July 11, 2015
7500KWs = 2.38-2.32 on the gauge
I was joined by Will, Dale and Emily for a night of camping by
the river. Amy and the boys came up late to roast a few marshmallows and
to pick blackberries and raspberries, but left before dark. I enjoyed the
good company and a cold IPA or two by the campfire before turning in for what
turned out to be a rainy night. The next morning, after Dale and Emily
left and after a breakfast of berry filled pancakes, eggs and bacon, Will and I
went exploring along the creek bed behind Martin's old house. We followed
the stream for as long as we could, then turned up hill making it all the way to
the top in Bellspur. The round trip hike took roughly an hour and made for
a good early morning workout. We walked out of the woods, a little muddy,
sweaty and tired just in time to drop our boats at the top with the eleven
o'clock crowd. I drove back to camp, assuming that I would catch a ride
back up. I was just a few minutes too late for the first wave of shuttle
vehicles though, so I just walked to the put-in. I played as much as I
could at the Powerhouse rapid before the gang started down river, then made a
fun play filled trip to Albert's Bridge. From there, John, James, Will,
Joey, Woody, Ed and I headed back up top for a 2nd lap that ended at my camp.
I had even more fun playing at Powerhouse on the 2nd lap, although I did come a
little too close to hitting Alison when I cartwheeled out of the hole.
I saw lots of the regulars on both runs, like Sammy, Brooks and Jack. plus Ann who I had not seen in forever and Randy and Jennifer from Raleigh. I ran into Brian and learned that our old rooster Daisy now has kids and has grown much taller. Like last weekend, it was hard to tell which group I was paddling with as they all flowed into each other and stretched far down the river. I saw a small amount of carnage from new paddlers and rec boaters, but it was an uneventful day for the most part, although John did gash his brow with his t-grip on the 2nd lap. The level was dropping on the 2nd lap, but the play spots were still fun. The enders at the top three rapids were all good and the downstream surfs were fun. I even pulled out a few stern squirts, which I haven't done in awhile, preferring instead to initiate with an ender. I also took the time to surf a few small waves for a really long time. For some of them I just let the boat sit down in the hole while I sat the paddle out of the way on my shoulder. The water felt fantastic, it was great decompressing at camp and as usual, seeing so many friends turned out to be the best part.