Wilson Creek Gorge
November 30th
Level = -7

Glorious Sunday morning spent paddling at Wilson Creek.  The sky was blue and the water clear.  The temps climbed from 33 to 65 while we were on the water.  The early morning angle of the sun made the riverbed glow.  I was just super stoked to be back in the gorge for the first time since Spring.  John, Vince, Alison, Ed and I met me at the take-out at 9:30.  We were on the water at 10:25 and finished the first lap at 12:15.  Vince and I knocked over an hour off that when we bombed a second lap in 42 minutes.  I was off the river and driving back home for another Thanksgiving dinner by 1:45. 
I chose to leave the GoPro at home and regretted it all morning as I witnessed one spectacular thing after another.  It started with Vince's 360 rail slide early in the run.  Then Alison slid into the bottom of Little Woodall sideways and was held in a long side surf.  I snapped photos of her until she flipped and rolled up with blood on her chin, yelling "Get me out of here!!!!"  I paddled up beside her and held her boat while John climbed out of his Blackfly to throw a throw rope to her.  The two boat side surf was actually pretty fun.  I told Alison that we could sit like that for hours, no worries.  After John fished us out, we saw that Alison had a hole all the way through her gum.  In typical Alison fashion, she was still smiling.  And that was not the end of her fun.  At the bottom of the rock jumble above 10foot, she pulled alongside John on river right.  Her RPM started to sink as water pushed it under the edge of an undercut rock.  She stayed cool and let it slide through backwards.  At Razorback, Alison hit the top ledge sideways and did a backwards 360, popping out perfectly at the bottom.  At Maytag, Alison's RPM plugged deep and started going backwards into the washing machine before she hammered her way back out.  She bloodied her nose when her paddle hit it in Thunderhole.  And through all that excitement, he only swim was when her RPM slammed the wall at autoboof and she was stuck upside down against the rock.  And threw it all, she was having a blast.  Our only other swim was when Ed flipped somewhere along the way.  John had a good day in his Blackfly and only rolled once at the bottom of the rail slide at the end of the run.  It was a dry hair day for me, thanks to a lot of bracing.  As far as I know it was a dry hair day for Vince, although I did see him make at least one practice roll.  Vince had smooth lines all day. 
At 10 foot on the first lap, I dried up at the top and found myself going backwards into the far left slot.  Luckily I managed to work it back around by the time I hit the bottom.  My boofs at Autoboof were pretty sweet on both laps and I managed to hit the high boof line at Razorback on both laps.  The jumbles all went fine, but I did broach in a non-descript part at least once, maybe twice, and pitoned at No Name on lap one.  I loved the boof at Boatbuster on the first lap, but on the second lap I decided that it was time for me to explore the left line as I had never taken it.  I ended up in a pocket of rocks on the left and had to maneuver around in order to get back out.  I took the trap door line at Triple Drop on lap two and the standard line on the first lap.  All in all, I think things went pretty good while we were on the water.  It was a great day and I hope to get back up there soon.

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