Thank you Atom! The weekends I spent down at the Budo Hostel were some of my favorite of the season. Quality juicy creek boating with good friends in the desert is hard to beat. The race is sick and super hard, and then you have to run up a hill and chug a beer, which totally sucks compared to the leisury stroll I usually take past the green chille fields and orchards to the changing room. You have created something special on your piece of earth.
I've been fortunate to participate in a good number and varitety of creek races, and the Embudo is one of a kind. It is the scariest and longest with the best competitor comraderie. Yet, I also feel much safer racing it than something like Gore, because the team format adds a lot to the race. You always have someone watching your back, and the lead member of the group can always eddy out briefly to regroup if needed. You roll into the Cheesegrater Boof from the rapid above and realize you've been doing it all wrong by scouting. MJ can get interesting. This year we had 9 racers, and we were still figuring out the teams at the put-in. The Durango boys crushed it. Matt's beat down was awesome.
I'll be there next year to take up the rear. I'm getting pretty used to taking last in this race, and yet still feeling like I couldn't have paddled it that much faster or better. It is so fun to paddle, and to paddle the entire run top to bottom in 40 minutes is exceptional.