Wilson Creek Gorge
February 27, 2011
Level = -9.5

On my way down 77 to meet Joe on 421, I saw a yellow creeker heading north and thought "I wonder where they are heading at this time on a Sunday morning?"  A few minutes later my cell phone rang.  Joe said "That was me, I'm turning around."  After we finally both settled at the meeting spot and put both boats on my car, we drove up to meet Kevin and Patrick at the takeout at 11.  Joe and I checked the guage on the way in and thought it looked like -9.  It possibly was a little lower than that.  We put all the boats on my car, dressed for the river, immediately started sweating in the 70 degree sun, crammed all the bags into the trunk, squeezed into the Grand Am and....  well, we didn't do anything else at that point because I realized that my keys were in my jeans which were rolled up and stuffed into a duffel bag in the trunk.  That wouldn't have been a big deal except that a few weeks ago I discovered that the lever in the front of the car no longer pops the trunk lid up.  We all started working on ways to get to the keys.  One of my bright ideas resulted in a nice dent in the trunk to remind me next time to check for my keys before closing the lid.  According to the owner's manual the seats fold, but that didn't appear to be an option in reality.  Eventually we pried a corner of the rear seats up enough for me to snake my arm through a hole into the trunk, where I fished around blindly through all the bags until I found my duffel bag, unzipped it, found the jeans and pulled them through the hole.  So, now that we were all really hot, it was time to hit the river.  Not a lot of water, but a beautiful, beautiful day.  I can never leave WC without commenting on how scenic I think it is.  Below Thunderhole, I asked Joe to look back upstream.  "That's what creeking looks like" was my comment.  We had to bang our way through a lot of narrow slots and drug over plenty of rocks, but I didn't have to butt scooch off as many rocks as I thought I would.  In the end, I was definitely glad that I made the trek, even at -9, because it was an awesome day to be outside and now I know what WC is like when the level is that low.  And I always have a good time down there.  So I guess I'll drop my new min to -9, at least for when times are tough and it refuses to rain.  Saw a lot of rocks though that I hadn't seen before.  I was sure that we would land on rocks at the Boatbuster boof, but the landing was soft.  As usual, I think that was my favorite rapid of the day, although I was glad to make it two clean runs at Razorback in a row.  Triple drop was cool as well. 

It was great to paddle with all three of the guys that were on the river, I hadn't paddled with any of them in a long time.  As far as paddlers, we were the only four on the water all day.  I was glad Joe decided to hit WC.  He dry haired it, didn't broach, didn't piton, basically he didn't have any issues at all, so that was a pretty smooth first time run.  I slid my boat down the big rock into the river for the first time, the slide is more fun than the landing.  Kev made the slide too and I have that on video

So that was it, low water, high temps, clear water, great day to be outside.

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