Low water continues remorselessly
Well, I suppose that despite the unseasonably warm weather, the paddling season might be starting to get close to finishing, although that's totally a matter of opinion. However, my favorite part of the end of the season here in colorado (which is a lot like saying "my favorite part of being eaten by a giant octopus...") is the Big Thompson. Near the end of the season, there are usually a couple good releases through the Big T, and it makes for some awesome paddling. It's a pretty good run even when other stuff is running, so in the late season when Gore is down to 1,000 and Barrel Springs is at its winter level, the Big T suddenly seems like the best run ever paddled by humankind.
Over the past couple weeks, these last few releases have made my life an emotional rollercoaster ride. One minute it's perfect at 200 cfs, and I'm dancing around my office, the next, down to just 70, and I ride home to lie in bed and cry myself to sleep. At one point, I got desperate enough to run it at 80 cfs, which was admittedly on the bony side, but surprisingly fun. I have my own names for pretty much every move in the 1/2 mile long run, but at 80 cfs, I got to experiment with some totally new lines. I also finally got a look at a couple of the rocks that I always seem to piton at normal flows. This will help me plan better lines once there's water again. I also had a handful of laps at medium flows, which were even better than the low flow laps.
I've picked out my favorite photos from the various trips we did, and put them in the order in which they are run. Have fun guessing which photos were at 80 and which were at 200. Here's the slideshow.
Here are some of my favorite favorites showcased.
|The note I left on my office door. "Attention [Physics] 141 students: I had to go kayaking unexpectedly. Very sorry. I plan to be back at about 5:00." Full Album|
|Garbage Disposal, with some thick frost coating the rocks in the foreground. No snow or ice allowed until the offseason. Full Album|
|The one mini-rapid that I don't have a name for. It's between V Slide and Awesome Boof. Full Album|
|I even managed to convince Natalie to join me. Here she is entering the last rapid: Canon Shot Full Album|
|Here's an angle on Canon Shot that's hard to get. Natalie Kramer Photo. Full Album|