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TR – Gull River 20070818

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    Water Level: 8.3 all three days

    I will try and be brief in this one.

    Friday 17-Aug-2007:

    Chelsea and I headed up to Minden and got there around 2:30pm. We setup camp first including a tarp as the sky was getting dark. We headed down to scout the river. This was Chelsea’s first time there. This was also my first time there in two year since the accident that ended my kayaking career. I managed to do a sneak attack with the camera and scare the crap out of Gail Shields. Shortly after that it started to rain and then the thunderstorm and lighting started. We went back to camp and played scrabble and waited out the storm. We managed to get on the river at 5pm for 2.5 hours of excellent play. We met up with a couple of the McMaster WhiteWater club that had come up early as the rest of the gang was coming up Saturday. Chelsea played at the bottom as the current was really zooming. I managed to have some excellent runs from below the falls catching as many eddys as I could. I was very happy with my runs considering I was super nervous about paddling the river. I was able to get on the bottom surf wave once. I managed to get some really excellent side surfs at the ledge below the surf wave. After that it was back to camp to make dinner and then hang out with some of Chelsea’s friends at the McMaster camp. We actually ended up sitting around some others group fire until they finished dinner. I was tired and finally crashed around 10pm.

    Saturday 18-Aug-2007:

    8am came quick. We had breakfast and walked over to the other side of the river to see if Greg showed up as he was picking up his boat from being repaired. We finally managed to hookup at the lot and then went back to camp to get our boats and gear. Chelsea started carrying her boat down to the bottom while Greg and I ran from below the falls. We caught up to Chelsea in the river right eddy below the footbridge. Greg and I headed down to the left eddy above the Otter Slide. Chelsea started heading down on river right … paused in paddling … and went over. Greg and I both yelled SWIM when we saw her wet exit. She almost made it to river left eddy but ended up swimming the left side of the Otter Slide (see pictures). All I can say is no visit to the hospital today. Everyone she talked to through out the day told her she got off lucky.

    My sister and brother in-law showed up to watch. She basically told me I was crazy but I already new that but what she really meant was crazy for paddling white water. She managed to get some pictures of me out of my boat when I tried to eddy out and surf the wave below the Otter Slide. Lets just say my boat knows how to roll back up by itself without me in it (see pictures). Thanks Greg for bringing my boat to me.

    The rest of the day was kind of a blur as I could not believe the amount of people I knew that were paddling on the river.

    But some of my memorable moments were:

    1. Sneak attack up on Boydo and grab him by the back of his PFD and dunk him and pull him back up. He looked stunned like a dear caught in the headlights. Yes there was a threat of payback.

    2. Gonzo aka Martin using a double bladed paddled with a smile on his face. Not sure what possessed him to to that (see pictures).

    3. Fiona is now off my xmas card list. First I see her in a C1 which is fine but then she hopped into a real kayak with a double blade in her hand and started paddling. I am really disappointed with her … lol.

    4. Watching Suzanne and Seamus run the falls in a tandem boat (see pictures).

    5. Watching Dan run the falls for the first time ever (see pictures).

    6. Watching Martin run the falls (see pictures).

    7. Listening to the loud shriek from Suzanne as her and Seamus both took a forward stroke and blew there angle for surfing below the Otter Slide and ended up running into the big river left rock at the surfwave. Suzanne was basically in a rock splat position and basically yelled back to Seamus I can’t do anything.

    8. Side surfing my ass off at the ledge.

    9. Campfire at the McMaster site.

    10. Butter tarts from TimmY Who’s. And yes I made sure Boydo got one.

    After a long day of paddling it was off to make dinner. I did up the rice and showed Chelsea how to do the curry, raisin, and chickpea combo. We had extra so I invited Martin and Scott to join us for dinner. I had not really talked to Scott much before but it was nice to get to know him better. After that it was a nice relaxing drink social at the McMaster site around the fire and then bed by 10pm.

    Sunday 19-Aug-2007:

    Crap … 8am again … had sausages, eggs, and toast for breakfast. We finally go our butts down to the river around 10ish. I dropped Chelsea off at the bottom and went back to do my run from below the falls. Man I wanted to run the falls bad but I just did not have it in me to do it yet. Today was more of a repeat of Saturday except I ran into more people I knew. I spent quite a bit of time taking pictures from river left when I notice my boat mysteriously disappeared and was sitting on the river right shore. Boydo decided that I needed the exercise and had to swim to get it. I wish he would have at least left my helmet but I had to swim over without it. Don’t worry .. I paid back the favour when he wasn’t looking.

    The most memorable moment of the day was this dog named Foster. He would follow his owner anywhere and everywhere in the river.

    See pictures at [url:2z8pk6t7][/url:2z8pk6t7]

    I had some excellent runs from cave eddy with Laura from the McMaster group. We played follow the leader with me in front. I end out of my boat for about 20 seconds when I tried to ferry from a river left eddy above a rock and slide into the eddy behind a bigger rock in the middle that was a few feet over from it. I nailed that move on my next trip down the river.

    I was totally wiped after a few more runs. We headed up to the campground around 3pm and were on our way home by 4pm.

    Here are some of the selected pictures:


    Until the next report …. SYOTR

    The Great Gonzo

    I was NOT kayaking!!! I never even left My C1! I was still kneeling when that picture was taken.
    A kayaker was interested in trying out a single blade in his kayak, so we swapped paddles for a few minutes, in an attempt from myself to show him the LIGHT!!
    That is NOT a smile on my face, more a grimace. I NEVER left my C1, I used that training stick still kneeling in my trusty old Drakkar Wheelboy C1.

    In defense of Fiona, she was only kayaking because a friend of hers wanted to try a C1, and she helped out. A worthy cause, she does not deserve to be derided by you for that Colin, to the contrary, you should commend her for trying to advance the cause!


    Awesome pictures as always Colin!

    "The Great Gonzo!":16n27ni6 wrote:
    That is NOT a smile on my face, more a grimace.[/quote:16n27ni6]

    He does look miserable, and looks like he’s trying to hold it like a C-stick.

    If you dark side guys are trying to recruit, more should try and get K1ers into your open boats/C1s.

    The Great Gonzo
    "Grant":3ken6kzx wrote:
    "The Great Gonzo!":3ken6kzx wrote:
    That is NOT a smile on my face, more a grimace.[/quote:3ken6kzx]

    He does look miserable, and looks like he’s trying to hold it like a C-stick.

    Kinda felt like getting off a finely tuned race bike and getting on a kid’s bike with training wheels… LOL…


    "Grant":29pgrxac wrote:
    If you dark side guys are trying to recruit, more should try and get K1ers into your open boats/C1s.[/quote:29pgrxac]

    When a Darkside K1’ers wants to get in my boat … I say sure … and then take the blackmail pics complete with smiles.


    Mmmm… buttertart was tasty.

    Brad Sutton

    Wish I could of paddled the Minden/Gull River before I left for Calgary!

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