Alex, I am so stoked for your run down Cross Mountain. Not only are you becoming a great boater, your a true gentleman and a man of honor, truly.
Leif, your right this was the trip you bailed on, lol, but sounds like you found the water you were looking for.
As we left Fort Collins around 4p on Friday the flow at CMG was around 980cfs. As we drove through Steamboat, Hayden and Craig we began to notice the warmer temperatures, the fields not necessarily being covered in snow but rather looking like small ponds. The roofs seemed to all be dripping and a few irrigation ditches had more running through them then expected. This made Nate and I take a quick peak at eddyflower for a current CMG flow. To our surprise, it had began a steady rise, reaching ~1500+cfs by Saturday morning. A few of the more seasoned boaters decided to do an early morning run to scout things out for a second run. The river continued to rise during this time as did the nerves of those waiting to be part of a second run. This, being the very beginning of my second year back into kayaking after a 7 year break, I realized getting knocked over at these flows was likely. I also realized that I have a solid (physical) roll but mentally I have some work on getting more comfortable being upside down. This conclusion lead me to the realization that if I got flipped I was not confident that I would fight to hit my roll, mentally I was not ready to be upside down within the gorge at 1500+cfs. So, as my man Alex honorably left out, I was there, heck yea I was shuttle bunny
. I opted to run shuttle for the second run and not run CMG at the higher then expected flows. I actually don't know which was more difficult, thinking of being upside down in CMG or telling all my new friends, and some friends from way back in the day, that I wasn't mentally prepared to run it with them. Even if I didn't like it, it was the right call.
The weekend turned out awesome. The weather was incredible, the river, as reported, was stellar and the freinds, old and new were the best. Frenchy, the guy Alex refered to, is Brian G, an old dear freind from back in the day. It was well worth the drive just to reconnect with him and his wife Holly. Also part of the Steamboat crew, and a friend from years back, and the original owner of Wave Sport, Chan Zwanzig. Both these guys are some of the best friends to have and solid solid boaters to say the least.
Cross Mountain Gorge is now on my list to run and I can only hope to run it with the solid crew we had last Saturday. John T., from Fort Collins, is a new boater friend of mine, an extremely solid boater, and was key to helping some of the other boaters that had never ran CMG in feeling more comfortable. John is a great guy to follow down a new run, he is always relaxed (even if he isn't) and truly considers those that are following him and keeps the line straight forward. When I run CMG later this year, John will be right in front of me, hopefully right-side up
Well done guys, I'd paddle with you anytime.