Pueblo Whitewater Park Good to Go (618cfs)
A cigar touting Groucho Marx greets you as you huff down the bike path with boat on shoulder, Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others. Groucho quips. You may be tempted to call this the Pueblo WW Hike & Play, but try not to gripe too much, or youll be out of breath. Youre not at work today, and its not Chukar trail.
The water March 12, 2005 is 48 degrees and 618cfs (ARKMOFCO http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?07099970
). Nice. The sun is shining brilliantly and there are a dozen or so boaters here this afternoon. The main river features are finished, but the landscaping is not in yet, so it is concrete, boulders, earth movers, and dirt for today. The scene is urban and industrial, but the water is clean and fresh. So, crank up the Groove Salad http://somafm.com/
and get in the mood.
Here is a brief description of the features. There is a levy that is dramatically painted with large oversized murals. Each one tells its own story. So, I will describe the features by the major mural close to that drop. You can always count them on your fingers, one, two
First feature is where the diversion dam used to be, congratulations to the Corps of Engineers for removing that hideous impediment and replacing it with an environmentally friendly fish ladder, which serendipitously serves as a kayaking feature.
The feature is a long green wave. As you approach, a large skull mural greets your descent. Once past the two guardian rock posts, a smashing crescendo of excitement begins. When you roll back up, an insane clown is staring down on you, giggling and laughing like some nightmarish carnival ride.
#2 Marley Wave
The Second feature is a playful, laid back wave with the ganja smile of Bob Marley looking over you. One Love, one love, lets get together and feel alright. This feature is a feel alright wave. It gives you time to warm up the mind and muscles and feeling aright.
#3 Grim Reaper
You will be sharing the working class third feature with the Grim Reaper and Karl Marx. Get to work for the masses on this wave. It is fun, retentive, a hint of floral and fruit, and a sweet spot to keep you working all afternoon. Just be sure your boss doesnt see you.
#4 Paddlers Hole
The Forth feature has new mural http://www.pueblopaddlers.org/DSC01088.JPG
in the making by the Pueblo Paddlers http://www.pueblopaddlers.org/
. The artwork is a photo of two Pueblo Paddlers giving the OK on the drop. Special thanks to Bob Walker, John Zupanic, Gary Lacy, and Pueblo Paddlers Club for their vision, dream, patience, and direction in getting this park completed. A long haul, 1997 to 2005, it has ended with fantastic results. Thanks guys! This wave may be difficult to catch from river right, but easy to hit on center.
The Fifth feature is mild, glassy, and retentive. Long rides, carving turns, side surf, and flat spins can be attained here. Above you, as you play, are a faint mural of two young kids. You cant see it from the wave, but on the walk up, it is quite impressive. Take a look.
#6 Troubled Waters
The Sixth feature is very similar to the one described above. It is near several mosaic type drawings. The fifth and sixth holes may be a place to start if you are new to playboating and surfing. Beware: If you turn off your mind, and float downstream, the seventh hole is a mighty surprise!
#7 Soul Keeper
The Seventh feature is located under various psychedelic paintings. This feature already has a reputation. With several swimmers to its credit, and a broken paddle as well, the feature is fast, narrower, steep and very retentive, enough so to be called sticky. Hit it river left to check it out first. A recent swimmer described this drop as a long lesson in breathless paddling. While Train Spotting, if you flip and breathe with the fishes, it will let you go, but only after serious psychedelic experience.
#8 Corn Goddess
The Eighth feature is below a long poem on guilt. It has a mellow surf wave on either side. Get out before the Union Bridge, because after that, it is a snooze float. If you decide to nap all the way to the Santa Fe bridge, there is an unfinished diversion dam drop there, be careful, I dont think anyone runs it.
The Pueblo Whitewater Park is a small section of 9 miles of river restoration work in the Arkansas River Corridor Legacy Project. You will be able to float from below Lake Pueblo Dam (Class II) through the WW Park to the Santa Fe Bridge. If you run the whole stretch, there is a low head dam hazard at Pueblo Blvd Bridge, it is suggested to portage.
The Official Grand Opening of the Pueblo Whitewater Park is May 6-7-8, 2005. Kayak equipment reps. will be down for demos and the pros will be there to show off their stuff. Paddle Magazine is going to do a story at the festival. For more information, contact Bob Walker at Edge, Ski, & Paddle, 107 N. Union Avenue, Pueblo (719) 583-2021.
The hardest part is finding the put-in parking lot. There are some one way streets, so pay attention to the traffic signs.
Take I-25 South to Pueblo, take the 1rst Street exit, go west on 1rst to Union turn left, follow Union up and across the river (Union Street Bridge) to Corona St. turn right, follow Corona along the course and take the first right (no street sign?), stay right and follow the street around the bend, stay right and then down a hill to a dirt parking lot. Look for kayakers.
You can get there from Forth Street as well, West 4th St until you cross the river and turn left on Chappa.
(4/3/2005, EDITED w/ corrected names of the freatures & directions -eg)