Rafting/rowing instruction near Salida - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-10-2010   #1
San Antonio, Texas
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 36
Rafting/rowing instruction near Salida

Although I have paddled canoes and kayaks for many years, I am new to rafts and catarafts. I'll be in the Salida area for about ten days in early August, and would like to receive instructions on rowing a 14' cataraft and paddling a 14' raft, both recently acquired. Trying to get ready for a trip on the Rio Chama later in the month. Anyone up for teaching a newbie? Any suggestions for professional instruction in that area? Thanks.

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Old 07-10-2010   #2
Jungle Jane's Avatar
Nederland, Co. nearest town., Either grace or kerfuffled
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 208
Saw your post about raft instruction. I might be able to help you out, but I'm tied up until August 10th. I ran boats professionally for 20 years, all kinds of water levels & crafts. If the timing is wrong, there are about 60 raft companies in the area. They do their official training/whitewater schools in the Spring, but there's plenty of "old" (experienced ) boatmen in the area, that would probably be happy to teach you for the right price. Do you have whitewater kayak experience, or is your kayak experience flat/ocean? Because if you already know how to "read water," you're 90% there. Why don't you give me a call in the next few days, so I can find out what your exact needs are; then if I am not available during the time you need, I may be able to hook you up with someone who can help you out. I know a few excellent boatmen in Salida.
Karen 303 642-0823
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Old 07-10-2010   #3
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 844
I can help you out if Karen can't do to time constraints and I am local to the area. I only have 17 years experience and I guide locally. The earlier the better in August as they are probably going to turn off the Ark around that time. I will IM you my contact info.
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Old 07-11-2010   #4
San Antonio, Texas
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 36
Thanks for the replies. Yeah, didn't get onto the Arkansas until late in August last year, and had to make do with 300 cfs (perhaps appropriate given our limited whitewater kayaking skills). That's why we will be arriving before the Rio Chama trip this year. Should arrive in Garfield around Aug. 2 and leave for New Mexico on Aug. 12.

My "reading water" skills are fine, at least as far as shallow, rocky Central Texas rivers are concerned. Have also canoed on the Rio Grande in the Big Bend area and on the Chama last year. But rowing is foreign to me, as are barge-like inflatables. I think it's the transition to those boats that I need the most help with.
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