I had a similar predicament with rock climbing, even though I went to CU. Actually, a bigger part of my problem was finding people I even WANTED to go climbing with.
The best I was ever able to do was to find one or two buddies I met eye to eye with, and we did most of our climbing together.
As for kayaking, a really good buddy of mine from ski instructing got me into it. He took me out once and I picked up the gear. From that day forward we more or less boated every day possible together, and I honestly didn't have anyone else to boat with. I think I boated all of two times with other folks in many years. We sort of grew our spurs together and just always felt comfortable together. The odd thing was that we really had nothing else in common...he is religious, and I'm not...I'm married and have a kid, he was always single and had way too much time. We hung out all of one time outside of kayaking or skiing, but he ripped on skis and was a good boater, so we spent probably 3-4 days together either hunting pow or hunting water.
That said, we did start raft guiding together, and that gave us the venue, too. Most of the raft guides were alright people, but almost none of them were as addicted to kayaking as us. We would try and prod them into doing an afterwork run with us, and it almost always ended up being just us two.
My suggestion is to seek out partners wherever you can, but expect rough going at first. You will cross paths with many people that don't work as partners, and those stories will be fodder for a lifetime, but after a while (or sooner, if you're lucky), you'll happen into a few partners that you click with and they'll be friends for life, and will probably at some point save your life.
Good luck, and enjoy the journey!