Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Well everyone knows that kayaking in the states blows anyway... Trying to argue about which state is better is like trying to figure out if you like your left nut kicked better than your right nut. With that said, each state / region sucks in its own special way.
Colorado's season is shorter than your average summit county gaper's johnson. The blast rock is so sharp that you'll probably break a creek boat every week for the couple of weeks that shit is actually running. Then you'll break a creek boat every week for a couple more weeks trying to run rediculously low shit, cuz nothings running. You will have to amputate your fingers from frostbite unless you wear pogies up to your elbow. One of the best runs in the state (big south) is fricking gated up for over half the nano-second long season too. To top it off, the traffic is so bad in denver, that most metro denver boaters miss the runoff entirely, because they are stuck in traffic on I-70. Thats why clear creek is so popular, not because its good, but because you can abandon your vehicle on I-70 and boat back to denver and hope the traffic is less next season.
Now arizona does have the grand, aka the big ditch, but you'll have to wait 435 years to get a permit. Your only other option is to kiss some old bearded rafters ass for a month straight while you clean his shitter, cook dinner and listen to him bitch about kayakers not carrying their load. Other than that, its takes a 100 yr rainstorm on top of above average snowpack, a powerball ticket, and psychic to actually get the creeks to run and be there at the right hour. Most hardy AZ creekers will camp at their favorite creek all year looking at the water every day to see if it will run. They are usually rewarded with an epic run about every decade.
Sure there is great kayaking somewhere out there, but you need to hijack a gas truck to keep enough fuel around to even think about getting the shuttle done with a car. When you do finally get to the put in you have to hike half way to neveda to even get to the run. You will probably find the level too high, at which point, you either run it anyway and end up hiking out of some heinous gorge, or you hike back to the car. Kayaking is california is actually hiking with a boat, there is not much water involved. The hot shots run the shit with helicopters and sherpas imported from everest and then take a picture with their boat on their head looking like they are hiking very hard to try to fool people into believing that they actually hiked all that way with their boat.
You are just as likely to find some hick's shotgun in your face as you are to find cold takeout beers in the southeast. Thats if you make it to the takeout (aka the get out) without getting sodomized by the inbred grandson of the dude that gave burt reynolds and company some hillbilly man love. While it is true that they run the green 4369 times a year and look pretty bad ass, they can't actually run anything hard if they don't have the lines memorized down to every last paddle stroke, so they just go back to the green again. When they have a drought (often) their only hope is to go get run over by a raft on the ocoee. Their idea of a first descent is to get Gomer to hose down a large slab of rock and slide down it. They they kind of get gripped, cuz its more water then they have seen and its too pushy. When they make their pilgrimage to colorado for the two weeks that colorado runs, they need to wear depends diapers because everythings huge and they can't find the eddys. The do get some good water when a hurricane comes, but the entire gulf coast has to get destroyed for them to get some decent water.
Well there are more antelope in wyoming than kayak runs, and counting antelope along I-80 is more fun than being a kayaker in wyoming. Sure they have a few nice runs. You have to hike all the way up to the camp where the bear will eat one of your crew to get to the put in. Wyoming boys know this so they always bring some sucker from colorado with them, put some bacon on his tent, and sacrifice him to get the goods. Thats why you actually never hear anything about wyoming, because no one lives to tell about it. Rumor is that there is a class V ditch that runs when a farmer irrigates his field. Beta is to boof all the barbed wire, run 50 miles of flatwater and then swim out of the huge class V. Get your vehicle shot at by cowboys who have been out there since their grandpappy's pappy was rustlin cattle back in the good ole days when a mans word could be taken to the bank, at which point he would promply rob said bank.
The skiing is great, but thats where to good stuff ends. The colorado does run through utah, but your kayak will melt at the put in, so most trips end there. If you do manage to ice down your boat at the put in to prevent melting you can look forward to weeks and weeks of flatwater. No one has ever actually seen a whitewater rapid in utah. Westwater doesn't count, thats acutally colorado.
There is water and gradient up there, as the 3 kayakers who boat there will tell you, but you need to bust out your artic drysuit to have any hope of making a run without getting hypothermia. One of the main paddle accessories out there is prozac, because you won't want to go kayaking because you are so depressed because you never see the sun. Once you are fully medicated and you have all your artic gear, the season usually goes like this... 1) take prozac, 2) get soaking wet at the put in, 3) boat a pool up to a huge drop, 4) run a monster drop, 5) get a monster injury, 6) go to the doc, up the prozac and look forward to next season. You can post a pic of that one huge waterfall you ran on mountainbuzz and tease all those fricking blast mank suckers in colorado (who will be jealous). The best thing you can say about the pac NW is that its closer to canada where there is actually good boating.
Why anyone would claim to kayak in texas is beyond me. They put up some videos of them running a culvert while houston is drowning and they call it the best season in decades. Move somewhere that has water or pull out your six shooter and put one between your eyes. If you do move anywhere, you will be ridiculed incessantly, at which point you will move back to texas. Drop the kayak and focus on the things texas is good at, breeding presidents that ruin the country.
Some delusional farm boy thinks he kayaks in kansas. That's all that keeps him from going insane while working on the farm. Every once in a while the entire mid west floods and you can boof off of houses in swollen rivers, but then you have to go all the way down to louisiana to get your house back.
Absolutely the worst state in the country to kayak and the worst place on earth to boat. Sure the biggest river in the coutry is there (mississippi, which is the indian word for "the kayaking blows here"), but the gradient is measured in millimeters per light year and the katrina recovery moves faster than any water in the state. The closest whitewater is 4 hours to a class I- riffle in mississippi. You get fired up to drive 10 hours to tennessee to get run over rafts on the ocoee a couple times a year. They you go home and drink yourself into a stupor while looking at your kakay wishing you could boat. The only time louisiana ever sees any whitewater is when a hurricane comes and the levees break. Your boat will get looted before you can run the 100 ft long gnar though, and then your city is ruined. Of course I know all this too well, as thats where I learned to boat. The best use for a kayak in lousiana is to fill it up with alcohol, hang it up and do monster shots out of the drain plug hole.
The best thing about the northeast is the freakshow you will encounter while boating there. Meet some guy at the put in and marvel at his gear... he has a paddle made out of sanded down 2X4, a hybrid birch bark dugout, fiberglass, squirt model he made 150 years ago. You won't be able to communicate on the river because he uses the indian names for river terms, but he will tell you cool stories of how he taught nealy to boat. You will need to take his straight to the old folks home after your run.
Well thats about it. Its fairly obvious that the entire country blows. Time for me to go order 14 creekboats for next season in colorado, and thats just the boats I budget to break on bear creek for the couple weeks it runs.