July 30, 2005
The 23rd Annual River Run, well.... I came home with a trophy and an afternoon downpour brought the water up to an awesome level for my first GT run. Oh, the trophy, I stopped by my parent's house and picked up my 1985 Junior Division Trophy so that I could put it in Jackson's room, ha, I got no where near a trophy run, but I did have a blast.
Jeff and I were anxious to register, but found ourselves first in line for an hour wait for a shuttle. Once at the hydro-station, we only waited a few minutes to put in, but long enough to spot the NCPaddlers whom we recognized from their website.
I left the starting line way too hopped up on adrenaline, had we any patience, we would have been well served to have made a practice run. The first two rapids were smooth, but going into the third fall, the one right at the bridge, I spent too much time worrying about the play-boats in the way and not enough time setting up a line. I realized late that I was going river left around the big rock, something I've never done. I should have stuck with that, but tried to correct and ended up rolling through the fall into the pool below. That meant a swim dragging my boat to a log on river left. I propped the bow on the log, then lifted the stern to drain the water. I still had to drag the kayak back under the bridge to river right so that I could get back in. The time that took killed me. I finished with a time of 45 minutes, the winner was 39 minutes. I didn't have a shot at winning a trophy, but it's nice to know that without the crash I would have been within a minute or two anyway.
Once back in the boat and after getting through Basketball Falls I decided that the only thing I could do to make up for my spill was paddle, paddle, paddle. So I didn't stop paddling until I crossed the finish line.
I did get temporarily wedged on a rock when I tried getting around a patch of tubers, but the skirt held and it only delayed me for about thirty seconds.
After the race, we ate subs at Deana and Martin's river house while waiting out the thunderstorm, then took out the GT for some play runs. I loved it, loved it, loved it. So much fun. Jeff rocked his late day run too, going river right on Basketball Falls with no swims. I only went over once with the GT and I'm not sure why that happened, it was in a pretty non-descript part of the river. So after twenty-some paddles, I made my first two flips on the same afternoon.
Everyone gathered again this year at Martin's dad's house in front of Clark's Falls. It was great to have a cheering section, not to mention the subs, wraps, cookies and cakes waiting on us.