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Old 06-03-2008   #1
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 504
Big T heads up

On Sunday we ran the Big T from Idyllwilde to the mouth of the canyon. It was 100% wood free. There is no sign of the death culverts at the park that are stressed in both books. There may be a low bridge or two at really high water, but at 400 there was plenty of room. There is one mandatory portage around a dam, and two of our group of four portaged a manky rapid just before Cedar Cove.

However, we did encounter a very dangerous situation courtesy of the Loveland Rural Fire Department. They were at V-Smith park doing SWR training and had a raft in the middle of the river and it was tied off to both sides of the river. They had nobody upstream to warn us and we came upon it very quickly. When they saw us, they raised the right side of the rope up, creating a 3 foot wide, 3 foot high safe passage against the right bank. We all made it by OK, but we all yelled at them, the first of our group using some choice words. That pissed off the C.O., who yelled at the guy to "pull over!" He eddied out and the C.O. started yelling at him and getting in his face, so he ferried to the other side to get away from this asshole. Instead of shrugging it off, the C.O. jumps in the river and swims to the other side so he can get in the boater's face again! I talked to another member and told him they need to have someone well upstream in this swift moving section, and he agreed and apologized. Meanwhile, the jerk is STILL in my friends face. He wouldn't tell us which organization he was from for about five minutes. He finally cooled down after a few more minutes and left, saying he would send someone upstream, but never apologized. There was a guy hanging out that lived in the canyon who told us this guy is a real prick, but the rest of the FD is OK.

So, just a heads up. I don't know if they'll be doing any more training, but be prepared to eddy out quick in the park. Better yet, just takeout at the park because the boating below is not that interesting.
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