Saturday, July 17, 2010

Colorado Competition Wrapup

Natalie's final lap in the Homestake race. Full album


Well, it's that time again, where the competitions have more or less finished up for the season, and we have to brag about how well we did. This was a productive year for team Leif and Natalie. We attended the inaugural Auburn rodeo, the Teva Mountain Games, the Lyons rodeo, FIBArk, the Gunnison festival, and US freestyle Team Trials. In all but three of those events, at least one of us advanced to at least the first round of finals. Natalie had a top 5 finish at the Homestake creek race, and I podiumed at Gunnison. In fact, I actually took all three top three spots at Gunnison: First in the boatercross, second in the big trick contest, and third in the main rodeo. Also, it's hard to quantify, but I pretty much dominated the video of the Pine Creek race. My trashtalking was at a whole different level for that event.

Leif looping at the Teva Mountain Games in Vail. Photo by David Schmitt. Full album


However, if you've seen one rodeo, you've pretty much seen 'em all. At the beginning of the season, we were very motivated and took lots of photos, but after a couple weeks we began to lose energy, and focused more exclusively on paddling. Unfortunately, most of the photos from Auburn got corrupted, so we seem to mostly have photos of the Vail games. I was very pleased this year because Natalie and I were not the only paddlers in Fluid kayaks. True, those damn smiley faces still dominated the field, but there were a fair number of Solos and Nemesises putting on a good show out there.

Here's David Schmitt making a nasty face as he throws a mcnasty. Full album


Here is a slideshow of our competition photos from this season. Enjoy.

Shameless photo dump: Cali Surfing

Beautiful weather, beautiful wave, poison oak everywhere. Full album


While we were in California this spring, we had a chance to spend a couple days at a really good wave (whose name I will not explicitly mention - this is still a very secretive spot). We tried to work these photos into other posts, but we couldn't really do them justice without their own full article.

Looking for some inverts. Full album


However, once I went through and picked out my favorites for a nice photo-heavy post, I realized that there wasn't much of a story. We came, we surfed, we blunted. The end. In fact, there weren't really all that many photos, since we spent most of our time surfing, and didn't want to get out of the water to shoot. Especially me. I barely got any photos of Natalie. So the post seems to be short of story, and short on photos. Well, tough luck. You just got tricked into reading it anyway.

Man, I look pretty good. Full album


Now a quick slideshow.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bringin it Home


photo by John Blyth

There was one phrase which always came to my mind over the course of about a week while Leif and I were in California: "We're Bringing it Home... This is what paddling is all about!" We had a series of paddling days in which each seemed to be better than the last...a great hometown rodeo in Auburn followed by a classic run down 49 to Bridgeport followed by a sweet class IV over-nighter on Deer Creek with our good buddies Alex and Alex followed by a day of adventure with just the two of us on not often run Brandy Creek followed by three days surfing an awesome wave on the Klamath while scouting wedding locations. The sequence of days couldn't of been better. I really felt like we were getting back to the basics, being on the water and enjoying it with some of our best friends. Not to mention that it felt great to go to my old stomping grounds in Calaveras to celebrate and cook my Mom a fabulous B-day dinner.

Below is a slide show from these few days. Unfortunately some of our pictures from 49 to Bridgeport and from Deer Creek got corrupted.



There will be more photos of Brandy Creek up on the Fluid Team blog and Leif wrote up a good description of the run on Eddy Flower.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

John Blyth visits America

John, amazed by our crazy American beers; Pabst. Full Album


Our friend John Blyth lives in Fort Smith, Canada, on the banks of the Slave river. (The average low flow for the Slave is about 100,000 cfs.) One of his nicknames is Johnny One-river since he only paddles on the Slave, but he always strenuously asserts that he has paddled more than one river - at least 4 or 5. Like the Ottowa, for example. Anyway, after several trips up to the Slave where we stayed at John's house for like a month at a time, we kept saying that we were happy to return the favor if John was ever passing through Colorado. This year he finally took us up on it. He had bought a new safari truck in Ontario, which he picked up in Calgary (who knows how that worked) so on the way back to Fort Smith, he stopped by Fort Collins... and California.

John on the Mwave. Does this mean that we leaked classified material to a foreign agent? Full Album


We had a couple weeks of shennanigans, justifying anything strange with "John, this is 'merica!" We ran the Fort Collins local run at something like 40cfs (mindblowing if you're used to 100,000cfs), then headed to Mwave and Escalante, and off to California for a couple of the pseudo-classics. Basically, John came to America and watched Leif and Natalie paddle. Obviously he had a great time. Enjoy the slideshow.