Kibler Valley, Virginia
June 28, 2008 - 6,400kw
My friend Jeff and I took our sons to Kibler Valley to play in the low water. We arrived at 11 and soon set out to build a dam at 7Stitches that would funnel as much current as possible through a single channel so that the kids could have faster tube rides. And also because Ben just loves to build dams. We had already eaten lunch and were putting the last few rocks in place on the far side of the river when I noticed that we had actually created a pretty good rapid in our channel and that water was backed up enough to start spilling over our dam. I was pretty proud of our work and stood back to admire it. That's when we realized that it wasn't our dam making the water rise, it was a release! Within seconds our dam was no longer visible. What a surprise. My Fun was on the roof rack, so we loaded up the boys and quickly headed to the hydro station. My guess is the release was around 7500 or maybe even less, but it was enough to make a trip down the river. I immediately paddled down to Public Enemy II, but didn't find enough water there to play, so I moved on down to the boof rock and surfed some there. I then found that the level was perfect for squirting at Basketball Falls. I really enjoyed the play there, but I eventually paddled away from the falls. I hadn't paddled far when I decided that I would have more fun at Basketball than anywhere else, so I hiked back up and played some more. It was shallow enough that a few of my rolls didn't make it all the way around until I had moved pretty far downstream though and I quickly tired of paddling all the way back up to the big rock, so I decided to again start paddling down river. I didn't want to make the boys stay in the van for too long and since the water wasn't really that high, my plan was to only paddle a short distance, then take out and ride back down to 7Stitches, where I could surf while the kids played in the river. Unfortunately, my paddle snapped like a twig moments before I planned to pull to the side of the river. My theory is that a crack had developed and it was just a matter of time until it broke, because it snapped with almost no pressure as I was trying to paddle back up into a shallow rapid to surf. The worst part was that I had actually talked to Jeff at the Put-In about what a good paddle it had been and about all the abuse it had taken without breaking. It was a total jinx. Still, it was nice getting the surprise release and getting the stern squirt practice in.