Running as many rivers that I haven't done as possible
teaching a friend
paddling at night at least once
soloing an easy run
running at least one rapid entirely and intentionally backwards
always be partially packed to leave town for last minute phone calls
paddle out of state as much as possible
be willing to hike/drive as far as it takes
enjoy overnight river trips
share the adventures with many friends
spend every weekend exploring
- Lot's of new rivers this year, mostly out-of-state, but a few locals, too. Top 3 experiences would have to be: Wooley Creek in the Cal-Salmon drainage (hiking 5 miles just makes it all the more sweet when you're running sweet marbled gorges), Cal-Salmon Forks to Somes Bar (pool-drop, class IV with big features), and finally the Lochsa -- the area is where I first took a class, but I got to watch our instructor run the Grim Reaper, Lochsa Falls, and surf Pipeline -- and I said, "damn, I want to be able to do that!
- Got three friends psyched enough to take an intro class (2 of 'em are hooked!). Took a new boater down his first rivers. The guy had a solid roll, but he'd only been on one class II upto that point. He ran Westwater at 10k, Shoshone at 2k-ish, and the punk never swam once! A month later he ran the Grand Canyon, running every drop, and again never swam once. Also got to intro people to new runs showing them all the scouts and hazards -- feels good to give back after knowing what it's like to be scared and have had so many people help me out down new runs.
- Paddled at night by accident during that stellar bit of high flows down Bailey we had for TWO months! this year. That had to be an unprecedented Bailey season. It was a bright moon and we were already past Deer Creek, so it was cool.
- Soloed the bottom section of the SF Payette Canyon stretch during flood with dark skies, driving rain and strong wind gusts. Mission was to get the shuttle rig and I was having a great time. I felt like a Viking on the North Atlantic charging through huge swells, sword-raised, to bring the mead back to my comrades. Yargh!
- Paddled out of state in Idaho (record runoff, huge water!) and California. Both were good trips with good friends that I'll never forget.
- We only did one self-support this year, but got to do it with two of my best friends and one of them (the guy I mention above) had never done a self support before and he was psyched! Cheddar brawts, Coors, Jim Beam, and a still night on a desert river.
This was the best season I've had, yet. See you all at Gore next weekend!