in the river because first off that is how foot entrapments happen and more than likely they were just telling you for your best interest.
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Old 09-12-2008   #38
Lowman, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 13
Idaho has more navigable whitewater than any other state in the lower 48. The second most is Cali and it has about half the amount yet is double the size of Idaho. They got big volume rivers, creeks, waterfalls, and playboating.
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Old 09-12-2008   #39
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 02
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 183
Boating in Ut sucks. Even when our goods are in(some of it spectacular), we still only have 2 or 3 class 5 runs. This puts a severe stunt on weekend warrior skill growth.

The upside to boating in Ut is Cali, WA, ID WY,MT, CO, Nevada, NM and OR are all within a half days drive.

As to Brian A's coment about other boating communities.

Of what I've seen Idaho's scene is tough to break in to. A big part of that is most of the boaters I've met, mostly Boise, are about the North Fork Payette period. Boise seams to be much more of a rafting than a kayaking scene. Again outside observence and there are great runs in ID.

I suspect, MT and WY are aflicted with the same issue you will run into in UT. There simply aren't that many avid boaters. At the local parks, let alone creeks, it is rare to see anyone you don't know and know the life history of. In larger boating communities ie WA,OR, and CO, there are simply more people and that is what makes the comradre easier.

As far as shops and folks go. The Co shops have been nice and helpful when I've been in thm. Never been pointed in the wrong direction. Hell, CKS is SLC's local shop.
Next adventure in Portland is also quite freindly. I beleive the line was :you should go run farmlands, I am off at 1".

Anyway, Iam sticking with the pacific NW. BWest nailed it spot on
God Bless SKA Brewery-Sturgeon General
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Old 09-12-2008   #40
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 47
Casper Mike,

This may be a redundant message as I typed one and it dissapeared.

Thanks for the comment about foot entrapment. I'm well aware of the risks of standing in moving current which is why we were standing right at constriction in dry river bed on numbers (# 5 I believe?). We knew the history and the risks of being yelled at as trespassing is civil at best per fed laws). This was our first time down numbers and we weren't going to run a drop blind..... talk about risk.

Colorado seems somewhat progressive when it comes to water recreation rights especially when you consider the number of whitewater playparks blanketing the state, and the case that some states are just now breaking ground on their first parks. If boaters could unite and push for a freshening up of the high water line law that most of our neighbors have, it would allow for safe scouting and/or portaging/rescue without the risk of trespass or in most cases a harassment, and things would be about perfect. At the very least setting up scout, portage and put in/take out easements would be handy.

Either way, I feel lucky to have found a sport that is alive and full of good people regardless of the state. There are no losers in this poll.


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