Ture, thanks for putting this trip together. I had an awesome time! I was nervous about the size of the group, but everything went incredibly smooth and everyone did a good job looking out for each other.
My first Black Rock run was with Derk in May. I remember being totally freaked out above Rigor and my paddling was gripped and tense. Just before we dropped in Derk looked back at me, flashed a quick smile that said, “this is going to be amazing” and then dissappeared. It gave me a huge boost of confidence, I relaxed and nailed the line.
Yesterday I was again nervous above rigo. It was my first time paddling that rapid in a playboat. I didn’t know if I could keep upright in the entrance. Before dropping in I remembered Derk’s smile and relaxed. Everything went fine.
The last time I saw Derk was on Black Rock the Tuesday before his passing. At the put-in I said some stupid things like “nothing will go wrong today, it is too warm and sunny”, “you shoulda seen me style this in a playboat at 800”, or “you can follow me today I know all the lines.” The river gods were listening: I flipped in 6” of class 2 boogie destroyed my shoulder and hiked out (thanks scannon for driving me to the ER). Sadly I didn’t get paddle Big South with him on Thursday.
Derk woulda been stoked to see 18 people there yesterday. He woulda laughed at my younger brother Jack for swimming twice when he should know better. Way to set a good example for the first-timers bro. I guess that is what happens when you become a raft guide