Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Virginia Classic

Once again, with October rolling around, I found myself back at the Russell Fork in 2008. This is truly a remarkable area in its beautiful & remote nature. Started out the weekend boating the Upper Russell Fork & camping at Breaks Interstate Park with my good friends from SRVCC.

John cruisin' through Twenty Stitches

Bev catching air in Twenty Stitches

The club taking over Breaks Interstate Park

That night, the crew rolled into camp & caught some shut-eye before undertaking the gorge the next day. All together, it was Edgar, Trevyn, Eric, Justin & myself heading into the RFG that morning. I remembered vividly looking into the gorge one year ago when getting out at garden hole & planning to run it one day. Little did I realize I'd come back to run the gorge at low water six months afterwards and at release a year to the date after that first trip to the Russell Fork. It was a nervous anticipation, but I was ready to go.

Unknown boater flyin off the left of Towers

My unconventional line at Towers

We took a good bit of time scouting at Towers. After watching multiple boaters run various lines, I decided to go for the far left line of this rapid. Obviously, I did not clean it as the unknown boater above. Rather, I nearly got flipped by a submerged rock, hit a hard right brace and had to power through Tower's juicy hole running left to right. Continuing down river all but Edgar & Trevyn in our group portaged Fist. This was the first of many rapids I've been glad to set down my ego, pick up my boat & walk. We finished out the river enjoying the classic drops of the RFG....Triple Drop, Climax & El Horrendo.

Edgar punching through at Triple Drop

Trevyn walking back for more @ El Horrendo

Trevyn running the left line

Justin firing up El Horrendo

Overall, I had fairly good lines the rest of the day and the exhilarating feeling of nailing my boof at Climax. Truly enjoyed this gem of a river and amazed at how far I had come in one year's time. It was also a turning point in my paddling. While I continue to challenge myself, I am no more heedlessly firing up any big drop I find. As they say, there are old boaters & there are bold boaters; however, there are no old bold boaters. It's o.k. to walk now & then.

No comments: