WHY?? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-14-2014   #1
Old Guy in a PFD
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,106

So, the 2013 season is done for most, the 2014 season is............... so.................far.............. away.

Most know Schutzie hasn't gotten river wet for 30 years. Bunch of reasons for this, no excuses, I haven't gotten river wet. Deal with it.

Anyway, I have a question;

Why do you run? What's the motivation? Why do you run the way you do (Kayak VS rubber for example)?

Schutzie will start

I was introduced in 1967 on the Yampa, a school sponsored Outward Bound trip. We rowed old "insult boats"
Ran the next year as a guide on the school sponsored Outward Bound trip, and was introduced to paddle boats, surely a novelty at that time.

In 1973 I snagged D-9 in a bar parking lot. He said River, I said (!) and the rest is history; I worked for Rocky Mountain River Expeditions until 1978. Got a real job, got kids, got a boat, moved around the country, and so on.

Why did I do it?

First, I love the outdoors. My Grandfather was a mountain guide in Estes Park before it was a park. My mom is the youngest to climb Longs peak. I've always loved to be outside and around water.
The river has always been a way to just leave the crap behind and recenter myself; to be reminded about what is really important. I love getting my ass kicked in big water and I enjoy the float. I like it in steep canyons with no escape and rolling ranch land. I like paddling and I like rowing. I like meeting like minded people, and for the most part I like the other river people. I like doing something few other people have done, in places most people will never see.

So. What's your excuse?

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Old 01-14-2014   #2
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
I was hooked on boating from the time I sat in the canoe ride at the carnival.. Use to throw linkin logs in the gutter when it Would rain and Bought my first kayak in high school after kayaking in the pool during junior high. Basically learned only own in the playhole in Casper until some of the other guys got into it. Once pat toft moved back to Casper it was game over..

I love boating because I enjoy the real world. The concrete jungle
Is no jungle. Also why I work outside in the winter aswell. Nothing like being one of a handful to paddle thru the bottom of Fremont Canyon, knowing back in the 1800s somebody tried to row thru it in wooden boats, and growing up around the area and spending lots of time in some of the same places we kayak. Brings back memories of good times with my dad growing up.
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Old 01-14-2014   #3
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 954
Because I have yet to find another activity that I like as much. Got hooked in '86, and you know the rest...
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Old 01-14-2014   #4
Old Guy in a PFD
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,106
Originally Posted by DoStep View Post
Because I have yet to find another activity that I like as much. Got hooked in '86, and you know the rest...
Well, yes of course, but WHY is it so enjoyable?

I mean, you think about it for a minute, and it makes little sense. The equipment is expensive, there's a lot of it, you increasingly need government permission, it's a sport where you haul your own............ S%^T ............. literally- everywhere, and it is certainly not the most comfortable sport you can find.
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Old 01-14-2014   #5
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,042
I came to Colorado for the winters, only to find out that spring/summer is what captivates me. Now while riding on powder days I think of the addition to spring runoff and can’t help but smile. Kayaking is one of the few activities that actually makes me focus and be in the moment. I have never once had a work or life worry pop into my head when in a rapid or playing on the local wave. Being in an environment that you cannot control and must react to is like nothing else to me. The anticipation and nerves I feel on a new section of river never happen on a new mountain, or single track, or any other activity I pursue. The feeling I have at the bottom of a rapid is elation I don't find in many places. Running the same rivers over and over never gets old and you are never on the same water.

Add in the multiday trips with fun whitewater and that is my Valhalla. One of the few places where I can figuratively and quite literally escape. Where a day in I have adapted to a routine of pure happiness. Wake up, your only obligation to pack up camp before a day on the river. Spend the day floating down a river and taking in the natural wonders. Hot springs, side hikes, wildlife – all seem to be the best on a river trip. End each day at camp again around a campfire in some of the most beautiful places on earth. I am not a writer, many others have done it justice with better descriptions. Short version is it makes me happy.

