Bluegrass Update - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-11-2005   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28
Bluegrass Update

We ran Bluegrass yesterday, the flow is definitely good and the water is very warm! Currently Wheatland Reservoir #2 is releasing about 450 CFS. According to the ranch people I talked to, we can expect these flows for a couple of weeks.

Just by coincidence I happen to work with one of the partners at the Flying X Ranch, so we were able to put on at their property which makes this run a reasonable 4 hours or so (about 8 miles). I also got the scoop on why we are not allowed to use their ranch as a put-in anymore. Apparently, they are having insurance problems -- to the point that they are not even allowed to offer their traditional hay ride meals behind horse drawn wagons anymore. So until their insurance problems are resolved, to access their property you have to be a guest of one of the owners there (there are currently 291 owners, many from the Fort Collins area) and those owners have to be on property the whole time your vehicle is on the property. We also had to sign waivers and pay a guest fee of $5 each.

The Flying X people are very nice, and they hope to be able to open up to kayakers in the near future. Through much trouble to themselves, they even took down all of the fences on the creek through the middle of their property, when I mentioned what a pain those fences are to boaters. They did however have to leave up their property line fences, but the lower one was easy to get under (didn't have to go under the upper one).

I don't think their troubles will get resolved this season ("all wagon rides cancelled until further notice"), but I will post when I hear that it is OK for us to use their land as a put-in again.

I think the run would be worth it, even if you had to do the whole long stretch. The water was very warm (rarity for Colorado), there were plenty of opportunities for play, and there was just enough action to keep you on your toes, even outside of the Main Event. From the Flying X Ranch property to the bridge, we only encountered 5 fences and although we made it under all of them in our boats it pays to keep a close eye out for them. (I ended up getting not clearing one, paddle jerked from hands and had to hand roll back up.)

I took a lot of video which I shrunk down for downloading if anybody's interested:

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Old 07-11-2005   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 317
The Main Event

This drop was named by Calvin Bergstrom as he was the first decender. It was in 1990 or 91 when we'd do it up on the bluegrass and one day he finally found the cojones to take the plunge. Those were the days...
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Old 07-11-2005   #3
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 11
alternate bluegrass putin???

hey all,
thanks for the update. a few of us were thinking about running it this friday and sounds like we'd be screwed if we had to use the ranch putin.

anyone have more beta on the alternate putin?

how much river milage it adds and class.

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Old 07-12-2005   #4
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Englewood, Colorado
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Nice job Brian! That one biiiiiig hole looks like a Willie Kern LVM California number.

I know the natives are restless, and I may have business in Steamboat fri/mon so maybe Cross this weekend. I'll holler at ya.
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Old 07-12-2005   #5
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 33
Nice work Binge! That Main Event does look nasty! At least the hole at the bottom of the big drop looks reasonably flushy. Way to gitter dun!

Did you get your paddle back from the Encampment?
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Old 07-12-2005   #6
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Lyons, Colorado
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Can you guys give advice if we'd like to run this stretch but do not know any members of the ranch? Is there an alternate put in? You guys want to run it Friday? Thanks Matt
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Old 07-12-2005   #7
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Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 499
It's not your cup of tea matt... :P Trust me.

However I would like to see some video of the 1st section right where it comes out of the hill, it's like no fun falls on steroids. I've been told it's not that bad, as long as your upright...
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Old 07-12-2005   #8
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 68
Run the good stuff

The stuff that starts right out of Wheatland#2, right at the tunnel, is what you need to do. Their is public access and if you drive all the way out their and don't run the top you are nuts. Drive the road toward Wheatland #3 when you cross a single lanebridge, it is the first one, take a left and keep taking lefts until you go to the bottom of the hill. get dressed, put in and hold on. This section is way better than main event by at least 150 times. For christ sake just run it and walk back to the top and do it again. 13 miles!! look out for fences they suck.
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Old 07-12-2005   #9
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28
Steve, I'm leaving for South Africa (and the Zambezi) tomorrow night, and I won't be back until late August. Just in time for Gore season! We'll get 'er done when I get back.

Chad, I'm pretty sure I lost that paddle for good on Encampment -- or some rancher in Nebraska is now smacking some cow ass with a nice Werner paddle.

Matt, check out the google map of the area, and even the satellite photos show the roads out there pretty well, should get you vectored in:

I think Adkins would be able to fill you in better, but according to the AW site the total is about 23 miles when you go from the reservoir. Even if I knew I had to go 23 miles and fight 20 more fences, I'd still probably do it again. Plus you get to check out the section coming out of the tunnel from the reservoir -- which we didn't get to do this last time around. From the looks of it though, I wouldn't want to be in my playboat for that, whereas I didn't feel too badly running everything else in the playboat.
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Old 07-12-2005   #10
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Brian you lucky bastard - I expect mad tales when you get back. Have a great time and watch for the hippos!
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