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Old 02-25-2011   #1
Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1896
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 94
Starting over

I am approaching early geriatric status (59), and can no longer kayak. Sucks because I had finally combat rolled multiple times in Shoshone just before I had major back problems that left me literally unable to walk. Back is now in recovery, enabled by some wonderful pharmaceutical research (all legal, remarkably). I just bought a very nice used 14' Vanguard, and am doing the frame/oar/blade contemplation and research, but facing some other questions.

Assuming you had to start over in rafting, where would you start? Just joined and will try to get in the newbie class. One of my urchins is already lobbying hard to take the raft down the Grand in a year or two. Where my raft goes I would like to go also. Managed a six day canoe trip from above Mineral to Spanish on the Green in October, so I can still do some stupid things, but have to be more selective.

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Old 02-25-2011   #2
Boy Howdy!
pinemnky13's Avatar
Colotucky, USA
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,054
I started on the upper c graduated to shoshone and kept on going to bigger and better.
We go out most every weekend on the raoring fork or the colorado PM me if you want to meet up during the summer

Who's your monkey?
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Old 02-25-2011   #3
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910

Welcome back from convalescence. The HCRR is a great place to start.

Considering you've never rowed a raft before and, due to your back condition, could suffer significant consequences even with a seemingly minor mishap, you may want to consider starting with a Class I/II flatwater float on some stretch of river that's better known as an open canoe run than rafting run. This would allow you to get the hang of handling the oars, how a raft handles compared to a hardshell, and build confidence along the way before getting onto anything where any real skill is required. Despite what people are about to tell you about the Upper Colorado, with the exception of State Bridge to Catamount and Cottonwood Island to Dotsero, there's at least one nominal Class III rapid on just about every section with easy raft access.

Check out Jerry's River Guide for information on lots of stretches of river that Buzzards don't even acknowledge.

Good luck starting over,

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 02-25-2011   #4
Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1896
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 94
Top of the list right now is Grizz Creek above Glenwood. Done it in canoe and kayak and a warm sunny day qualifies as therapy at a variety of levels.
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Old 02-25-2011   #5
Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1896
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 94
Ha, I'm pretty sure I met Jerry Nolan years ago at RMCC. Thanks.
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