Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year's Eve: The Return to Wilson's Creek

Last week on Wilson's was enough to wet the appetite and, after a weekend of rain, I could think of no better place to go creekin' for the last time in 2007. Grant was more than willing to get his first taste of a class IV creek and, with a few calls to some kayaking buddies, I had Joel and Pete lined up to go as well. Grant and I got to the put-in, geared up, and waited for Joel's arrival to start the first run of the day.

Grant ready to fire up Wilson's

The scene at the put-in for Wilson's Gorge

We completed a quick run down the creek with Joel and started walking up the hill at the take-out right as Pete was rolling in.....couldn't have asked for better timing. Pete gave us all a shuttle up to the top. Unfortunately, Joel only had time for one run and, having styled that in his playboat, had to head back home. Along with adding Pete to our crew, our good buddy Scott from last week showed up and also put on with us. Having a strong crew of four, we headed on down to the first big rapid.....Ten Foot Falls!!!

Grant, looking small, at the entrance for Ten Foot

Pete in the entrance rapid for Ten Foot

Grant Stylin' down Ten Foot Falls

Scott at the lip of Ten Foot

Pete punching the hole at Ten Foot

After taking some photographs of the others, I threw the camera down to Grant and headed back up to run the falls myself. From down below, Grant was able to get a different perspective of the drop.

Ten Foot Falls from down below

Kevin bombing down Ten Foot Falls

Melting into the hole at Ten Foot

We headed on down the creek, firing up Boatbuster and Thunderhole and eventually hitting the approach to Triple Drop. Grant had gotten out to film at those two bigger, back-to-back rapids and did the same after running Triple Drop.

Grant at the top drop in Triple Drop

Grant climbing up to film

Pete in the eddy above Triple Drop

Thumbs up from Pete

Scott bombing down Triple Drop

Once further downriver, we came to one of my favorite rapids....The Wall!!! I had some trouble hitting the autoboof during our two runs on Christmas Eve, but had nailed it on our first run earlier that day. So, I was determined to get a sweet shot of the boof and, along with Pete & Grant, ran this one several times with that purpose in mind.

Shot of Wilson's Gorge at The Wall

Pete setting his sights on The Wall

Grant boofing at The Wall

Kevin catching some air at The Wall

After catching some rail and boofing a few more drops, we finished up our second run. There was time and water left for another run that day. So, putting away the camera and video recorder, we all four bombed down Wilson's for an exhilarating last run. Racing down the creek, I hit my lines more dead on this time than on any of my previous runs. It was a good way to end the day and, for that matter, the year. I only hope 2008 will bring many more opportunities to run some of the classic southeastern creeks.

The Crew rounding out 2007

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