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Old 12-07-2006   #11
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Because I suck at basketball.

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Old 12-07-2006   #12
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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Posts: 2,032
Because swimming through whitewater hurts.

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Old 12-07-2006   #13
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 475

Pretty much any time I see a river or creek I am overcome by a feeling of excitement, like an invitation, to want to experience it's feel, it's essence, and explore it's journey. If children, time, and money were not a constraint, I could easily enjoy spending every day on a journey by rivers.

However, ... that said, I once experienced a journey that I catagorize as UGLY and I regretted doing.

In the mid '90s I worked in downtown Colorado Springs during a major flood that actually created 5' to 8' tall waves and Skull Hole type holes throughout the city length of Monument Creek. In my excitement I grabbed my boat after work and put in at the north end of town up by Woodman to solo to the south end at Cimmaron St. OMG! It turned into being maybe the stupidest thing I ever kayaked. The pollution washing into the river from gas, oil, fertilizer, septic overflows and trash galore was toxic. The banks were littered with diapers, toys, shopping carts, wood and plastic of all types. There were no eddies and the river edges were screaming along at about 20 miles an hour with nothing but metal, fences, wood, and jagged rock to greet me. Then there were a half a dozen man-made wiers, some as high as 6', that are river wide and no way to eddy out above. I miraculosly smeared past all either on the bank edges or near crumbled turrets in the middle on some. The waves and holes were huge and I actually feared getting any of the toxic water washed through my eyes, ears, nose or mouth. I was chocking on the fowl odor and paddling for my life. As much as I had hoped to rodeo in some phenominal shaped holes, I became determined to punch through and get to my car as quickly as possible. At one point, observers crossing bridges yelled out that they were calling the Newspaper to send a photographer. The trip, though many miles long, was so fast through the urban channel at that level that no one could track me, though. I wanted out and longed to get to my car and the hell away from that miserable experience. Yes, it was big and intense. However, it was UGLY, filthy, and disgusting. Something I wished I had never done. There is such a thing as bad boating. Lesson learned.

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Old 12-07-2006   #14
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Photographer, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 229

I am originally from Iowa and I have only been boating for about the past 18 months and I absolutely love it.

I took my family back to my home town along with my EZG this past summer. I had herd that there was a play hole in the Cedar River and I just couldn't pass that up no matter what the level or water was like. When I was growing up the Cedar River was a cesspool of industrial waste, farm waste, and stuff that washed down the storm sewers.

It was described as..."Going down the Cedar in our canoes
Picking up garbage out of the ooze
Some of the things that we found
Really give us the blues." That being said, I still wanted to get in the river that I had grown up with. I got in touch with a boater who is spear-heading the effort to get a play park put in the river and was able to get in the river on two days in July. It wasn't a remarkable view, or a big rush to be in the play spot those two days, but the guys who were on the river that day made me feel like family.

So, I can tell you, that for me, the scenery is nice, the adrenaline of paddling is awesome, but the real draw to this sport is the people that I have met both on and off of the river.

The boating community is like no other. I have never gotten so much support from so many people, most of which I didn't even know. I am only sorry that it took me 42 years to find this sport. God willing, I will be at it for the next 42 years.
"You gotta fight for your right to paddle!"
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Old 12-07-2006   #15
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
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Andy H. said:
when I'm pushing away from the shore there's a feeling of going home
I think that is probably the best description there is. Home and all the descriptions and connotations that go with the word. That is what the river is to me. That is why I boat.

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 12-07-2006   #16
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Thought-criminal, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 989
I just like the Xtreme way the boats look on my canary yellow Nissan X-terra. People look at me drive by and they're like "woh...that guy's Xtreme with a capital X." Then it's confirmed when I'm driving away and they can see the bump on the back door where I keep my first aid kit full of bandaids and other Xtreme supplies, for when I hurt myself doing something Xstreme.

Yeah. I'm pretty sweet.

Ugly water? The Weber in UT aint too pretty. Hole Brothers on the Black through Watertown, NY is pretty gross. Almost slipped on a used condom getting out there once. Good thing, too, cuz this girly was ready to go and I hads no protection. Confluenza..gross. That's about all I can think of.[/i]
I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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Old 12-12-2006   #17
Construction, Snow Making, Grooming
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2
Why boat?

Initially, this sounds like a question from a non-boater as I was just a couple years ago. I got into commercial guiding during the '05 season in NM which was the biggest water we'd seen in 10 years or so and just started kayaking this past summer. The majority of my best friends have been boating for years and I always wondered what the hell all the fuss was about. But now that I too am a Boater, I still find myself asking the same question.

First, props to whoever pointed out the benefits of being part of the boating community - my 'river-friends' are my family.

The river strips away all the BS of everyday life. You get to see who you really are, what's important to you, what makes you tick and what you really want outta life - the nagging questions for all of us, I think...

The River is relentless and unforgiving. I've never been more scaredexctiedamazedenthralled by anything. But what would you trade for the feeling you get after a day on the river? What would you trade for an evening on some beautiful forgotten beach with some folks who share your sentiment drinking a cold beer out of your drag-bag after surviving another day and looking forward to the next? I was lucky enough to be invited on a private trip on The Grand last fall - it changed my life. That was definately the biggest water I've seen but some of the most spectacular scenery as well. There were days when I had to remind myself to stop being scared and enjoy the scenery. But I'll never forget the feeling after Lava...

Maybe its 'because its there'. Maybe its more than that. Maybe its something that none of us will ever be able to quite put a finger on. If anyone ever really figures it out, please let me know. For now, tho', I'm goin' boatin'!

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