Oh, and while I have much love, respect, and barely enough skill to navigate a raft – y’all are crazy. I have never felt more out of control, petrified, and concerned as I did when floating an 18 footer through helicopter eddy on the grand. Thank you for all you do and carry – but I will stick with my hardshell.
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Old 01-14-2014   #6
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,493
Paddling whitewater is a beautiful dance with the most compelling of all features in the natural world: moving water. Along with the dance are massive mental and physical challenges, incredible landscapes, the most wonderfully flawed and amazing people anywhere, the absolute best aesthetics and enough life truths to be gained from all of the above to keep it fresh always.
The sunshine walked beside her
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Old 01-14-2014   #7
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,203
No Turning Back

I too have always been fascinated by water, I sent Popsicle sticks down the storm drain in those same afternoon thunderstorms. I was blessed to also have parents that were outdoor enthusiasts and we always lived "out of town" where there were still creeks, ponds, lakes, some sort of "wild" water. My folks still tell of my propensity to get wet no matter where I was or what I was supposed to be doing. One incident prior to an aunt's wedding involved me at say 8 years, a tux, a creek and what I thought was a fool proof excuse; you know, a fish splashed me!

Our family time on the water revolved around an old yellow canoe. We went everywhere in it I'm sure I spent months of my young life in that canoe. Because fish live in water and water was my life (and my dad loved to fish) fishing became my main obsession. As I grew I began hauling the canoe everywhere, I even made a trailer for my bike so I could haul it across the field to the Creek behind my buddies house but my mom caught me before I got out of the yard and mumbled something about water falls, rapids and death but I had already quit listening and was on to plan B...

By the end of high school I had met a few friends that were die hard steelhead fishermen, we spent every waking hour on the river banks fishing. Then one of my buddies lucked into a driftboat his uncle was getting rid of. It had no oars, the trailer barely rolled but we spent a few days cleaning it up, I stole some oars from a project boat of my dad's and we hit the river. That began my obsession! We spent the next 4 years floating and fishing any thing we could. We drug that boat all over Western Oregon and learned a ton and firmly implanted the river's hook into my sole. I eventually moved to Montana for school, though it was only an excuse find more water.

Within a year in Montana, I found an old raft to add to the old driftboat I drug over from Oregon and spent the next half a dozen years dragging them around Montana, fishing and floating just about every piece of water that was floatable. In '99 I was invited on a Smith River trip which I of course jumped on. We launched on a sunny May morning and 5 days later when we pulled into the take out I realized I had found heaven. 15 Smith trips and a dozen or so more exotic multi-days and I am still certain I know where I want to go when I die.

It is still the only place I can truly relax...that's not really accurate, I sit here and struggle to find the words for the peace I feel on the river. My absolute favorite time, favorite thing to do, my true happy place is the moment I sit in the seat, on any particular river morning ready to shove off. The boat is rigged, the camp site is cleaned, my coffee cup is filled with captain n' coke and I sit there feel the water bob the boat around, take a sip and poof, pure happiness....of course it only gets better once you get to share it with your family, see them melt into bliss...

That's why I do it!
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Old 01-14-2014   #8
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Poundtown, Wokastan
Paddling Since: 420
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,642
As a kid my dad took me to the lochsa river often. One day (late 70's) I watched a group of kayaker killing it in fiberglass boats. From that point on - the only thing I wanted to do was kayak that shit! 30 years later I am still hooked.
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Old 01-14-2014   #9
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,820
Because I'm a waterdog.
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 01-15-2014   #10
RiverMamma's Avatar
ebbing, flowing..., CO, NM
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 242
Because it is Bliss! Because it is Joy! Because it makes my Heart Sing! Because floating down a River is the most Amazing feeling in the world! Because moving water is the most Magical element in the world! Because I feel at home in Canyons and on River banks. Because the River sings the sweetest lullaby and rocks me to sleep as the arms of Mother Nature herself. Because the River Is My Element... Because it is in my Blood...
Journeys of a River Mamma: The Genetics of River Passion
Journeys of a River Mamma: Genetics- Addendum
Journeys of a River Mamma Blog "Ever onward, ever forward, ever down the River!"- Ed Abbey
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