Friday, May 28, 2010


Water is precious, powerful, and providing. In order to fully appreciate it, one must embrace its fluid character and ever-changing nature. Sometimes, the river is high and you feel very small and humbled by its extreme power. Other times, its low and you feel more in control. Lately, the rivers have been high, and I feel humbled by it. No matter the case, the river is always there to make you confront your fears, and either overcome them, or walk around them for another day. The river is almost like a personal psychiatrist that tells you how well your mind and body are functioning together. If your mind wanders away from the present moment, then your body will follow accordingly, and you won't be able to stick the line. When worldly matters infiltrate your attention while on the river, the jedi-like focus required to run the Burly-Q sandwiches with extra swirl is lost. One must be Full Throttle warrior when kayaking, or the river will Charge you a fee for not giving your all. Its a very clear and concise relationship. Water requires respect. Respect the water, and you will reap the ultimate healing benefits from it, whether kayaking or taking a drink. I feel blessed to experience the pristine rivers of California in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. We have been charging quite hard this season, and now I want to share some photos, videos, and stories we have captured along the way.

Dinkey Creek

I would usually say this run is the best "bang for your buck" in cali, but not in this case. Trying to, as Jonas from Germany would say "make", this river early in the spring is sketchy at best due to road conditions. We rallied Stephen Wright's Sprinter van as far as we could in the snow, but didn't get very far before Stephen and Jason Craig opted out of the extra hike-in.

The rest of us, being Drew Duval, Taylor Fearrington, Laura Farrel, and Darin McQuiod, started dredging through the snow optimistically. We soon realized this wouldn't be a stroll in the park. Here I am Charging the snowy hike.
Photo by Laura

We hiked an extra 10 miles through the snow to get there.... so, you know its good. Drew and Taylor posing like pros.

We camped at the river, and awoke to a beautiful sunny day perfect for dropping some Danky waterfalls. Heres Darin testing out the Villain on some early drops.

There is a bad siphon after this picturesque drop... FYI!

Mr. Peaceful Warrior, Drew Duval, probing the Spike rapid, which needs a new name since the Spike is gone. I'm not complaining.

(Instert Yoda accent here) Platinum paddler he is yes.

Not afraid of the dark side.

Embrace the Swirl, and the Swirl will embrace you.

This was Taylor's first over-nighter... I think he got his boof on.

Laura styles the perfect 20 footer.

Royal Gorge training?

One of the many reasons I love Cali.

The rock in Nikki's drop is pretty nice.

Fluffy bunnies in there ya know.

Darin looks comfortable in the Burl Swirl.

Hydro boosting of a different sort.

Laura isn't afraid to bomb in like the rest of the boys.

Looks like a shower for Rambo.

You should go there... and I should go back.

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